Public beaches closed Easter Monday

| 11/04/2020 | 237 Comments
Cayman News Service
Premier Alden McLaughlin at Saturday’s press briefing

(CNS): Premier Alden McLaughlin has announced that all public beaches will be closed on Easter Monday because of concerns arising out of the behaviour of people on Seven Mile Public Beach on Good Friday. The Public Health Law regulations will be changed later today to confirm the shut-down on beach access for the public from one minute past midnight on 13 April, but it may also prove to be a longer term closure.

The premier has warned in the past that beach access could be closed during the soft curfew because of the numbers of people congregating there and the danger it presents for the spread of the coronavirus through the community, undermining the significant efforts to close the islands down and try to contain the virus.

Despite wanting to keep access to the beaches open to allow people to swim and exercise on the beach, the increased abuse of that element of the curfew exception has caused major concern.

“The issue with the beaches has us all really disillusioned,” McLaughlin said at Saturday’s COVID-19 briefing update, as he announced that the beaches would close on Monday. “We are absolutely courting disaster. If Good Friday was the way it was, I shudder to think what Easter Monday would be if we leave it uncontrolled.”

He said he was not certain about a longer term closure but it was under consideration. However, he said his priority was to close the beach on holiday Monday.

The premier added that he still did not think a full lockdown curfew was practical because people need to eat and access medicines. He said if he believed that locking the country down for one week would fix the problem, he would do it, but it would not fix it because once it was opened up again, the problem would return.

McLaughlin explained the purpose of the current approach and the need to curtail the interaction of people to an absolute minimum, and he pointed out this would have to continue for some time.

The premier expressed concern about the community transmission we are now seeing, and he was less hopeful today (Saturday) than he was last week that Cayman can trace and isolate most of those connected to the cases we have so far., But he warned again that it would not succeed without the cooperation of the public.

This problem of people abusing the soft curfew is compounding the issue, he said. People who are “partying because they think they are well” had to understand that the virus is out there in the community.

The premier also lit up social media during the press briefing when he said the ban did not really impact people with private beachfronts or a house on the beach, as people queried the concept of any beach being private. However, the premier emphasized that his concerns related to the public beach areas on Seven Mile Beach and Barkers. The people congregating and partying on the beach were the problem, not people swimming in front of their own homes.

The point McLaughlin was making was about the dangers of significant numbers of people drinking and hanging out on the beach under the guise of going to swim or walk for the purpose of exercising.

This, he said, this was the reason why the beaches would definitely be closed to the public on Easter Monday, usually a day when people would go to the beach and have fun. But depending on the decision made in Cabinet, the premier warned that the beaches may be closed for a protracted period and if that was the case, then he would reveal the details as soon as possible.

See Saturday’s COVID-19 briefing on CIGTV:


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Category: Health, health and safety, Local News

Comments (237)

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  1. da-wa-u-get! says:

    Shutting the Beaches down for all is a draconian measure that may backfire!
    Most people understand the need to protect oneself from infection and broadly supported and agreed with the requirement of physical separation. We also know that the population of Cayman is accustomed and likes to move about. Thus far, thankfully, within those established requirements there was some room to allow people to have certain freedom of movement such as taking the family to the beach for a recreational swim, these activities can go a long way to alleviate domestic issues from getting out of hand because family members young and old, feel like they are penned up at home.
    In my opinion, the decision to close access to the Beaches completely, speaks more to the inability or unwillingness to apply the same penalties to breaches of separation rules on the Beach, as have been established to other breaches of established limits on movement.

    Further, the excessive decision to close the Beaches because of behavioral issues with some people, may also reflect a tiredness of the Islands leadership of having to deal with these matters daily! Note the difference: when separation limits became a problem in the Supermarkets, the leadership still had the energy to tweak the situation with alternate shopping days based on surname. Along comes the issue with the beach, perhaps these same Leaders are getting weary and maybe short on rest, with a predictable reaction; use a sledgehammer to kill a fly.

    Let us hope the confinement can be relaxed soon!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Too many people – too many nationalities – imagine the huge countries can control their people but we can’t. Shame – got to get these out ASAP. Look what it’s costing us. We got too many of our own inconsiderate people to deal with.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Well said!

  4. Cayman Mon says:

    “The Beach is Mine”; shut them all down. Stay home Cayman.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Does this include woman beaters or are they exempt?

  6. Anonymous says:

    This crisis, like other major crises have done in the past, really brings out the worst in some people. And here in the Cayman Islands, it has brought out a since of entitlement in many people across all demographics: rich people who whine about not being able to use their pools; Caymanians who can’t not go to the beach over the Easter weekend because it’s part of their heritage; foolish young people who believe the government is impinging on their right to party and socialise, so they can try to scam their way around it; people who think their right to exercise supersedes other’s right to live; people who think that the laws and recommendations issued by the government and public health service don’t apply to them. One thing should be blatantly obvious to any thinking person: the way the world works is in the process of fundamental changing and there is nothing anyone can do about that. We are living through a metamorphic historical global event the likes of which the world hasn’t seen since World War 2. Those who adapt to the new paradigm will be fine, even if life is different. Those living in the past will wither on the vine. The first thing people of the world have to do its try their best not to get this disease so they can survive. Darwinism and survival of the fittest isn’t only about survival of the strongest and healthiest. It’s also about survival of the smartest and most adaptable. Be smart and adapt to staying at home!

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