The family of 18-year-old Skylar Mack, a college student from Georgia, have spoken out after their daughter and her 24-year-old boyfriend were sentenced to four months in prison breaking Cayman Islands' COVID-19 protocols. Mack and her boyfriend Vanjae Ramgeet were arrested and charged while on vacation, allegedly violating the mandatory 14-day isolation period.
Her parents have directly asked the U.S. government for help, Today reports.
"She cries, she wants to come home," said her grandmother Jeanne Mack. "She knows she made a mistake. She owns up to that, but she's pretty hysterical right now."
The two are the first people to have been sentenced under the current penalties for breaking the isolation protocols on the British territory, which is home to approximately 64,000 people. While there hasn't been a significant amount of cases there, with around only 311 confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic, if someone were to leave isolation early they risk changing that.
Mack reportedly tested negative before she traveled to the Cayman Islands on Nov. 27 to visit Ramgeet, and she tested negative the day she arrived, too. Two days into the mandatory 14-day isolation period, she attended a "jet ski event" with Ramgeet and left her monitoring device at home. "It's not like her to make this kind of a mistake, she knows she screwed up. She knows she should have to pay for it," added Jeanne Mack.
Initially, the young couple were sentenced to 40 hours of community service with a $2,600 fine when they pleaded guilty. A proseuctor argued the punishment was too lenient, however, resulting in the harsher four-month sentence. The Cayman Compass reports that Mack spent seven hours at the event, and did not social distance or wear a mask.
Mack and Ramgeet's attorney Jonathon Hughes is scheduled to argue with a lesser sentence on Tuesday. Mack's family, meanwhile, have sent a letter addressed to President Donald Trump asking to help get her home as soon as possible.
"We're not asking for her to get an exception, we're asking for her not to be the exception," said Jeanne Mack.