All boats allowed back at Rum Point, Stingray City, Sandbar

Boats will be allowed to return to Rum Point and Wildlife Interaction Zones in the North Sound from 1 Aug., government has announced.

Under the latest COVID-19-control regulations, certain restrictions, including a ban on privately-owned boats at Rum Point, Stingray City, the Sandbar and Starfish Point, are being lifted from Saturday, 1 Aug., according to a press release issued on Friday night.

Prior to this, only commercial or chartered vessels were allowed into these areas.

“Members of the public are reminded that conditions for using a boat in Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac limit passenger size to no more than 50 persons or half the vessel’s maximum capacity, whichever is smaller,” the release stated.

The regulations also stipulate physical distancing of six feet between members of different households must be maintained, and that any gathering of more than 50 people in one location remains prohibited.

The release noted that people found in contravention of these rules could be subject to a fine of $1,000 and six months’ imprisonment.

There had been some confusion earlier when a government announcement over regulations coming into force on 19 July seemed to indicate that boats would be allowed to return to the popular sites from that date. It was later clarified that this would only apply to commercial boats.

New regulations regarding arrangements for visitors to hospitals, residential care homes, isolation facilities, and prisons were also issued on Friday.

The further easing of COVID-19-suppression restrictions come as Cayman entered its 18th consecutive day without a new case. As of Friday, there were also no active cases of coronavirus on the islands.

Isolation facilities

Under these regulations, only people with written permission from the Medical Officer of Health or charged with monitoring/managing a person in quarantine are allowed access to a quarantine or isolation facility in Grand Cayman or Cayman Brac.

“Such persons must follow the directions of the management of the facility as pertains to social distancing and the wearing of PPE (personal protective equipment). For home isolation, social distancing must be observed and PPE must be worn, as directed by the Medical Officer of Health,” the release stated.

Hospitals

Anyone visiting a health facility in Grand Cayman or Cayman Brac must also observe social distancing and wear PPE.

Visitors to patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 require written permission from the Medical Officer of Health; are restricted to visiting the specified patient only; and must follow all rules pertaining to social distancing and wearing PPE.

Care homes

Prospective visitors to residential care homes must return a negative test for COVID-19 within three days before the intended visit.

During the visit, six feet of distance must be maintained between the visitor and all other people, including the person they are visiting.

Prisons

Prison visits are allowed now, but only for those who are relatives of inmates in the prisons or detention centres, the latest regulations state.

Visitors must return a negative test for COVID-19 to the satisfaction of the Medical Officer of Health, within three days of the intended visit. They must also follow direction from the Director of Prisons regarding social distancing and the wearing of PPE (or the Medical Officer of Health when falling outside the remit of the Director of Prisons).

The new regulations will remain in place until 31 Aug., or until Cabinet specifies. All other conditions issued under earlier regulations remain in place, the release noted.

Work-permit extensions

Cabinet has also approved the extension of the period of certain work-permit holders’ term limits under the Immigration (Transition) Law, 2018.

A notice issued by Cabinet states that domestic helpers, caregivers, nannies and construction workers whose term limits have expired will be allowed to continue working until 30 Sept.

The notice also states that the extension would apply to “any other occupation as determined” by the director of Workforce Opportunities and Residency Cayman.

Earlier on Friday, WORC announced that construction workers on temporary work permits who were unable to work during the 10-week COVID-19 lockdown would have their permits extended or re-issued.

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