Mandatory masks dropped under new rules

| 25/08/2020 | 116 Comments
Cayman News Service
An officer hands out masks at a local supermarket at the beginning of lockdown

(CNS): Government has released new COVID-19 regulations that ease most of the remaining limitations on day to day life in the Cayman Islands put in place to curtail the spread of the coronavirus, including the requirement to wear masks in most public places. The new rules pave the way for gatherings of up to 250 people, including at sporting events, and lift the ban on hiring scuba equipment.

People will no longer be mandated to wear masks in shops or offices but they will be required at medical facilities, care homes, the prison and the airport. Masks will also be needed in taxis and on buses, but there is now no mandated requirement for children to wear masks at school.

The previous expectations that children were required to wear masks in schools had caused concern for some parents, especially the youngest students. While the advice will remain for social distancing and hand hygiene, there will be no longer be any compulsion for kids to wear masks in class.

The regulations state that the medical officer of health can require people to wear masks in given circumstances and issue separate guidance on the use of masks or cloth face coverings by children between the ages of two and ten years old. However, Chief Medical Officer Dr John Lee said Tuesday that no specific requirement for schools had been published by Medical Officer of Health Dr Samuel Williams-Rodriguez since the new regulations were released.

The new rules were published Monday on government’s Gazette website and Premier Alden McLaughlin is expected to confirm the details at Tuesday’s COVID-19 briefing, which is scheduled for this afternoon.

Cayman appears to be free of the virus. While there were still two active cases as of Monday, both were asymptomatic patients in quarantine. The last person to test positive for COVID-19 who had acquired the virus through community transmission was six weeks ago.

See the new regulations in the CNS Library. Scroll down to ‘Easing of curfew’.

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Category: Health, health and safety

Comments (116)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    According to the emojis above 15% of the readers are angry because you aren’t being forced into accepting their hysterics.

    Shouldn’t you people be wearing hazmat suits? Dangerous out there…

  2. Logan born Caymanian says:

    Cayman we are only as safe as the next Ganja shipment from Jamaica which is now spiking with Covid 19 cases, lost a very good friend last week . Wear your damn mask be idiot proof! Stop listening to these counterfeit mystical geniuses we got in politics and now trying to takeover these islands.I cannot for the world understand why some of who consistently whine about Cayman will not go H O M E!

  3. Elvis says:

    Please don’t laugh when you see me in my mask still.

    Just because people say i don’t need to wear one doesn’t mean i don’t feel more comfortable wearing

    mine still ok? Respect peoples choices going forward.

    I kinda like mine anyway.

    • Anonymous says:

      I will continue to wear my mask and will be reluctant to enter a supermarket or other public establishment where masks are not required. I am a senior citizen and I suspect other seniors find this news upsetting How can the government dictate that private establishments cannot keep their mask mandates? If they can say “no shirts, no shoes, no service”, why can’t they say “no masks, no service”? What if they want to continue to protect their employees?

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, we like you in it too. Suits you.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wear your mask all you want. Many wear it for reasons other than viruses.
      Just don’t post your comment numerous times or spread paranoia.

    • Anonymous says:

      Absolutely respect your choice. Wearing a mask when you feel unwell has been an accepted practice in parts of Asia for years – but not to protect you, but protect others. You do realize that it’s doesn’t protect you right – that you are reducing the chance you will infect others?

      • Anonymous says:

        It must be of some protection to the person wearing it, even if only to cover their nose and mouth if they are near someone who is sneezing or coughing.

    • Anonymous says:

      How you smoke weed through that though?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Legally, any private establishment can require masks if they chose to, to protect their staff or, as per the supermarket, their buffet service. What part of their premises is Government controlled? Govt can declare a national mandate to require masks but upon rescinding that, they cannot prevent any private establishment from keeping the requirement in place on its property.

    Just saying.

  5. Anonymous says:

    For those of you complaining. We haven’t had a community caught case since forever. Dr. Lee has said the virus has basically fizzled out here. If you want to continue wearing a mask, please do, no one’s stopping you from doing so, but it should no longer be a requirement, as we’ve controlled and essentially eradicated it here. But I think we should still continue having hand sanitizers outside shops, it doesn’t hurt to have that extra precaution.

    • who cares? I do! says:

      6:57pm, did Dr Lee say it was eradicated? Where in his presentation did you hear that? You must be listening to someone else.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Does this mean that government is finally getting back to work?

  7. Anonymous says:

    Public places are owned by the government. Many establishments are privately owned, they can do as they see fit. Alden, good attempt on starting a dictatorship. Try again ya panseh

  8. Anonymous says:

    Florida did not and some counties in Florida are still not mandating masks. THAT is why the numbers there became out of control. Wear your mask, wash your hands and social distance in a pandemic.

