Last updated Wednesday, 25 March 2020

This page is in the process of being updated to reflect all new and updated regulations, including those relating to Shelter in Place.

The Public Health (Prevention, Control and Suppression of COVID-19) Regulations, 2020 came into effect at 5:01 am on Saturday, 28 March and are currently set to expire at 5 am on Tuesday, 7 April. These regulations will be reviewed on Friday, 3 April and may be extended beyond the initial 10-day period.

Please review the "Policies in Action" section on our homepage for a summary of these new and updated regulations and read more here

The daily "hard" curfew that is currently in effect from 7 pm in the evening until 5 am in the morning is in addition to the Shelter in Place "soft" curfew and other regulations. This curfew is reviewed every 48 hours and will expire on Friday, 3 April unless it it is extended.

 

CONTENTS

The Virus

How It's Caught & Spread

Prevention

Self-isolation

Testing & Treatment

Travel & Tourism

Business & Commerce

Vulnerable People

Restrictions

 

THE VIRUS

GENERAL INFORMATION

Coronavirus, the virus causing COVID-19, is a new strain of the coronavirus, which was first identified in Wuhan City, China in December 2019.  The virus causing COVID-19 is a member of the coronavirus family (a group of viruses). This particular strain has never been encountered before. The main symptoms of coronavirus are:
► fever
► cough
► shortness of breath
These symptoms are usually mild but commonly occur within 1-10 days after a person has been exposed.
Learn more at hsa.ky/coronavirus.

Available evidence suggests that the majority of people who contract coronavirus (COVID-19) will have a mild case and will recover within two weeks. However, elderly people and those with underlying health conditions are vulnerable to further complications and may require additional medical care if they contract the virus. 

There is no vaccine for the new strain of coronavirus at this stage. Treatment aims to relieve the symptoms and supporting bodily functions while your body fights the illness.

If someone infected with the virus coughs on to their hand and then touches something, that surface may become contaminated. Door handles and lift buttons are a good example of a surface that might pose a risk.

It's not yet known how long the new coronavirus might be able to live on such surfaces. Experts suspect it is hours rather than days but it is best to wash your hands regularly to help reduce the risk of infection and the spread of the virus.

The coronavirus is transmitted from person to person. The virus spreads through small droplets from the nose or mouth when a person with coronavirus coughs or sneezes. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch coronavirus by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. People can also catch coronavirus if droplets land on them from a person with coronavirus. This is why it is important to stay more than 3 feet away from a person who is sick, preferably 6 feet.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it is simply too soon to know how COVID-19 will react when the weather warms up as Spring and Summer approach.

HOW IT'S CAUGHT & SPREAD

There is no evidence that pets can be infected with coronavirus (COVID-19). However, it is good practice to wash your hands after contact.

There is no current information to guide as to whether coronavirus (COVID-19) is sexually transmitted.  It would seem unlikely since the flu is not sexually transmitted. However, if you are in close contact with someone who has symptoms of the flu or coronavirus (coughing, sneezing, runny nose, fever, headache) as might happen during sex, the likelihood of transmission for non-sexual reasons would be high.

Infection with any virus, including something like a sexually transmitted disease, can cause initial symptoms similar to the flu.

Scientists don't have any reason to believe that pregnant women are more susceptible to coronavirus (COVID-19) than anyone else.

It's important to follow simple hygiene advice to protect yourself from the virus. This includes washing your hands with soap and water often, not touching your face, eyes or mouth with your unwashed hands and avoiding people who are unwell.

The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly by close contact with an infected person through respiratory droplets. Whether a pregnant woman with COVID-19 can transmit the virus that causes COVID-19 to her fetus or neonate by other routes of vertical transmission (before, during, or after delivery) is still unknown. However, in limited recent case series of infants born to mothers with COVID-19, none of the infants have tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19. Additionally, the virus was not detected in samples of amniotic fluid or breast milk.

There is currently no evidence that you can catch coronavirus (COVID-19) from parcels and letters. Viruses like coronavirus cannot live for very long outside the body.

PREVENTION 

Face masks have a role in stopping people with coronavirus (COVID-19) from spreading the virus but they stop working after a short period of time. There is very little evidence that use of face masks prevents healthy people from contracting coronavirus. Masks will be provided by the Health Service Authority free of charge to those people entering their premises who have respiratory symptoms.

There is currently no vaccine for coronavirus (COVID-19). The virus is new and requires its own vaccine to be effective.
Simple hygiene measures like washing your hands often with soap and water and avoiding people who are unwell can help stop viruses like coronavirus spreading.

Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water where possible. If you can’t get to a sink, an alcohol-based hand sanitiser will work.

