Friday 27 November, 2020

Premier announces revised plans for phased reopening of borders

"A belts and braces approach with technology backed up by physical verification."

This is how Cayman's Premier, Hon. Alden McLaughlin has described the phased reopening of Cayman's borders which begins on October 1.

Cayman Airways and British Airways will continue to be the only carriers coming into the Cayman Islands for the immediate future (September and October). Seat capacity remains limited and therefore non-essential travel is discouraged until normal airlift resumes. Although other airlines are offering flights to Cayman, these cannot be used before November.

The current inward arrival process during the month of September remains the same; travelers must apply with Travel Time and must receive a negative PCR test upon 14-days of quarantine in a government-approved facility in order be granted permission to leave.

From October 1, Cayman will begin to reopen its borders in phases. A new arrivals' procedure with electronic monitoring devices will be introduced and those who select that option and meet the criteria will be able to isolate in residences rather than government managed facilities. Random checks will also be introduced to this process.

The number of travelers coming into the Cayman Islands will be controlled. 800-non resident travelers will be allowed in during the month of October. Commercial flights outside of Cayman Airways and British Airways and private charters will not be allowed in. 

Those who live in Cayman and wish to travel for a period and then return to Cayman will still be required register with Travel Time to facilitate their incoming travel.

The requirements for travelers to be approved for travel into the Cayman Islands will be as follows:

 - Those allowed into the country will extend beyond Caymanians, residents and work permit holders and their families. It will include those who own property in the Cayman Islands and also those who wish to live and work from the Cayman Islands for an extended period of time, as well as other approved visitors.

- Approved quarantine locations will extend beyond the government isolation facilities to include residences approved by the Medical Officer of Health

- Self Isolation at a residence must be combined with the use of self-monitoring device technology for 14-days with a PCR test on day 15 to result in a release from isolation.

- Those who opt not to do this will be required to isolate in a government facility for a minimum of 14-days to be tested on day 15. A negative PCR test result will be required on day 15. 

- All arrivals will be tested at the airport for COVID-19 and will be taken from the airport by approved transportation to begin their quarantine either at a residential accommodation or at a government facility. The test result will be anticipated to take between 24-72 hrs.

All those who are not ordinarily resident in the Cayman Islands will be required to have health insurance that has COVID-19 coverage.

On September 17, travelers from 20-25 households arriving on the British Airways repatriation flight, will be able to engage in a trial programme for the purpose of gathering information on the new phased process that will be put in place as of October 1. The elements of the new plan that will be looked at include timing required, assessing the airport's capability to conduct COVID-19 tests and an evaluation of the electronic device, including its ability to meet government needs and the user experience. The persons' selected for this trial period will be required to wear the monitoring device, remain in a residential facility approved by the Medical Officer of Health, remain in self-isolation for a minimum of 14-days, undergo COVID-19 testing on arrival and be retested on day-15. Clearance will then be provided by the Medical Officer of Health. A shorter quarantine period will not be allowed, so use of the bio-button as previously mentioned will not be needed.

There are no restrictions for outbound travel and travel to and from the sister islands have been lifted for some time. All outbound travel (to Miami, Kingston and la Ceiba can be done directly with Cayman Airways 345-949-2311).

Ports will remain closed to cruise ships for the rest of 2020.

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