Pre-med student sitting in prison in Cayman Islands after disregarding COVID-19 measures

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A pre-med student at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia is sitting in prison in the Cayman Islands after she violated the British Caribbean territory’s stringently enforced COVID-19 quarantine measures in place for tourists.

Skylar Mack, 18, travelled to the Cayman Islands to visit her boyfriend Vanjae Ramgeet, 24. Ramgeet is also in prison. Both have pleaded guilty and were sentenced to four months.

Mack arrived on the island on Nov. 27, according to NBC San Diego, where she was mandated to quarantine for two-weeks. On November 29, Ramgeet picked her up to attend an event.

“They’re two young people who have never been in trouble before,” he said in a phone interview with The Associated Press. “This is the first time they’ve had interaction with police, the courts, prison.”

NBC San Diego reports that Mack spent over a week out on the island around people without a face mask on or maintaining social distance.

Initially the couple was sentenced to 40 hours of community service, and a fine of $4,400 and Ramgeet was ordered to maintain a 7:00 p.m. nightly curfew for two months. The prosecution argued the sentence was too lenient and they were remanded to prison on December 15.

“This was entirely deliberate and planned, as evidenced by her desire to switch her wristband the day before to a looser one that she was then able to remove,” Judge Roger Chapple said, referring to the electronic tracking device Mack was wearing.

Mack’s grandmother, Jeanne Mack, told the Associated Press that she reached out to President Donald Trump. She received an email telling her that the White House was investigating the incident.

“The minute she starts talking, she starts crying,” Jeanne Mack said. “She’s afraid that once she makes it back to the States, everyone will hate her."

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