Alcohol gels don’t kill some viruses – such as norovirus and rhinovirus – but the coronavirus has an envelope structure which alcohol can attack. Hand sanitisers with more than 60 per cent alcohol content are most effective at killing microbes.

The most thorough washing suggests you remove all jewellery, including rings, so you can reach all surfaces on your hands when washing them thoroughly.

The Governor has powers allowing him to lock down districts in the event of a national emergency if this is required to contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

It is best to prepare in case you need to self-isolate by ensuring you have at least two weeks’ supply of pain relievers such as Tylenol or Paracetamol (acetaminophen), soap or hand sanitizers, tissues, food and other items that will ensure your comfort while you are at home. 

From 16 March through 27 April 2020, all education facilities are closed.

This is a precautionary measure to reduce the possible spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

SELF-ISOLATION

Any person with travel history or who is displaying symptoms should self-isolate for 14 days  along with their entire household.

Evidence from confirmed cases suggests the incubation period for coronavirus (COVID-19) is 14 days. During this time, the patient will begin to display symptoms and will be able to transmit the virus to others if they are not isolated.

If there's a chance you could have coronavirus (COVID-19) or have travelled from an affected area, you will be asked by Public Health to stay away from other people (self-isolate). Read more on self-isolation.
 
This means you should:
  • stay at home
  • not go to work, school or public areas
  • not use public transport or taxis
  • ask friends, family members or delivery services to carry out errands for you
  • try to avoid visitors to your home (it's okay for friends, family or delivery drivers to drop off food and other essential supplies)

Even if you have no symptoms of coronavirus, you should do this for 14 days to help reduce the possible spread of infection.

If you entered the Cayman Islands on or after Monday, 16 March, you are required to self-isolate along with all other members of your household.

If you develop symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), such as coughing, fever, tiredness or breathing difficulties, contact the 24-hour Flu Hotline on 1-800-534-8600 or 345-947-3077 to inform the Health Services Authority and seek medical advice. Alternatively, you may contact your regular GP via phone. Do not go to a hospital or other healthcare provider unless you require emergency care. In the event of an emergency, dial 911.

If you get coronavirus (COVID-19), you will have to remain in isolation until you test negative twice. It is best to prepare for this scenario by ensuring you have at least two weeks’ supply of pain relievers such as Tylenol or Paracetamol (acetaminophen), soap or hand sanitisers, tissues, food and other items that will ensure your comfort while you are at home. 

Self-isolation Poster March 20

Yes. If you are displaying symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), anyone who has been in contact with you, including your household, needs to go into self-isolation as well.

If you are self-isolating due to recent travel, even if no one is displaying symptoms the entire household must go into self-isolation as well. Read more.

If you have been told to self-isolate, you need to stay indoors and avoid contact with other people for 14 days. It is important to follow the advice for the whole period, even if you do not have any symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19).
 
Do
  • Stay at home
  • Separate yourself from other people in your household – for example, try not to be in the same room as other people at the same time
  • Only allow people who live with you to stay or visit
  • Stay in a well-ventilated room with a window that can be opened
  • Ask friends, family members or delivery services to carry out errands for your such as getting groceries, medicines or other shopping
  • Make sure you tell delivery drivers to leave items outside for collection
  • Clean toilets and bathrooms regularly
  • Think about a bathroom rotation if a separate bathroom is not available, with the isolated person using the facilities last, before thoroughly cleaning the bathroom themselves
  • Use separate sheets and towels from anyone else in the household and launder at the hottest temperature possible for the material
  • Wash crockery and utensils thoroughly with soap and water; dishwashers may be used to clean crockery and cutlery
  • There is no evidence pets can be infected with coronavirus; however, it is good practice to wash your hands after contact
Don’t
  • Do not invite visitors to your home or allow visitors to enter
  • Do not go to work, school or public areas
  • Do not use public transport or taxis
  • Do not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, bedding or other items with other people in your home

Families who have travelled together would self-isolate together. In most cases, a child would not be travelling alone and would therefore be isolated with their family since they were in close contact with each other.

If a child needed to be self-isolated in their own right, this would need to be considered on a case by case basis.

The Public Health Department has extensive experience in monitoring people at home who have infectious diseases, and supporting the people affected through the period of self-isolation.

Yes, if you are self-isolating at the direction of the Public Health Department, staff will check on you daily in person or by phone.

For some people self-isolation can be boring or frustrating. You may find your mood and feelings being affected and you may feel low, worried or have problems sleeping.

There are simple things you can do that may help, such as staying in touch with friends and relatives on the phone or by social media and you may find it helpful to talk to them, if you want to.

