Concerns around private jets landing in Cayman with COVID "refugees"
Local residents have raised concerns around reports of rich travellers who are uprooting their families from coronavirus problem areas and relocating to Cayman on private jets to 'wait it out'. One of the primary concerns has been that private aircrafts are not being handled equally to commercial aircrafts, which could result in someone with coronavirus being allowed into the country. Customs & Border Control Director, Mr Charles Clifford has indicated that this is not the case.
According to a CNN report, entitled 'The Velvet Rope Economy,' “There are reports of the wealthy getting access to private tests, escaping problem zones by chartering private jets, and retreating to isolated vacation homes... One company, PrivateFly told us this kind of business is up 30 per cent for them, and everyday clients are airlifting their entire families from—say Spain—to a holiday home in the Cayman Islands to sit it out.”
Mr Clifford has responded to these concerns, stating that, "We would like to let the public know that the screening protocols that are in place for arriving commercial flights at the main airport terminal are also in place for arriving private aircraft. If there are concerns with a passenger on a private aircraft, either because of their travel history or because they are showing symptoms of COVID-19, then our partners at the Public Health Department will respond immediately just as they do for passengers at the main airport terminal."
Cayman's updated coronavirus travel restrictions have banned travel from all countries in the Schengen area, China, Iran, Japan and South Korea for the next 60-days.