Saturday 8 August, 2020

'Travel time' to coordinate all overseas travel to and from Cayman

As Cayman continues to open up and as more of our people overseas are looking to return home and in order to create a streamlined experience for individuals who need to travel to or from the Cayman Islands, there has been the creation of a new entity which will coordinate these efforts. The new entity, called “Travel Time”, will manage and organize travel, and liaise with the public.

Based on the success with which “Curfew Time” helped COVID-19 mitigation, the new “Travel Time” operation will be run by the Chief Officer of the Ministry of International Trade, Investment, Aviation and Maritime Affairs, Eric Bush, and his team. The individuals who worked in Curfew Time have migrated to Travel Time.

Travel Time will be tasked with coordinating the return of Caymanians, Permanent Residents and Work Permit Holders to the Cayman Islands.  In doing this they will also manage the Government isolation facilities to ensure that there are sufficient rooms for those returning and who need to isolate as required. They will also work to coordinate the repatriation of those looking to return to their homelands. 

It is expected that Travel Time will assume full responsibility of this operation from 1 July. All arrangements and announcements made to date for travel to and from the Cayman Islands will remain the same.  

Since March 22 2020 when Cayman closed its borders, the Government has arranged 30 emergency repatriation flights which have enabled our own people to return home and for expatriates to return to their own homes, amidst global travel restrictions.

These flights, organised through the National Emergency Operations Centre and the Governor’s Office, Cayman Airways as well as the Cayman Islands Government Office in the UK, required a huge amount of coordination. In the Cayman context, the flights were further supported by extensive and highly admirable work by civil servants and volunteers to create isolation centres and manage all of the logistics required to support the Government’s aggressive measures to stop the spread of this deadly virus.  

As the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) is winding down, the entities and individuals that have coordinated emergency travel are returning to their normal operations. 

For the next few months, while some restrictions are still in place, travel will require streamlined coordination between a number of government Ministries, statutory authorities as well as other countries via His Excellency the Governor and his office.

The new Travel Time operation will enable the Government to better facilitate travel to and from our shores while continuing to successfully manage the Covid-19 pandemic, without jeopardizing our hard-earned success.

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