    • Anonymous says:

      Except.. We’re 3 separated islands and not open to 49 other states worth of people.

      • Anonymous says:

        2 in quarantine with Covid. 147? Still in quarantine. A plane coming from the UK in Sept.50% of the island tested which means 50% still not tested. People coming in and out i.e. electricians and people for medical reasons.

    • Anonymous says:

      You sound like a barrel of laughs.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wrong, they massively increased testing moreso than cases spiked. This isn’t rocket science.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Please,please all Supermarkets….Keep your mandatory hand sanitizing, and face covering policy.

    Over 3 years ago I stopped eating from the salad bars after seeing a man his hands stained with grease (probably a mechanic)dropped and retrieved a serving utensil from the broccoli and carrots food tray. Of course we all have soiled hands (even if not with industrial greases)so we should all have to sanitize them before eating the grapes from the open bags in the produce area.

  10. Anonymous says:

    The paranoid mask freaks will not be happy. Not to worry, you can still wear one if you want.

  11. Anonymous says:

    It looks like ignorance is alive and well in the Cayman Islands. We have fared better than anywhere else in the world thanks to decisive leadership and intelligent collaboration between scientists and politicians and no one seems to appreciate the significance of what has been achieved so far. Hopefully there is an intelligent silent majority out there.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Is this a sign that the government has no intention of opening up the border any time soon? It seems like a strange decision when they were supposedly planning to move from mandatory quarantine to the more risky bio button.

    • Anonymous says:

      More risky is an understatement. The bio-button is outright snake-oil.

      WHO quarantine requirements remains 14 days, and CDC estimates 40% of transmission is via asymptomatic individuals. So if CIG allow bio-button wearers to roam free after 8 days, there is a very significant chance that infectious individuals will be out of quarantine as the bio-button does the square root of FA if the person is asymptomatic.

      A second lockdown will be highly likely, if indeed not inevitable, should CIG proceed with the 8 day plan.

      The correct approach should be 14 day quarantine, whether at home or in CIG facility, with bio-button for geo-restriction for home quarantine purposes. Or just ankle tag them. Usual PCR clear tests needed at end of 14 day period.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Good for that supermarket! Hope they all keep a mask rule – they can despite Govt removing it as mandatory – it is their premises! All private indoor spaces should keep the requirement!!

    What the hell is so offensive about wearing a mask when the benefits are so obvious??

    Without masks in general we’ll see if the virus raises its head in the CI again.

    • Anonymous says:

      What are you taking about? Can you read? That’s an old photo.

      • Anonymous says:

        Theyre not talking about the photo. Theyre responding on the comment that TODAY even with mandatory mask law removed, supermarkets still requiring masks. Its you that needs to read.

        • Anonymous says:

          No. The supermarket cannot make you wear a mask to enter their premises.

        • Anonymous says:

          No they haven’t. They issued press releases saying its no longer mandatory.

          • Anonymous says:

            Did it occur to you that some people went shopping before midday when the supermarkets announced no masks? I went at 9am and can assure you I was not permitted to enter without a mask. I warned security they were going to have a rough day. Management backed up security saying they DID still require masks despite the law. A few hours later, they changed their tune.

    • Anonymous says:


    • Anonymous says:

      The new regs expressly state that you cannot deny entry to anyone who is not wearing a mask

  14. Robert Mugabe IV says:

    Now open the borders for all.
    TB and other flus that have been with us for ions and are still killing millions more per year than Covid19. When the dust settles the death rates world wide will show very little difference in the amount of deaths per year over the last decade, when you take away everyone who died during this pandemic who had underlying conditions.
    This pandemic has been a great reminder of how the masses can be controlled by the few. People will believe anything if you keep repeating the same nonsense.
    “Our father who art in heaven hallowed be the name, thy kingdom come thy will be done…….” to infinity and beyond

    CNS: Spend a little time studying this – scroll down to the graph of deaths. That spike was not a hoax.

    It’s also worth reading this article in the Economist. It looks at “excess deaths”, i.e. the number of deaths over the norm, which in almost all countries was more than the recorded number of Covid deaths, which aligns with most experts’ opinions that the number of Covid deaths is more than the official numbers.

    • Buster says:

      CNS, the spike was not a hoax but notice that now covid accounts for less than 5 yr average for influenza. The UK, US and many others are now on the backside of the curve. With studies showing 40-50 percent of populations having T cell immunity and perhaps as much as 10-15 infection rate having already happened, herd immunity may be happening. It is borne out in the data from the UK, US, and Brazil in particular. The excess deaths data referenced in the Economist on a monthly basis has actually gone negative in locales such as Sweden, Switzerland and getting close in the US. What that means is that most Covid fatalaties earlier in the year were for people who were likely die this year anyway. Thanks for the data reference.

