Five cases of alleged quarantine breaches remain under investigation by the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service, Travel Cayman has confirmed.
In response to Cayman Compass queries about the status of the breaches, Travel Cayman said on Monday it is taking some time to conduct thorough investigations.
“Each case has different circumstances that make it unique and these circumstances impact the shape of the investigation and hence the duration. Some of these variables include the availability of supporting witnesses, expert witnesses, evidence, health status of the alleged offender, etc.,” Travel Cayman said in its response.
In addition, the holiday season created further delays in the cases, according to the statement.
“Notwithstanding, all cases are being investigated comprehensively and will be sent to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, which will make a final determination as to whether charges will be brought,” Travel Cayman added.
The latest quarantine breach was reported last week when a traveller was warned for intended prosecution after the individual stopped at a number of public places following COVID-19 testing on the 15th day of isolation, rather than returning directly home to await the results.
This action, according to an earlier Travel Cayman statement, contravened an agreement all returning travellers must sign with the agency.
Travel Cayman has since determined that the traveller in question did not pose a public-health risk at the time of the breach.
“It is important to note that all cases under investigation are considered only suspected or alleged until a final determination is made by the courts,” Travel Cayman told the Compass Monday.
In all five cases, the alleged breachers have been warned for intended prosecution. At the end of the police investigation a file will be prepared and sent to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions for a decision.
Among the cases under investigation are alleged multiple breaches by a 19-year-old, which included going to the gym.
The circumstances of the three other alleged quarantine breaches have not been released.
To date, four people have been prosecuted under the COVID-suppression regulations.
Canadian couple Pascal Terjanian, 52, and Cristina Gurunian, 34, pleaded guilty to breaching quarantine and were each fined $1,000 for tampering with their geo-fencing wrist monitors and leaving their residence. They left the island and government ordered that they not be allowed to return while COVID restrictions are in place.
They were charged and prosecuted prior to the coming into force of new regulations which increased penalties for breaches to $10,000.
In December, US citizen Skylar Mack, 18, and her 24-year-old Caymanian boyfriend Vanjae Ramgeet, were jailed for two months following a quarantine breach in November.
In Monday’s statement, Travel Cayman added that since the prevention and suppression of COVID-19 regulations were enacted earlier this year, some 500 people, “a significant majority of them Caymanians and residents”, have been successfully prosecuted for breaches including curfew infringements.
Editor’s note: This story has been amended to reflect the updated number of breaches being investigated, according to Travel Cayman.