Do know that it is okay to not be okay, but please try not to panic. Caring professionals are here for you. Call 1-800-534-6463(MIND) Monday to Friday, 9 am - 5 pm.

TESTING & TREATMENT

If you think you may have COVID-19 do not go to a hospital, clinic or other healthcare provider unless it is an emergency. Call the 24-hour Flu Hotline on 1-800-534-8600 or 925-6327 (Flow) or 947-3077 (Digicel), or email flu@hsa.ky. Alternatively, contact your regular General Practitioner.
Call the 24-hour Flu Hotline on 1-800-534-8600 or 925-6327 (Flow) or 947-3077 (Digicel), or email flu@hsa.ky for advice if you are not managing. Depending on your symptoms and travel history you will most likely be advised to self-isolate at home. A member of the Health Services Authority will visit you at your home. If you suspect you may have coronavirus (COVID-19), you are advised to take the following additional precautions:
  • Do not visit a medical centre or hospital unless it is an emergency, for example you are having trouble breathing
  • Do not go to work
  • Do not use public transport
  • Do not use taxis
  • Do not go to school
  • Do not be in public areas

The guidelines for testing for coronavirus (COVID-19) are set out by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The Public Health Department will test persons for coronavirus if:

  • they had contact with a person who is known to have coronavirus (COVID-19), including healthcare workers in contact with patients; or
  • they have flu-like symptoms (such as fever, cough, shortness of breath) and, in the 14 days prior to symptom onset, they travelled to a country that is known to have local transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19); or
  • they have a severe acute respiratory infection that has no other explanation, for example, if they have tested negative for influenza viruses ("the flu").

Following these protocols ensure we keep the population as safe as possible given the global reality that testing is limited. Testing criteria may develop further as we learn more about the virus, such as if there is evidence of community transmission, and as we see changes in the types of tests that are available globally or in our local capacity to conduct tests.

If you suspect you may have COVID-19, and present with symptoms including fever, cough, and shortness of breath, please call the 24-hour Flu Hotline on 1-800-534-8600 or 925-6327 (Flow) or 947-3077 (Digicel), or email flu@hsa.ky

If you suspect you may have coronavirus (COVID-19), you should call the Flu Hotline on 1-800-534-8600 or 925-6327 (Flow) or 947-3077 (Digicel), or email flu@hsa.ky   A member of the Health Services Authority will visit you at your home to take samples for testing. This may include samples of:
  • Mucus from your nose, throat or lungs
  • Blood
  • Urine
  • Poo (stool sample)
While waiting for test results, you should continue to self-isolate to avoid potentially spreading the virus any further. It can take 24-48 hours or more to get your results.

The test will show only whether you are currently infected with the coronavirus (COVID-19). It will not show whether you had the virus in the past.

Yes, though the first local samples were sent to the regional public health laboratory at the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) in Trinidad.

Testing for the coronavirus (COVID-19) became available locally as of 16 March. The introduction of local testing significantly reduced the waiting period for confirmation of COVID-19 from 5-10 days to 24-48 hours.

Local testing currently takes place at the internationally accredited forensic lab at the Health Services Authority (HSA), in partnership with the HSA clinical lab. All inconclusive results and positive results are sent for cross checking to CARPHA, along with 10% of our negative cases as part of regular quality assurance measures.

Testing capability may be expanded to include other local labs. Currently, testing for COVID-19 is free.

Testing occurs in a Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machine. This is the recommended standard testing for COVID-19 by the World Health Organization (WHO), Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and Public Health England (PHE). Facilities with patients meeting the criteria to be tested for COVID-19 will collect the sample and send it to the HSA for testing.

Currently the Cayman Islands has adequate supply of testing kits for COVID-19 and are expecting additional supplies in the coming days.

In the unlikely event that local testing is temporarily unavailable, including due to a lack of necessary reagents to conduct the tests, the Public Health Department will continue to send samples to the regional Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) in Trinidad.

It is also important to note that confirmation from laboratory testing that a patient has coronavirus (COVID-19) does not change the care they will receive. 80% of persons who contract coronavirus will have mild symptoms which can be managed at home. For those who may require medical care, there is no particular treatment for this disease and patients will be provided with supportive care as required, such as oxygen to assist with breathing.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is gathering data from around the world on confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) and deaths. These statistics and more are published in daily WHO Situation Reports. However, there is no central reporting system on the number of tests being conducted or what percentage of the population has been tested. Around the world, the number of tests and testing rates (i.e. persons tested as a percentage of the total population) vary widely for many different reasons. Not all countries and territories have official sources publishing the most up to date information on testing.

