Government has raised the limit on public gatherings, doubling the maximum from 250 to 500 people, in Cayman’s latest round of COVID-19 regulations.

On Friday, Premier Alden McLaughlin announced the new maximum limit at government’s COVID-19 briefing.

“There will be no exemptions to exceed this number for activities that fall under the definition of public gathering.  I repeat – the maximum number of persons at a public gathering including hotels, restaurants, nightclubs and other such businesses will be 500 persons. This increase is also reflected with maximum public gatherings on a boat or group of boats,” he said.

One immediate beneficiary of the increased limits is the Breast Cancer Foundation, whose annual fundraising gala is set for 17 Oct.

Fisherman also received good news in Cayman’s updated regulations, published Friday night, which included changes that enable them to expand the areas where they fish.

McLaughlin said government is introducing the ability to fish outside of territorial waters, without having to quarantine upon return, “as long as persons have advised the Port Authority and Customs and Border Control and received approval and a rotation number”.

As for the Breast Cancer Foundation, chief administrator Janette Fitzgerald told the Cayman Compass Saturday via email that the upcoming gala had been sold out, but that “amazingly” since the announcement of the relaxed limits, the foundation had received many enquiries for tables.

To date, 440 tickets have been sold, but Fitzgerald said she expects to reach the new maximum of 500 by Monday or Tuesday, judging by the emails she has received since Friday’s announcement.

Premier Alden McLaughlin announced the new changes Friday. Photo: GIS

For fishermen, McLaughlin said government is introducing the ability to fish outside of territorial waters, without having to quarantine upon return, “as long as persons have advised the Port Authority and Customs and Border Control and received approval and a rotation number”.

Under the regulations, boats that receive clearance to go outside of territorial waters can do so for 48-hour fishing trips with a limit of 25 people. The operator of the fishing vessel are required to provide the names of the captain, crew and all passengers and receive clearance to leave the waters, issued by the Customs and Border Control Service, he added.

“Additionally, all vessels must declare if they have allowed anyone, other than the persons cleared to depart, to board their vessel while on the trip/journey or to declare such occurrence.  Failure to make a full and truthful declaration will be an offence,” McLaughlin said.

People fishing outside of territorial waters will only be authorised to fish at the following areas –

60 Mile Bank- N 20.015388, W 82.034369;

Pickle Bank- N 19.331364, W81.579896;

12 Mile Bank- N 19.318341, W 81.611573 & N 19.344467, W 81.555659;

Lawford’s Bank- N 19.47.000, W 79.13.000; and

Fish Attracting Device (FAD) N 19.44.730, W 81.19.573.

Fitzgerald noted the importance of the annual gala in the Breast Cancer Foundation’s fundraising efforts.

“The gala is such an important and vital fundraising event for our organization, it enables us to support over 220 mainly women and their families through their breast cancer journey via our Wellness Program; it also enables us to continue to fund the Cancer Society for their work with breast cancer patients ($70,000 for financial aid and $20,000 for mammogram vouchers); and to also assist the Lions Club of Tropical Gardens by sponsoring their Brenda Tibbetts-Lund walk,” she said.

Cancer stops for no one, Fitzgerald added, saying, “We never want to be in a position to not be able to help someone who needs us; we have, thankfully, been able to operate fully for the entire year so our expenses are as high as a normal year.”

McLaughlin also addressed the wearing of masks indoors, saying that on the advice of the chief medical officer, anyone over the age of 10 is required to wear a mask indoors at a public place.

“For the avoidance of doubt, I would add that the requirement, for any person regardless of age, to wear a mask when visiting a health care facility; a residential home care facility; a prison or place of detention; an airport; or such other public place as may be specified by notice by the Medical Officer of Health, remains or they can be refused entry,” he said.

The regulations expire on 30 Nov.

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