(CAYMAN COMPASS) — Deputy Premier and Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell on Friday announced Cayman’s borders will reopen to international travel starting on 1 Sept. The reopening will come in phases.
“The prospect of reopening is a subject of concern to many in our communities,” said Kirkconnell at government’s COVID-19 press briefing, adding that government has noted the COVID-19 situation in North America and beyond.
“We also recognise that keeping our borders closed indefinitely is not reasonable, sustainable and cannot continue from an economic standpoint.”
Here’s the first phase of reopening starting 1 Sept:
– Potential passengers must take a COVID-19 test 72 hours before departing. The result must come back negative.
– Potential visitors fill out an online application, which includes requirement to prove the COVID-19 test result. TravelTime will consider the application and provide a decision as to whether the potential visitor is given permission to arrive.
– Approved passengers will arrive at Owen Roberts International Airport and adhere to the facility’s new social distancing protocols.
– Visitors will receive a health monitoring device upon arriving in the Cayman Islands.
– After clearing immigration and customs, visitors will then be taken to a monitored self-isolation for five days.
– Visitors then are given another COVID-19 test. If negative, visitors are able to leave isolation but must still wear the monitoring device.
Kirkconnell said TravelTime will consider where a person is travelling from when determining whether to grant permission to travel to Cayman. Travellers will also need to pay a flat registration fee that would help cover the cost of the monitoring device and other costs incurred with the reopening protocols.
He added that geofencing could be used to ensure arriving visitors remain in isolation during their first five days in the country.
Kirkconnell said the next phase of reopening would not include isolation but declined to give a date on when that phase would begin.
Government does not have a pre-set number of visitors it intends to allow to travel to Cayman during the first phase. Instead, Kirkconnell said, that number depends on a number of variables, including the number of people who leave on repatriation flights.
“Safety and security will remain the main drivers in decision making,” Kirkconnell said. “We prefer to err on the side of caution.”
Officials said more details relating to the reopening of the borders would be released next week and regulations were being drawn up.