In the UK (which has a population of approximately 67 million), the Department of Health and Social Care, Public Health England and the National Health Service work together to provide reliable and timely data, including details of testing, on their official website and other channels. Similarly, our Ministry of Health and Public Health Department work together to update our local dashboard regularly. You can always find the latest figures for the Cayman Islands on this website:

Click Here

 

Available evidence suggests that the majority of people who contract coronavirus (COVID-19) will have a mild case and will recover within two weeks. However, elderly people and those with underlying health conditions are vulnerable to further complications and may require additional medical care if they contract the virus. 

There is no vaccine for the new strain of coronavirus at this stage. Treatment aims to relieve the symptoms while your body fights the illness and supporting bodily functions.

Antibiotics do not work against coronavirus (COVID-19), as they work against bacteria and coronavirus is a virus.

However, antibiotics may be prescribed for some people with coronavirus because there’s a risk the virus may make them more likely to get a bacterial infection as well.

According to the World Health Organization, considering the benefits of breastfeeding and insignificant role of breast milk in transmission of other respiratory viruses, mothers can continue breastfeeding.

The mother should wear a medical mask when she is near her baby and perform careful hand hygiene before close contact with the baby.

Yes. Cabinet has also approved funding for the Health Services Authority for the preparation and implementation of a coronavirus (COVID-19) treatment unit. They also have a new Flu Clinic dedicated to people with these types of respiratory symptoms.

The Health Services Authority is preparing in much the same way as they would in the event of a hurricane with three months’ supply of all essential medicine and medical equipment. The Ministry of Health continues to work closely with Public Health England to maintain a supply of essential items.

Cabinet has approved a budget of up to $1.1M for coronavirus (COVID-19) public health measures.

TRAVEL & TOURISM

  • Owen Roberts International Airport in Grand Cayman and Charles Kirkconnell International Airport in Cayman Brac are closed to all international passengers temporarily. Cruise ships and private vessels are currently banned from entering the Cayman Islands.
  • Important information for returning residents can be found in the FAQs on Self-Isolation above.
  • Travel to the Sister Islands by air or sea is strongly discouraged at this time. Air travel is restricted to residents and essential persons.

Only returning residents were allowed into the Cayman Islands as of Thursday, 19 March 2020. All arriving passengers and their households are required to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival to the Cayman Islands effective 16 March. Persons who arrived prior to this date are strongly encouraged to self-isolate as well. Read more.

If you have a cough, fever or shortness of breath, you are advised to contact the Flu Hotline on 1-800-534-8600 or 947-3077 or flu@hsa.ky

Do not go to the hospital, clinic or pharmacy. Remain at home unless you require emergency medical care.

All arriving passengers, including visitors, are required to self-isolate for 14 days effective 16 March. Read more.

Visitors who have a travel history to an affected country or area and arrive displaying symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) will be quarantined at a shelter on island (or in their hotel, if possible) and provided medical assistance until they are recovered.  Provisions are in place to provide food and drink, toiletries and internet access to maintain contact with friends and family.

Public health officials are reminding arriving passengers, if they have symptoms consistent with any respiratory illness, to seek medical attention and share their travel history with their healthcare provider, even if arriving from countries which have little or no instances of coronavirus (COVID-19) at this time.

Visitors were encouraged to depart the Cayman Islands prior to the temporary closure of airports to all international passengers on 22 March 2020. 

The Cayman Islands has quite a few law firms and financial institutions that have a franchise or home base in other jurisdictions especially the UK, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Malaysia, and other far eastern countries with frequent travel, although many companies have reduced or have stopped this travel for the moment.

Since the start of March 2020, cruise ships have denied boarding to anyone with a travel history from mainland China. Many other countries in our region (including the Bahamas, Jamaica, Trinidad and the USA) have instituted similar travel restrictions.

As of 16 March 2020, all cruise ships have been denied entry to the Cayman Islands for 60 days. As of 22 March 2020, airports in the Cayman Islands are temporarily closed to all international passengers for 3 weeks.

Families are encouraged to have a plan and identify someone to bring groceries to them when isolated. The Department of Children & Family Services will have a team to provide assistance with persons who do not have support structures. Public Health may be able to arrange assistance if you need urgent help and cannot access help from friends or family members.

Please contact NEOC@gov.ky for more information.

The decision is based on the risk posed to the Cayman Islands population. This is different than the risk posed to, for example, a larger country with more varied resources and geographical spread.

The decision is taken outside of the Public Health Law; the Law is the vehicle to making it happen. The decision is taken by Cabinet in discussion with the Chief Medical Officer and the Ministry of Health. The intention is to reduce the number of persons potentially exposed by those arriving to the Cayman islands.

All international passengers arriving in the Cayman Islands and their households are required to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival. This includes residents. Learn more about self-isolation in our FAQs above.

