Tourism Minister Gives Updates on Travel for Phase 4
Tourism and Transport Minister, Hon. Kenneth Bryan underscored the official re-instatement of tourism into the Cayman Islands from Saturday, 20 November 2021, which signals the move to Phase 4 in the islands’ COVID-19 measures.
At the press conference here today, Minister Bryan highlighted that updated sanitation guidelines will come into practice shortly for the entire tourism sector, including accommodations (hotels, guesthouses and apartments), attractions, car rentals, restaurants and bars, retail, public transport, tour operators, fishing, snorkelling and scuba diving.
The updated sanitation guidelines for the tourism sector are published on the DOT website www.ourcayman.ky which are intended to be a working document for businesses to enhance and customise to their specific operation.
Also, guidelines for large events will be incorporated into a national policy that will be released in the coming days.
Other highlights from Minister Bryan:
- It is strongly recommended that all tourism businesses implement a twice weekly lateral flow testing (LFT) programme.
- Testing capacity is being expanded to doctors’ offices to make certified LFT testing services readily available to all travellers across all three islands.
- If a traveller tests positive, they will be required to isolate; travel insurance is a requirement in phase 4 to help travellers cover unexpected medical and accommodations travel costs due to an extended stay.
- Minister Bryan reminded the private sector of Government’s ‘Caymanians First’ policy towards employment opportunities in the tourism industry. “With several thousand Caymanians currently unemployed and being supported by Government, it would be unconscionable to consider the granting of work permits while this situation remains.”
- Airline schedules will resume by all of the airlines previously servicing travel to and from the Cayman Islands between November and March 2022. Consequently, visitors will be able to connect to the Cayman Islands from over 21 gateways across the UK, USA, Canada, Jamaica and Honduras.
- In addition, to the twice weekly service from JFK, New York, JetBlue will relaunch service from Boston on 20 November and from Fort Lauderdale on 21 December.
- Air Canada is on schedule to be the first international carrier to resume service from Canada and will relaunch its Toronto service from 4 December, followed by WestJet on 16 December.
- Cayman Airways will also resume service to JFK starting from 16 December.
- In the first quarter of 2022, during January, Cayman Airways will resume service from Montego Bay, Jamaica.
- During February: United will resume service from Newark, Washington, Houston and Chicago on 12 February. American Airlines will resume service from Miami on 17 February.
- In March: Cayman Airways will resume service from Denver, Colorado on 5 March; Southwest will resume its operations from Fort Lauderdale on 10 March and Baltimore on 12 March. Delta will offer service from Atlanta on 12 March.
- In April: American Airlines will resume service from Charlotte, Philadelphia, Chicago and Dallas. The specific dates are still to be determined.
- Minister Bryan highlighted new and existing passenger pick-up and drop-off regulations. These include: a five-minute drop off zone has been created in the parking lot for offloading of passengers and luggage; drop-off is free for up to five minutes after which time the standard parking rates will apply.
- Phase 4 Specifics: The primary differences between Phases 3 and 4 are that:
- Fully vaccinated tourists will be welcomed back to enjoy an unforgettable Cayman Islands vacation with no quarantine.
- Travellers whose vaccination information cannot be securely verified, but who are travelling from a country with a first dose vaccination rate of at least 60% will not have to quarantine.
- Fully vaccinated travellers below the age of 18 who have received a full vaccine course as defined by the Country where the vaccine was administered can also enter without having to quarantine.
- All visitors must be covered by a medical insurance policy which covers COVID related expenses should they test positive during their vacation.
- However, quarantine restrictions do not entirely fall away in Phase 4. Travellers whose vaccine information cannot be securely verified, and who are travelling from a country with a vaccination rate below 60% for the first dose, will be required to quarantine for 10 days. Unvaccinated adult travellers or persons travelling with unvaccinated children will still be subject to 14 days quarantine. All travellers unvaccinated aged five and over will still need to provide a negative PCR result taken within 72 hours of travel, regardless of their vaccination status.
- Additionally, inbound travellers must also apply to Travel Cayman for a travel certificate, which is required for entry. Vaccination information should be uploaded into the Travel Cayman portal for verification and for the travel certificate to be issued. The steps for completing a travel certificate were demonstrated at the press conference. To view, catch the broadcast at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fV6d-x8pBX0 or for details visit www.explore.gov.ky .