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13/05/2020 | hsmoffice

HSM Acquires Higgs & Johnson’s Operations in the Cayman Islands

The HSM Group will be acquiring the Cayman operations of Higgs & Johnson, with whom we have had a long established relationship. Further announcements will be made as the transaction progresses and once the necessary regulatory approvals are obtained.

01/05/2020 | hsmoffice

Changes to Cayman Regulations Concerning COVID-19 Prevention, Control and Suppression

With recent developments concerning the global spread of COVID-19 and the impact it has had on the economy, the Cayman Islands Government (CIG) has implemented a series of regulations under the Public Health Law (2002 Revision). Amongst these have been Read more +

01/05/2020 | hsmoffice

5 Tips for Estate Planning During COVID-19

There is no doubt the COVID-19 pandemic has turned the world — and many lives — upside down. Certainty has been replaced by uncertainty, and many plans for the future are now in doubt. One may feel a loss of Read more +

28/04/2020 | hsmoffice

A Look into the Recent and Impending Changes to Cayman’s Immigration Regime

With recent developments concerning the global spread of COVID-19 and the impact it has had on the economy, the Cayman Islands Government (CIG) has implemented a series of amendments to what is commonly referred to as the Islands’ Immigration Regime. Read more +

Changes to Cayman Regulations Concerning COVID-19 Prevention, Control and Suppression

With recent developments concerning the global spread of COVID-19 and the impact it has had on the economy, the Cayman Islands Government (CIG) has implemented a series of regulations under the Public Health Law (2002 Revision). Amongst these have been the previously enacted Public Health (Control and Suppression of COVID-19) Regulations, 2020, the Public Health (Control and Suppression of COVID-19) (Amendment) Regulations, 2020 and the Public Health (Control and Suppression of COVID-19) (No. 2) Regulations, 2020.

Late on 30 April 2020 new regulations, styled the Prevention, Control and Suppression of COVID-19 Regulations, 2020, (“New Regulations”) were published. They will come into force on 4 May 2020, and last for two weeks. Contemporaneous with them coming into effect, the previous regulations referenced above will be repealed. The New Regulations set the framework for a continuation of many provisions whilst providing for an initial stage of relaxation of the existing measures, and are the long anticipated first step in what is anticipated to be a multi-phased re-opening back to normality. Each step is anticipated to endure for 2 weeks, subject of course to ongoing control over the spread of the Coronavirus within our shores.

The details of each stage of the road to recovery are unknown, but details will be released with time including during the regular COVID-19 government press briefings. What appears clear at present is that the restriction on all public meetings (widely defined as generally including gatherings of more than two people) continues. Nevertheless, listed exemptions are clearly stated. For example, Regulation 3. confirms that the regulation of public meetings does not extend to any activity in the following public places (provided always that the owner/operator of any of the above public places restricts the number of persons inside the place of business at any one time so that each customer is able to distance himself or herself at least 6 feet from any other person):

(a) health care facilities;
(b) supermarkets;
(c) convenience stores and minimarts;
(d) pharmacies;
(e) retail banks, building societies and credit unions;
(f) gas or refilling stations;
(g) post offices;
(h) money remittance facilities, subject to such conditions as may be imposed by the Competent Authority; and
(i) such other public places as may be specified by the Competent Authority and notified in the Gazette, in any other official Government website or official means of communication, subject to such conditions as may be imposed by the Competent Authority.

The “Competent Authority” is defined as “the member of Cabinet charged with responsibility for international trade.”

Public meetings, processions or festive ceremonies remain prohibited until further notice.

Similarly, for the purposes of preventing, controlling and suppressing the spread of the virus, all public places (with the exception of “essential” establishments, institutions, businesses, organisations and offices, remain closed. “Essential establishments, institutions, businesses, organisations and offices” are defined as those in which persons specified in regulation 8 are employed. These include:

  • Police, Customs and Border Control, Prison and Fire Officers;
  • Persons involved in the provision of child protection and residential care, in the Department of Children and Family Services;
  • Waste and sanitation workers;
  • Healthcare staff within a health care facility or persons delivering emergency medical services;
  • Essential officers of any water, electricity or other sector encompassing the provision of electronic communications including print and electronic media;
  • Persons employed to physically deliver water or cooking gas to premises;
  • Persons who provide care to other persons with a disability or who are otherwise vulnerable persons;
  • Non-profit organisations and other persons engaged in the preparation and delivery of food and supplies to persons with disabilities or to persons who are vulnerable persons, where those non-profit organisations and persons are approved by the Competent Authority;
  • Subject to prestrictions as to numbers of passengers and distancing, persons who operate taxis;
  • Persons involved in agriculture and food production;
  • Persons engaged in the provision of emergency veterinary services;
  • Persons engaged in the provision of pet grooming services and persons employed by them to provide collection and delivery services in respect of the pets;
  • Persons engaged in the provision of pool maintenance, grounds maintenance, landscaping and gardening services;
  • Postal workers and persons employed by mail or parcel courier services to collect and deliver mail and parcels;
  • Persons who are involved in the distribution of school supplies at educational institutions;
  • Persons who operate retail stores and persons employed by retail stores to provide delivery services in respect of the goods;
  • Persons who operate car dealerships and persons employed by car dealerships to provide delivery services in respect of the vehicles;
  • Persons who provide mobile car wash services or mobile tyre repair services;
  • Persons who provide laundromat services and persons employed by laundromats to provide collection and delivery services in respect of the items;
  • Persons engaged in the exercise of Cabinet, parliamentary or judicial duties;
  • Persons providing services connected with the loading and unloading of cargo ships and with the storage and delivery of goods;
  • Persons employed by a business licensed to provide security guard services;
  • Persons employed by restaurants to provide food delivery services, until no later than 10:00 p.m.;
  • Persons employed by businesses other than restaurants to provide food or grocery delivery services, until no later than 10:00 p.m.;
  • Persons who travel to restaurants which provide drive-through or curb side collection of food or provide for the take out of food, until no later than 7:00 p.m.;
  • Civil servants as designated by the Chief Officer of the Portfolio of the Civil Service, for the purposes of performing their employment duties;
  • Other members of an essential service or an essential services provider, as designated by the Competent Authority after consultation with the Hazard Management Department of the Cayman Islands, for the purposes of performing their employment duties; and
  • Other persons involved in such other activities, duties, businesses, purposes or undertakings as may be specified by the Competent Authority and notified in the Gazette, in any other official Government website or official means of communication, subject to such conditions as may be imposed by the Competent Authority.

The above listed categories of person are exempted from Shelter in Place restrictions while carrying out their official or employment related duties. Other restrictions remain, including for example that convenience stores and mini-markets remain unable to have more than six customers at any time.

Strata pools and playgrounds remain closed and access to grocery stores and the like based on last name continue for the time being.

This partial opening of available business services will be welcomed by many.

Any person contravening the public meetings or, shelter in place or social distancing restrictions is confirmed to be committing an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of one thousand dollars and to imprisonment for six months.