As a precaution, you should practice good hygiene and preventative measures. These include frequently washing your hands and making sure the person you are caring for frequently washes their hands. 

Note: If you are the carer of someone with confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) the Public Health Department will contact you as part of their contact tracing and provide guidance.

If the person you care for has had a test for coronavirus (COVID-19) and is awaiting a result, follow the advice given by the Public Health Department. 

Everyone is reminded to follow the Public Health Department advice:

  • always carry tissues with you and use them to catch a cough or sneeze, then bin the tissue and wash your hands with soap and water
  • if you do not have a tissue use the cook of your elbow and NOT your hands
  • wash your hands frequently with soap and water
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • avoid close contact with people who are showing respiratory symptoms
  • always wash your  hands before caring, washing or feeding the sick or elderly

For three weeks starting at 11:59pm on 22 March 2020, Owen Roberts International Airport in Grand Cayman and Charles Kirkconnell International Airport in Cayman Brac will be closed temporarily to international passengers. Travel to the Sister Islands is restricted to residents and essential persons.

Cargo flights, couriers and air ambulance services continue to operate as usual. 

A travel helpline has been launched to offer advice and assistance to persons with an urgent and compassionate need to travel during the airport closure.

If you are in an emergency situation, please call the hotline on 244-3333.

All visitors were encouraged to depart the Cayman Islands before the airports closed to international passengers at 11:59 pm on 22 March 2020.

Visitors whose permission to remain in the Islands will expire between 22 March and 31 March 2020 are not required to submit a Visitor Extension Application. Visitors will not have to present themselves to a Customs and Border Control Officer and no action will be taken for permission that expires between those dates.

Customs & Border Control will issue a travel authorisation letter to the relevant carrier confirming the passenger’s details and authorising travel to the Cayman Islands.

If you are a Caymanian student studying abroad and are in this situation contact one of the below Customs & Border Control officers.

The Ministry of Health advises the public to follow the latest travel advice from the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) at gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus. If you're planning to travel abroad, you should also check the country by country travel advice at gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.

Specific travel advice may also be issued here on gov.ky/coronavirus

As countries respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including travel and border restrictions, the FCO advises against all but essential international travel. Any country or area may restrict travel without notice. Cabinet also advises that the public should avoid all but essential travel until there is a measurable change in the global situation.

Finally, you should keep in mind that airports in the Cayman Islands will close to departing and arriving international passengers for three weeks from 11:59 pm on Sunday, 22 March 2020 and the situation is fluid.

Cabinet advises that the public should avoid all but essential travel until there is a measurable change in the global situation.

If you must travel, be sure to check the most recent travel advice for the location.

As countries respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including travel and border restrictions, the FCO advises against all but essential international travel. Any country or area may restrict travel without notice. 

You should also keep in mind that airports in the Cayman Islands will close to departing and arriving international passengers for three weeks from 11:59 pm on Sunday, 22 March  2020 and the situation is fluid.

As of 16 March 2020 all cruise ships will be denied entry to the Cayman Islands for 60 days.

Generally, cruise ships have some pretty stringent procedures in place to prevent the spread of viruses such as coronavirus. If it does occur on board the ship it is contained and the Port Authority of the Cayman Islands is also notified before the ship arrives.

Before any passenger is allowed to board the ship they are screened. If they have been through places that have been affected by the coronavirus they are not allowed to sail. If they have been in contact with people who may have been impacted they are also not allowed to sail. If they have symptoms they are not allowed to sail -- and not just them but everyone who is in their party.

It's in cruise ship companies' interest to keep their ships disease free because with the fear that goes around with coronavirus, this is potentially harmful to their business.

In the Cayman Islands we have long established practices that we have followed from the days of the norovirus, SARS and Ebola, and swine flu. Before the ships get to Cayman they have to file a maritime declaration of health with use that is reviewed by Public Health. If there's any infectious diseases at all, whether that's SARS, swine flue or regular flu or coronavirus, that information is on that maritime declaration of health. This declaration is vetted by Public Health and a decision is made whether or not we can allow the ship to disembark and isolate those passengers or whether we don't take the ship at all.

 

As of 16 March 2020 all cruise ships are denied entry to the Cayman Islands for 60 days.

Generally, the cruise lines pre-screen all passengers to determine whether they have been to, or passed through, areas impacted by any infectious disease. This includes, for example, whether they have been in close contact with any persons who may have contracted or been exposed to an infectious condition prior to the cruise. If they are found to be a potential risk, they and their travel companions are not allowed to travel.

Yes. As of 16 March 2020, cruise ships and private vessels are not being accepted to the ports of the Cayman Islands for an initial period of 60 days.

