The Ministry of Tourism Statement Addressing the CDC Level 4 Travel Advisory for the Cayman Islands
The Ministry of Tourism is aware that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has moved the Cayman Islands to its Level 4 list of countries, indicating a very high rate of COVID-19.
The Cayman Islands is one of 80 countries around the world on the list of level 4 countries which currently includes the UK, Ireland and Switzerland along with 15 of our Caribbean neighbours
Although the CDC’s travel advisory is regrettable, the recommendation advising travellers to ensure they are vaccinated is in keeping with the Cayman Islands phased border reopening policy, which takes effect on 20 November. The policy stipulates that all visitors to the Island must be fully vaccinated and present a negative PCR test result taken within 72 hours of arrival. Travellers who arrive prior to the reopening date are required to quarantine for periods of 7,10 or 14 days depending on their vaccination status.
Given that we are close to reopening the borders it is understandable that this travel advisory is raising concerns, particularly in relation to tourism. But the reality is, the move to level 4 does not automatically mean that the Cayman Islands tourism industry will be negatively affected.
Looking around the region and beyond, being at level 4 has not been shown to have any long term or immediate negative impacts on the economies or tourism products of our competitors who were placed there before us, and are now at level 3. The Cayman Islands is expected to follow suit.
Additionally, the Ministry of Tourism has not received any indication from tourism stakeholders that this move by the CDC presents a major hurdle, neither has there been any suggestion that vacation bookings are being cancelled due to the CDC rating. On the contrary, we do not expect that visitors will be deterred and the Department of Tourism stands by its projection that the Cayman Islands will remain on a path of slow and steady growth following the reopening of borders on 20 November, 2021.
The Cayman Islands government remains confident that stringent health and safety protocols implemented by Public Health will continue to keep residents and visitors to our Islands safe. This is further bolstered by the fact that 80% of the population have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 77% are fully vaccinated having completed the two-dose course. Additionally, 6,163 people representing 9% of those over the age of 50, have received a third or booster dose. As a result of the Islands high vaccination levels, hospitalisations due to covid-19 are relatively low. 14 patients are currently hospitalised in stable condition and none have needed to be ventilated.
The Ministry of Tourism urges the public to continue following public health guidelines and personal protection measures against Covid-19 and we encourage anyone who is eligible but not yet vaccinated to consider doing so.
Submitted by: ministry of Tourism & Transport (CIG)