    • Anonymous says:

      CNS thank you. My thumbs up was in fact meant for your comment.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m always amazed by the brazen ignorance of people like you. Hoax??!! Idiot.

    • who cares? I do! says:

      Thank you CNS for clarifying that for Robert Mugabe 1V, who seems to be living in another dimension.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Open up the border and let us off this rock without bankrupting us to come back! Credit us with the brain to self-isolate and be grown up about it.

    • Anonymous says:

      With you 110%

      • Anonymous says:

        Im 120%! If we can be compliant enough to behave to get the current infection down to zero, we can be compliant enough to self isolate at home like normal human beings.

      • Anonymous says:

        Unfortunately, that’s how we got Covid in the first place. If anyone have sense, they’ll keep their masks on as everyone seems to have missed this part:A person who wishes to travel between the Islands and who has not been in the
        Islands for at least fourteen days prior to the date of travel shall —
        (a) not less than forty-eight hours prior to travelling —
        (i) seek the approval of the Chief Officer of the Ministry of International
        Trade, Investment, Aviation and Maritime Affairs to travel; and
        (ii) be tested for the virus; and
        (b) only be permitted to travel after such test has been declared to be negative
        by the Medical Officer of Health.

    • Anonymous says:

      Should ask the government what age groups the persons who didn’t obey self quarantine in MARCH were. Were they all age 40+ home owners? It’s the governments blanket approach that is causing the anger. But how can we possibly ask this government to be transparent, analytical and act in a timely manner?

    • Anonymous says:

      If people were trustworthy I would agree. Too risky to open the airport with whats going on right now.

      • Anonymous says:

        Why is it too risky? If you have no Covid there and you can go without masks everywhere and Covid is a hoax…what is the big deal?

        IMO, going without a mask when in a group or public area is absolutely insane. I would bet any money that there IS Covid in Cayman….asymptomatic cases. Maybe not severe, but lurking somewhere and letting your guard down is not a good idea. Until no one is in isolation/quarantine or wearing bio buttons, Why is government still making people wear masks in certain public places if they thought there was no Covid? I would not remove my mask in public, crowded places. I would still social distance.

      • Anonymous says:

        Heard something about fake “fit to travel” certificates being issued in Florida.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Other news sites are saying that this does NOT apply to schools. CNS, can you please confirm?

    CNS: The CNS story is correct.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Finally some rational decision, feels like living in PARA-NOIA-DISE! Let locals quarantine in there homes when returning from overseas! Have some trust in your people, and save the expenditure of government quarantine facilities! Government will need the funds soon to help starving people once the pension money has run out!

  18. Anonymous says:

    CNS where did the up/down thumbs go?? Please don’t say you’ve killed them off..

    CNS: The thumb votes were being manipulated to a ridiculous degree. I’m looking at a different rating system.

    • Anonymous says:

      CNS: The silent majority votes with those. The results are unbiased and show people can see through the accepted narrative given to us by the Government and the media.

      CNS: Yes, I understand that – except that if they are heavily manipulated they are no longer unbiased. I think I have a found a better system that will be less easy to manipulate. I’m working on it now.

      • Anonymous says:

        @ 11.47 We desperately need a ‘LOL’ button too for some of the banal comments on CNS.

      • //abys says:

        I love the new buttons especially for the unlike ability. Many times I’ve liked after reading the first paragraph only to see absolute rubbish in the 2-3rd.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Half of people were not wearing them properly anyway, especially a particular nationality that seem to think the nose could remain uncovered. I mean why bother?

  20. Anonymous says:

    why is the officer in the picture giving a mask to a person wearing a mask? it is a little wierd

  21. Anonymous says:

    So can a shop refuse you access if you don’t wear a mask? Where do I stand legally? Shops and bars can refuse access for not wearing a shirt or footwear. What’s to stop them doing this too?

    • Anonymous says:

      No, they can’t. Read the damn gazette

      • Anonymous says:

        Well I just got refused entry at a supermarket without my mask. They said the same way they can require shirt and shoes, they can require mask and they WILL because they need to open back the self serve buffets and cannot do safely without masks.

        I hate masks but quite frankly, i wish people been wearing them at the buffets since the beginning of time!

        • Anonymous says:

          Well they are in breach of the law and should be reported.

          “An owner or operator of a public place shall not refuse entry to a person on the grounds either that the person—(a)is wearing a mask or cloth covering;or(b)subject to paragraph (2), is not wearing a mask or cloth face covering”

          I’ll take my business elsewhere(Fosters just released an update on their social media)

        • Anonymous says:

          Your “buffet” is really just stock that hasn’t been sold and is about to spoil. A litte corona in it ain’t going to make it any worse than it already is.