British Overseas Territories citizens will be provided the same help from the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) when travelling outside the Overseas Territories as they would do to any other British national. 

You can also reach out to the Cayman Islands Government Office in the United Kingdom (CIGOUK), which is providing general advice, guidance and updates for Caymanians in the UK. The CIGOUK is working closely with Cayman Connection UK in order to not only disseminate messages and to ensure Caymanians know where they can go for information and support, but also to develop a virtual community of support and togetherness during this time of restricted physical gathering.

BUSINESS & COMMERCE

  • All non-essential operations are closed. All workplaces that remain open are subject to restricted hours, some must limit customers, and all must put in place social distancing provisions to maintain six feet between individuals. Read more.
  • Restaurants are currently restricted to drive through, take out, curbside pick up and delivery only. Food may only be collected from restaurants until 6pm. Delivery services are only allowed to operate until 9pm. Read more.
  • Supermarkets, convenience stores, mini-marts, pharmacies and gas or refilling stations are only allowed to operate between the hours of 6am and 6pm. Retail banks, building societies and credit unions are only allowed to operate between the hours of 9am and 1pm. Read more.
  • No matter the size, convenience stores and mini-marts are limited to no more than 6 customers at any time. Read more.
  • Public transportation services (buses) are currently suspended and bus depots are closed until Tuesday, 7 April. This date may be extended. Taxis are limited to two passengers. Read more.
  • There are no exceptions to the requirement to maintain a distance of at least six feet (two metres) between individuals while in a public place. Essential establishments, institutions, businesses, organisations and offices that remain open must also provide for social distancing. Read more.
  • The Public Health governing public movements and business operations (Prevention, Control and Suppression of COVID-19) Regulations, 2020 are currently set to expire at 5am on Tuesday, 7 April. They will be reviewed on Friday, 3 April and may be extended beyond the initial 10-day period.
  • To access business services available online please visit www.eservices.gov.ky.

The Cayman Islands does have goods delivered from China, which should not pose a risk as the virus will not survive the journey.

Cargo sent by air and sea is not impacted by the closure of airports and sea ports to international passengers.

For more information from the Cayman Islands Shipping Registry read this Cayman Islands Maritime Notice.

Distributors, supermarkets and fuel suppliers have been advised to stockpile three months’ worth of food and other supplies as they would at the beginning of hurricane season. We are working with overseas distributors to continue and maintain the Islands’ supply for the foreseeable future.

The Department of Labour and Pensions encourages employers and employees alike to follow the guidelines outlined by the Chief Medical Officer and the Public Health Department. All employers owe their staff a duty to protect their health and safety and should have plans in place to manage business continuity in the event of coronavirus (COVID-19) impacting their operation.

As part of this, employers should communicate with employees to assure them that the employer is monitoring the situation and taking steps to plan for disruption. The communication should also relay the current Government advice in relation to infection prevention, including in relation to hygiene: that regular proper hand washing is the best way to protect ourselves against infection.

If you do get coronavirus (COVID-19), the majority of cases to date have been mild meaning that, depending on your job, you may still be able to work remotely. Employees are encouraged to speak to their employers about flexible working options and arrangements during this public health emergency.

Provisions for sick leave vary from company to company. Many employees will have contracts that allow them their normal pay while they are unable to work because they are sick. The situation with self-isolation is more complicated. Workers may not actually be sick so will not automatically be entitled to their contractual sick pay. If there is no agreement to utilise sick leave and/or vacation leave (including vacation leave not yet earned, which may be advanced by agreement), it would be at the employer’s discretion to either pay the employee during this time or approve unpaid leave given the circumstances.

While the Labour Law (2011 Revision) does not address this specific situation, it does establish the required minimum standards and allows employers to establish conditions of service more advantageous to any employee than the minimum employment standards established by this Law.

The Department of Labour and Pensions will make every effort to work with employers and employees during this time to ensure the proper observance of the Labour Law and its Regulations. 

If an employee is terminated as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the employer must pay severance pay of one week’s wages, at the employee’s latest basic wage, for each completed twelve-month period of employment. The employment period is to reflect any time during which the employee worked for any previous owners of the same business. Employees are also entitled to any earned vacation leave, sales commission owed, and/or gratuities earned.

If an employee is temporarily laid off, severance pay is not required unless:

  • the date of recall is 30 days (or, for employees in agriculture and construction, six months) or more in the future; or
  • no date of recall is given at the time of termination and the employee has not been recalled after 30 days (or, for employees in agriculture and construction, six months).

In this second scenario, interest at ten per cent per annum on the amount of severance pay due is also payable for the interval between the original termination date and the date of actual payment.

