U.S. teen jailed in Cayman Islands for breaking Covid protocols returns home

Wilson Wong
·2 min read

An 18-year-old American college student who broke the mandatory 14-day quarantine protocol for visitors to the Cayman Islands has returned home.

After having spent a month behind bars in the Cayman Islands, the student, Skylar Mack, arrived at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta after her release from prison.

Asked how she felt about coming home, she said in an interview with ABC News' "Good Morning America": "Very excited. Happy to be home."

Mack, a pre-med student from Georgia, traveled to the Cayman Islands on Nov. 27 to visit her boyfriend, Vanjae Ramgeet, 24, for a jet-skiing competition. Mack said she isolated for two days and tested negative for Covid-19 before she abandoned her tracking device and broke the mandatory quarantine to attend her boyfriend's competition.

IMAGE: Skylar Mack (via Facebook)
IMAGE: Skylar Mack (via Facebook)

Mack and Ramgeet were initially sentenced to 40 hours of community service and $2,600 fines after they pleaded guilty to violating Covid-19 protocols, but an appeals judge imposed stricter sentences for their "selfishness and arrogance," the Cayman Compass reported.

Mack's family appealed to President Donald Trump for help after she was sentenced to four months, which was later reduced to two months.

Last month, Jonathan Hughes, the couple's attorneys, said they were sorry.

"They both expressed genuine remorse, a genuine appreciation for the seriousness of what had taken place, a genuine appeal for some form of forgiveness," Hughes said.

Hughes said laws in the Cayman Islands allow people who serve 60 percent of sentences of less than a year to be conditionally release. The couple were expected to be released mid-January, he said at the time.

On her granddaughter's return, Jeanne Mack told "Good Morning America" that she was going to get a better night's sleep.

"It's kind of hard to fall asleep when someone you love so much you know that they're not sleeping and that they're uncomfortable, and I know she's a tough girl, but she had to be scared," Jeanne Mack said.

According to the government's Covid-19 dashboard, the Cayman Islands, a British overseas territory in the Caribbean with almost 65,000 people, has reported 380 cases and two deaths.

CORRECTION (Jan. 19, 2021, 9:20 p.m. ET): A previous version of this article misstated which news organization interviewed Skylar Mack and her grandmother. It was ABC News' "Good Morning America," not KABC-TV of Los Angeles.