Mask mandate remains in place, officials warn

| 08/04/2022 | 134 Comments
Cayman News Service
Health Minister Sabrina Turner

(CNS): Restaurants and bars that are telling customers they no longer need to have masks and whose staff are no longer covering their faces are breaking the COVID-19 regulations, Public Health officials have said.

Despite the widespread flouting of mask mandates and social distancing rules, the regulations remain in place until the end of this first period of the phased return of cruise ships, the officials confirmed to CNS Friday. However, some relaxation of visitor restrictions has been implemented today.

Following numerous emails and messages from readers that well-known bars and restaurants in the Seven Mile Beach area were waiving mask mandates and telling customers that all regulations will be dropped this weekend, Public Health officials said the rules will not change until towards the end of April.

“The regulations currently in place include a mandate to wear masks indoors,” Public Health told CNS. “As mentioned at the last press briefing, the plan is to review the situation after several weeks of cruise tourism, and based on the findings, determine whether to maintain or amend the regulations. At this time, it would be premature to speculate on what changes may or may not come into effect.”

The current regulations require all individuals to wear a mask indoors if they are not able to socially distance, unless the person is unable to wear a mask or cloth face covering due to a medical condition or the person is otherwise exempted by guidance provided by the medical officer of health.

People sitting at their desks at work or school and customers of a restaurant or bar sitting at a table or counter do not need to wear a mask. But when entering and walking around customers should still cover their faces and staff should wear masks or cloth face coverings while serving customers.

However, government has made changes to the regulations relating to restrictions on visitors to the Cayman Islands.

Restrictions on travellers from countries with a vaccination rate lower than 60% for the first dose of an approved vaccine have been removed. Any vaccinated person can now travel to the Islands without being subject to quarantine on arrival if they complete the pre-arrival test, fill in the medical questionnaire and take a medical exam if a Customs and Border Control (CBC) Officer considers it necessary, submit a travel declaration form and have evidence to support it.

Unaccompanied Caymanian resident children or those with close ties under the age of 12 years, even if unvaccinated, will not be required to isolate if they are staying in a household where all other occupants 12 years and over are vaccinated.

Unaccompanied unvaccinated children will be required to quarantine if they are staying in a place where an unvaccinated person over the age of 12 is also residing. Unaccompanied unvaccinated visitor children are still not allowed to travel to the Cayman Islands.

Health and Wellness Minister Sabrina Turner said that “as we welcome the relaxation of additional travel restrictions, we cannot disregard how much compliance with COVID-19 regulations has contributed to us arriving to this juncture. With more persons arriving to our shores daily, I urge the public to remain aware by getting their COVID-19 vaccinations, including boosters, and following public health guidelines to prevent infection”.

Government has also stopped paying the costs of accommodation at a quarantine facility or isolation for most travellers. Most of the changes are expected to increase airline and visitor traffic at Owen Roberts International Airport by supporting more family travel this summer. 

The Control of Covid-19 (Travel) (No. 2) Regulations, 2022 are scheduled to expire on 31 May 2022 and can be viewed here.

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Category: Health, Medical Health

Comments (134)

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  1. Juniper says:

    Now jump on one leg while rubbing your tummy and patting your head. This place is ridiculous

  2. Anonymous says:

    When you see one of these anti-mask crusaders in public, pull your mask down right before you cough and sneeze near them. Apologize profusely and tell them you have COVID and Ebola. Add that you don’t believe in masks because of freedom-Jesus-Trump.

    Try it, it really does rattle the perspective of these morons.

    • Anonymous says:

      I would not care. Everyone is gonna get the covids. Fact.

      I had it, 2 days sick (tested and positive). Whats the hype for?

  3. Communists Police says:

    I think Julie proved to us all that masks don’t work.

  4. Anonymous says:

    The health minister is living proof of the ‘Peter Principle’ at work.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Masks do not help against the extremely contagious one Ron. People must be given back their freedom to choose for themselves. All restrictions should be removed.

    • Anonymous says:

      Really? So when I sneeze near you it doesn’t matter to you if I’m wearing a mask or not?


  6. Anonymous says:

    We should note that there is no special task force identified, no hotline or anonymous tip portal to report non-compliance up until these meaningless political measures expire in June. That’s because there are no tickets being written, and they won’t be written by anyone, accept for the most egregious political circumstances. Despite public threats, no ticketing on Super Bowl Sunday, as far as anyone can report. Jerking around the public on all sides, continues to sow more distrust in RCIPS, Public Health, and this clueless window-dressing regime. That’s perhaps the most unhealthy byproduct of ineffectual policy. Just scrap the mask mandates and inbound testing if they are going to be meaningless – at least then people can believe your words when you do nothing.

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