Legislation passed by lawmakers last month to impose $10,000 fines for breaches of COVID-19 quarantine came into effect* Friday, 27 Nov., the government has announced.
A recent quarantine-breach case, in which a couple from Canada were fined $1,000 each, led to questions from the public as to why they had not been fined more, in accordance with the revised penalties.
However, the government in a statement, explained, “While under previous COVID-19 regulations, all penalties attracted fines of $1,000 and imprisonment for six months, the amended law allows fines of up to $10,000 and imprisonment for two years.
“With this change now reflected in regulations, the Courts will be able to impose the maximum penalty allowed by law when sentencing offenders.”
Five new cases
Meanwhile, Medical Officer of Health Dr. Samuel Williams-Rodriguez announced Friday that five new positive COVID-19 cases have been recorded among incoming travellers.
He said four of the individuals are asymptomatic, while one is showing symptoms.
They will remain in isolation until they are considered to be recovered and have returned a negative PCR test result.
The latest new cases bring the total number of coronavirus cases recorded in Cayman to 274.
No local community transmission cases have been recorded in Cayman since 9 Oct. when a primary school student tested positive.
Other regulations updated
As well as publishing the regulations relating to the increase in penalties for breaches of quarantine, Cabinet also approved the publication of two other updated COVID-19-related regulations, as those were due to expire at the end of this month.
These were the Prevention, Control and Suppression of COVID-19 (Partial Lifting of Restrictions) (No. 6) Regulations, 2020; and the Prevention, Control and Suppression of COVID-19 (Partial Lifting of Restrictions) (Travel and Boating) (No. 6) Regulations, 2020.
The government statement said there were no substantive changes to these two regulations, other than the expiry date, which is now 31 Jan. 2021.
*Editor’s note: A statement issued by government last week said the regulations to increase quarantine-breach penalties would be enacted on Monday, 30 Nov., but a government spokesperson clarified later that they came into force on Friday.