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New COVID Regulations Respond to Latest Variant of Concern and Facilitate Rapid Testing Flexibility

  1. Cabinet has tonight issued regulations that restrict travel to the Cayman Islands from some nine countries in southern Africa and one in Europe.

The measures follow the World Health Organisation (WHO) recognising the variant first reported to have emerged in South Africa two days ago, as a variant of concern, which it has named Omicron.  Other countries around the world have already taken similar measures.

In its announcement WHO noted that the variant had a large number of mutations, some of which are concerning.

Countries from which travel is restricted include: Belgium, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Persons who travel to, from or through these countries within the 21 days preceding their arrival in the Cayman Islands, must undergo PCR testing within 24 hours of arrival, and must also complete a quarantine period of not less than 14 days.

Travelers from these countries already in the Cayman Islands from these countries will also be required to complete a 14 day quarantine.

The regulations also detail provisions for persons who have been in contact with such individuals, including any other occupants of a private residence where they may be quarantining.

For more details read the regulations.

  1. In case you missed it please also be aware that  regulations published last night empowered the Medical Officer of Health to approve the use for self-testing of rapid diagnostic tests intended for clinical purposes. The regulations require that all such approvals be Gazetted. The first such approval was Gazetted tonight.


Issued by: Government Information Services (GIS, CIG)