Where payment of severance pay has been made, including with any interest due, and the employee is subsequently recalled to his or her former or substantially equivalent employment or is again hired by the same employer, he or she shall be considered to be newly hired.

The Department of Labour and Pensions will make every effort to work with employers and employees during this time to ensure the proper observance of the Labour Law (2011 Revision) and its Regulations. 

Business Guidance March 6

For more general business guidance visit here.

The Cayman Islands Centre for Business Development is also open to provide support to small businesses across the Cayman Islands during this current crisis. The Centre will offer a number of training and coaching sessions over the upcoming weeks, including topics such Smart Measures for Business Continuity, Best Practices for Handling Cash Flow Crisis, Contacting a Business Impact Analysis, Business Model Innovation, and Social Media Marketing.

Through the training and coaching sessions, the Centre will also work with small businesses to help them be in a position to renegotiate existing loans with commercial banks or to request and access a period of moratorium on loans.

The Cayman Islands Centre for Business Development is located at Bay Town Plaza, 36 West Bay Road in Grand Cayman. Persons interested in making an appointment can call 244-3451 or 244-2498 between 8 am and 5 pm, and 926-5771 up to 10 pm.

E-govt & Business Dev Ctr 25 March

Support at Centre for Business Development 25 March

Training at Centre for Business Development 25 March

 

Business establishments must have the necessary food safety and sanitary protocols in place and seek advice from the Public Health Department where needed. Please also note:
  • Restaurants are currently restricted to drive through, take out, curbside pick up and delivery only. Food may only be collected from restaurants until 6pm. Delivery services are only allowed to operate until 9pm. Read more.
  • Public gatherings of 2 or more people are also banned, which includes customers (but not employees) of a restaurant.
  • Restaurants must make provisions for social distancing, maintaining 6 feet between individuals
  • There are no exceptions to the requirement to maintain a distance of at least six feet (two metres) between individuals while in a public place. Essential establishments, institutions, businesses, organisations and offices that remain open must also provide for social distancing. Read more.
  • The Public Health governing public movements and business operations (Prevention, Control and Suppression of COVID-19) Regulations, 2020 are currently set to expire at 5am on Tuesday, 7 April. They will be reviewed on Friday, 3 April and may be extended beyond the initial 10-day period.

VULNERABLE PEOPLE & CARERS

  • Anyone seeking to access services from the Needs Assessment Unit as first-time client should complete this pre-assessment form and email to NAUinfo@gov.ky. The NAU continues to offer its full range of services. Given increased workload, queries will be answered as quickly as possible and all efforts will be made to process services in a timely manner.
  • The Ministry of Health and Public Health Department have issued an information and advice flyer for vulnerable people.

Community District Officers and representatives from agencies including the Department of Children & Family Services, Cayman Islands Red Cross and Economics & Statistics Office will assist with distribution of materials and speaking with elderly persons.

Vulnerable People Poster Sp

 

The Ministry of Health and Public Health officials have set up web pages to assist employees in a clinical setting and for Carers who work within people’s homes. Many of these entities have been conducting their own training.

Hand hygiene is imperative. Make sure to wash your hands before assisting with feeding or washing vulnerable persons if they are unable to do so on their own or need help with these tasks.

You can also follow many of the same tips as persons who are in self-isolation with other persons in the household. Please see FAQs on self-isolation above for more details.

If you have no alternative location to self-isolate, you should follow the same guidance as anyone else in self-isolation:
  • Keep your distance (at least 6 feet away) from other members of your household by isolating in a separate room
  • Clean toilets and bathrooms regularly
  • Think about a bathroom rota if a separate bathroom is not available, with the isolated person using the facilities last, before thoroughly cleaning the bathroom themselves
  • Do not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, bedding or other items with other people in your home
  • Use separate sheets and towels from anyone else in the household and launder at the hottest temperature possible for the material
  • Wash crockery and utensils thoroughly with soap and water; dishwashers may be used to clean crockery and cutlery

Carers for the elderly and vulnerable in private residences may have clients who already have underlying chronic conditions, e.g. asthma, diabetes and cancer. To avoid contracting or spreading coronavirus (COVID-19):

  • you can wear masks to limit the transmission of upper respiratory illnesses to clients
  • limit contact to essential visitors and ask guests not to touch your client(s) and to comply with the Government’s social distancing instructions to keep 3 to 6 feet away
  • wear gloves and aprons while carrying out personal care
  • cleanse your hands before approaching your client(s), similarly before preparing their meals/refreshments and again before feeding them. Current advice suggests washing hands for 20 seconds, before and after each interaction with your client(s) and when moving between rooms
  • self-isolate for 14 days if you, other members of your household, or your client(s) have/has symptoms including a high temperature, cough and/or shortness of breath
  • change out of the clothes you came to work in and put on fresh ones before tending to your client(s)

If you or members of your household has/have symptoms or may have been exposed to coronavirus:

  • first, contact Public Health 244-2621, the 24-hour Flu Hotline on 1-800-534-8600 or 925-6327 (Flow) or 947-3077 (Digicel), or email flu@hsa.ky or your doctor,
  • then, inform your employer of the symptoms, so that alternative care arrangements can be made.

