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COVID-19 Survival Plan

Premier Says Stay Home

“The important thing is to stay home; that is our survival plan.”

—The Premier, Hon. Alden McLaughlin, MLA

Curfew restrictions will change from 5am tomorrow (Saturday 28 March 2020) to allow all persons to carry out essential tasks during the day, officials said at a press conference on Friday, 27 March.

Going forward from Saturday morning until Friday, 3 April, there will be two curfew regimes: the ‘soft’ daytime curfew followed a ‘hard’ curfew at night with more stringent restrictions. These changes are part of the country’s COVID-19 survival plan, put in place in the context of 578,000 worldwide cases and nearly 26,500 deaths to date.

At 5.01 a.m. tomorrow, Saturday, 28 March, the transition to the new soft daytime curfew will begin and will continue to 6.59 p.m., Saturday evening. From 7 p.m. until 5a.m. the following day the country will revert to the current hard curfew conditions. This will be repeated until the measures are reviewed on 3 April.

Additionally, Cabinet has approved new regulations to go with the Public Health Law which specify how the shelter at home provisions will be applied under the law. (See separate story to follow on the regulations.)

Introducing the changes to curfew conditions, Premier, Hon. Alden McLaughlin, emphasised that to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, Caymanians and residents should still remain home unless making an essential trip or exercising as allowed for the next several days.

Noting that the softer prevention measures are also known as “shelter in place”, Attorney General Samuel Bulgin explained that these will allow all residents limited access to places where they can meet their basic needs.

These locations include: supermarkets, pharmacies, liquor stores, gas stations, restaurant pick-up and banks, as well as other approved essential businesses. Outdoor exercise, including walking pets, is also permitted for up to 90 minutes every day, while practising social distancing of 6ft.

Detailed information about the soft curfew can be viewed on the Gazettes website www.gazettes.gov.ky and from official Government channels such as www.gov.ky/coronavirus.

The current “hard” curfew allows only designated personnel to move around the Islands while they carry out essential services each night from 7p.m.-5a.m. (This includes public and private sector agencies engaged in work such as: distribution of food, including restaurant delivery services through 9pm; emergency medical services; utilities, etc.)

Official’s note that all but essential businesses remain closed under both the hard and soft curfews and that as such all but essential employees are to stay home during these times.

“The important thing is to stay home; that is our survival plan”, the Premier remarked, “The move to a soft curfew tomorrow morning will allow us to move around during the daytime in a restricted manner that meets our essential needs. If we want to beat this virus and return to normal life as quickly as possible, it must not be taken as a licence to gather or ignore COVID-19 prevention measures”.

Person with enquiries about which businesses and staff may be designated essential should contact curfewtime@gov.ky.

For further information contact: Suzette Ebanks