Saturday 15 August, 2020

Amended COVID-19 regulations address travel to and from Sister Islands

The Prevention, Control and Suppression of COVID-19 (Partial Lifting of Restrictions) (Travel and Boating) Regulations, 2020 came into effect on Friday 10 July.

The changes clarify arrangements for travel to and from the Sister Islands and allow for some commercial vessels with a wildlife interaction zone (WIZ) licence to access two previously off-limit locations under certain circumstances.

According to a release from the Government Information Services, travel by air is permitted for all persons from Grand Cayman to the Sister Islands, provided they notify TravelTime no less than 48-hours before travelling.

Travellers must also be tested for COVID-19 and return a negative result to the satisfaction of the Medical Officer of Health.      

The release further advised that persons wishing to travel by air from the Sister Islands to Grand Cayman, who intend to stay in a private residence, must notify TravelTime of their travel plans and the address of the residence.

Voluntary testing for the virus will be available to residents at the proposed address in Grand Cayman, which will be required in order for the residence to be approved as the traveller’s accommodation.

The release said that travellers from the Sister Islands who wish to stay longer than three nights in Grand Cayman must be tested for the virus no earlier than 48-hours before their departure (from Grand Cayman) and must return a negative result to the Medical Officer of Health.

Those staying fewer than three nights are not required to undergo testing.

Persons are not permitted to travel between Grand Cayman and the Sister Islands by boat, unless they are designated essential services personnel as listed in the regulations. These regulations remain the same as currently in place and are now extended to the end of the new regulations period.

Operators of commercial vessels who have a WIZ licence are now permitted access to Stingray City and the Sandbar, provided they are not carrying more than ten people, do not station themselves alongside other vessels so more than ten people are gathered and do not rent scuba/snorkelling equipment to customers.

There is no restriction on the renting of dive tanks.

Anyone found in contravention of these rules could be subject to a fine of $1,000 and six months imprisonment.

Access to Starfish Point and Rum Point remains prohibited at this time for all vessels.

These regulations remain in place until 2 August 2020 or until Cabinet specifies. They can be viewed at: http://www.gov.ky/portal/pls/portal/docs/1/12984522.PDF

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