      • Anonymous says:

        11.25 Like to try again?

        • Anonymous says:

          Yes, read and comprehend the damn gazette.

          • Anonymous says:

            They were agreeing with you dork

          • Anonymous says:

            1.03 I think you haven’t quite got the ‘shops are still refusing entry part’.

            • Anonymous says:

              They legally cannot refuse entry. Digest that.

              • Anonymous says:

                Actually they can. This is NOT a dictatorship and any business can enforce their own rules. These business are not owned and operated by government.

                • Anonymous says:

                  Actually, they are defined as public places in the regulations so unless they want to start a membership, I’ll be walking in freely, mask free and proud.

                  • Anonymous says:

                    Then get turned away from any establishment that does not wish to have you enter their premises. Government can’t do sh*t. They can huff and puff all they want but they do not own private businesses. Members of the public might be allowed to enter such establishments but the entity itself isn’t Government owned so any owner can decide what he or she will accept.

                    • Anonymous says:

                      I’ll just walk straight in, as I have a legal right to do so. Their underpaid security guards will have no option but to allow me.

  22. Anonymous says:

    About time! Keep the airport closed (because this is still way out of control almost everywhere else in the world – including our neighboring islands that started to allow travel) and let us continue to live our lives here without restriction.

    While I have sympathy for those who continue to face financial hardship due to the shutdown of the tourism sector, it would be a silly decision to open up the airport now, as it would be a guarantee of new positive cases in the community and we would be right back to where we started. We have all sacrificed so much over the last 5 months and no one has the appetite to go back into lockdown. Our kids deserve to be in school and for them and their teachers to not have to wear masks.

    Well done Cayman! Let’s keep up the great work!

  23. Anonymous says:

    Not a day too early to end this insane hysterics. Naturally, all the voices of reason early on were suppressed because we just had to make this a political weapon.

    Now it’s just a matter of time before the SJW fake outrage and hysterics sets in.

  24. Anonymous says:

    So under what medical rationale are many of our children not being allowed back in to their schools for two weeks?

    • Shakin' me head! says:

      Due to sloth, our civil service came up with a plan back in May & June and it is too hard to change that now.

      It will be interesting to see how the Premier and others respond to questions this afternoon.

      I don’t question that measures need to be taken to mitigate the effects of Covid-19, but it shouldn’t be too much to ask CIG to assess the risk of various matters, adapt to new information and communicate the same to all of us.

      We are declared Covid-free by major health organizations and we should enjoy that while we can. Depending on how the airport is handled this could all change in a month.

      • Anonymous says:

        All while ignoring the damning reports from the OES highlighting the failures of our public education system in attempting to implement meaningful home learning.

        • Annie says:

          The gazette specifies ‘public places’. I was raised and educated in the States, so I am unsure if businesses here are ‘public places’. In the States they are private. If they are private then it seems reasonable that they could still require masks. But even in the States, if a requirement contravenes a Federal law, it might be invalid. Depending on the law it contravenes, and the type of business.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Whole thing was stupid to begin with.

    • Anonymous says:

      Tell that to the families of the 814,000+ people that have died….

      • Anonymous says:

        Yawn. Thumbs down for you. More people have died on our roads than from Covid. Prove me wrong.

        • Anonymous says:

          And yet we still wear seat belts.

          We take precautions like wearing a seat belt or wearing a mask in order to mitigate the risk of injury or infection/transmission.

          • Anonymous says:

            Wrong, most people wear seat belts to avoid a potential fine. Also, more people have did in our swimming pools than from Covid, prove me wrong.

          • Anonymous says:

            But most don’t even wear seatbelts. Or drive the speed limit.

      • Anonymous says:

        So many places require masks. So I guess that didn’t help all of the 814,000+ that died.
        People died in places where the restrictions were extreme…
        But rarely have they stated what the other adverse conditions were that made them more susceptible. They also over-reported on many that did NOT die of COvid but were attributed anyway.
        Who do you trust? NONE of them.

      • Anonymous says:

        99% of them would have died anyway. Florida 2020 Covid deaths, which people like you claim is ravishing the State, is still a good percentage under 2019 vehicle accidents. Unfortunately, our roads and pools, are more dangerous than Covid. God bless those who lost their lives. As for you, please learn some statistics.

        • Anonymous says:

          What are you talking about? Less than 300 people died in road accidents in Florida in 2019. More than 10,500 people have already died in Florida of COVID-19 in 2020. That’s 35 times more deaths and we’re only 2/3 of the way through 2020!

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