New regulations are doubling the number of people that can gather at outdoor public places, and extending restrictions on travel between the three Cayman Islands for three months, until 15 April.
Indoor public gatherings are still restricted to a maximum of 500 people.
The government notice about the extension of inter-island travel restrictions led to speculation on social media that the planned March border reopening had been postponed until mid-April.
A press release issued by the Government Information Services on Thursday, however, pointed out that the notice specifically refers only to current boating regulations around-island and inter-island travel by boat and air, rather than international travel. Regulations governing travel between the islands had been due to expire at the end of this month. The amendment extends the regulations to 15 April.
According to a GIS spokesperson, the Office of the Premier confirmed that “there is no particular significance to the end date for new [regulations] other than convenience, and that it would be incorrect to construe any meaning beyond the specific context of the [regulations].”
The notice and the regulations were gazetted on Wednesday, 20 Jan.
“They bring changes to some sections of the regulations issued late last year as well as the notice of boating and travel regulations, all of which will be valid until 15 April 2021,” the release notes.
Under the new Prevention, Control and Suppression of Covid-19 Regulations, 2021, the number of people who can gather outdoors has been expanded to 1,000 from the current 500.
Where a venue hosts simultaneous, separate and unrelated indoor and outdoor gatherings, the total number permitted to gather there is a maximum of 1,500 people, with up to 1,000 gathering outdoors and no more than 500 gathering indoors.
Under the amended regulations, processions and parades involving a uniformed service or a youth organisation will be permitted.
The regulations define a uniformed service as a naval force, including Coast Guard, a regiment, police force, fire service and prison service; and a youth organisation is specified as (a) Cayman Islands Scout Association; (b) Girls’ Brigade Cayman Islands; (c) Cayman Islands Cadet Corps; (d) Girlguiding Cayman Islands; and (e) Cayman Islands Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Pathfinders.
“Other protocols that remain unchanged from the previous regulations continue to be in force and need to be followed to ensure that COVID-19 is well managed in the Cayman Islands. This includes a ban on visiting or having contact with anyone in quarantine, mandatory testing before visiting a residential care home or prison, wearing of masks when using public transportation, businesses being prohibited from allowing hookahs, shishas or water pipes, and restrictions on rental of certain scuba and snorkelling equipment,” the release noted.
It also pointed out that all people travelling in a taxi or omnibus, including drivers, should be wearing masks while inside the vehicle.