If you are with your client(s), while waiting for your employer to relieve you, leave the room and, if possible, go to an adjoining one but keep the door ajar so that you can see and/or speak with your client(s) until relief arrives.

If your client(s) has/have symptoms or may have been exposed to coronavirus:

  • first, contact your employer to tell them about your client(s) symptoms
  • then, reassure your client(s) and put masks (if available) on yourself and on your client(s) to avoid cross-contamination

Remember, you are valued and your work as a carer is very important to the overall well-being of your client(s). Please ensure that you also prioritise your own physical and emotional well-being.

If you or your client(s) have questions about maintaining or improving emotional well-being during this difficult time, call the new Mental Health Hotline 1-800-534-6463 for free and confidential support or call the Flu if the questions are of a more medical nature.

Download our Coronavirus Information and Advice for Carers.

RESTRICTIONS & ADDITIONAL ADVICE

  • The daily "hard" curfew from 7pm until 5am remains in effect. 
  • A "soft" curfew from 5:01am until 6:59pm, allowing limited movement during the daytime for essential purposes only. Read more.
  • Public gatherings of more than 2 people who are not part of the same household are currently banned. 
  • No person is to host, organise, facilitate or attend sports group meetings at this time. 
  • Private strata pools, strata gyms and playgrounds must be closed.
  • Read more about various regulations and restrictions to respond to coronavirus (COVID-19) on our Policies In Action page.

No. Supermarkets, pharmacies, and hospitals are exempt from the public gathering ban. However, they are required to put in place provisions to maintain a distance of 6 feet between individuals.

No matter the size, convenience stores and mini-marts are limited to no more than 6 customers at any time.

Yes. Beaches are included in the ban. No more than 2 people are not to gather in public places and only for essential activities. 

Private parties which include any person from outside of the immediate household are banned.

Workplaces are not included in the ban because they are not considered public gatherings.

However, workplaces and work sites (such as construction sites) are encouraged to consider shift work and flexible ways of reducing the number of people in their offices or buildings at once.

Workplaces are also required to observe social distancing of 6 feet. Employers should put provisions in place for employees as well as customers and other persons to maintain this distance.

No. Staff members are not included in the 10 persons for establishments such as hotels and restaurants.

However, the 10 people gathered at any establishment includes those inside and outside.

In addition, a number of businesses are now ordered to be closed or to restrict operations and hotels are being asked to restrict restaurant service only to their guests.

Anyone found breaking the ban on public gatherings will be guilty of a criminal offence and faces a fine of $1,000 and six-months imprisonment.

During the period of the curfew, persons are required to remain in their homes and premises unless the Commissioner of Police has exempted them from doing so in writing.

The Cayman Islands Government issued a list of essential staff who may request exemptions, which is available here.

Exceptions will also be made for medical emergencies.

When it was first announced, the curfew was expected to be in force for 10 days starting Tuesday, 24 March and reassessed by the Commissioner of Police every 48 hours. 

However, an extended curfew was subsequently imposed from 7 pm on Wednesday, 25 March to 5 am on Saturday, 28 March.

After this extended curfew period, the daily curfew will be reinstated from 7 pm to 5 am until the morning of Friday, 3 April.

The RCIPS will monitor the streets and use common sense and fairness in strict application of the order. Persons stopped will have their names and addresses taken with a view to prosecutions to proceed. 

Anyone who fails to comply with the curfew will be subject to arrest by the police without a warrant and on summary conviction will be liable to a fine of $3,000 or to imprisonment for one year, or to both.

The curfew is being imposed under Section 49 of the Police Law (2017 Revision) and has been authorised after consultation with the National Hazard Management Executive, which includes the Premier and the Leader of the Opposition. Cabinet has also given its agreement.

MORE QUESTIONS

If you have further medical questions, many resources are available on this website and www.hsa.ky/coronavirus. If you can't find what you're looking for or have a question about your specific situation, contact your regular GP or the 24 hour Flu Hotline on 1-800-534-8600 or 947-3077 or email flu@hsa.ky.

If you have further non-medical questions and can't find the answer on this website, contact the National Emergency Operations Centre hotline on 1-800-534-6555 or email NEOC@gov.ky