Travel Cayman Launches New Travel Portal
George Town, Cayman Islands (26 October 2020) Travel Cayman has launched its new online portal which enhances the travel application process and provides a more streamlined experience for applicants.
The new, user-friendly online gateway collects information from prospective travellers and manages the travel application through a multi-agency vetting process. Since the site launched on 19 October 2020, over 750 travel requests have been received and more than 287 travel approvals have been issued as of Saturday 24 October 2020.
Travel Cayman is a cross-ministerial project and comprises teams from a number of government agencies working in collaboration. To date, over 140 staff from core government, Statutory Authorities and Government-owned companies have been redeployed to work with Travel Cayman, and are assisting with various aspects of the travel management, travel support, health screening and monitoring and compliance requirements. As the volume of travellers increases over time, the number of staff assigned to support the project is increasing in tandem. In addition, a new travel support team staffed through collaboration with the Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman has been incorporated to provide support to travellers who have queries or need non-emergency assistance while in quarantine.
Call waiting times have already been reduced. For example, statistics on Saturday 24 October 2020 indicate that more than 130 calls were handled. The waiting time averaged 48 seconds and the maximum waiting time was 11 mins 20 seconds. The average length of time for the calls was around 4 mins, and the maximum call time was 28 minutes and 34 seconds.
Deputy Governor, Franz Manderson Chairs the Programme Board which has overseen the development and implementation of the new Travel Cayman management system and The Travel Cayman Portal. “The new Travel Cayman site is expected to greatly improve the traveller experience by reducing the need to call or email the Travel Cayman team for information, “ Mr Manderson explained. “The site manages the applications based on arrival dates and quarantine requirements, thereby removing the need for manual sorting and responding to each query, which streamlines and speeds up the application process. Since launching the site the Travel Cayman call lines have been cleared and feedback on the portal has been positive,” he said.
Travel Cayman Application Process
Persons wishing to travel to the Cayman Islands are required to register on the Travel Cayman site and will be guided through a series of fields which must be completed in order to provide basic information such as traveller name, proposed travel dates and reasons for travel. The web address for the new portal is https://www.exploregov.ky/TravelCayman.
Using the new portal, travellers are able to select their preferred quarantine option and can input details on other persons who will be travelling with them. If the traveller will quarantine with non-travelling household members (occupants), their details can be entered at the same time.
The site also requires travellers to specify their immigration status.
Once the completed application has been submitted, the applicant receives an automatically generated email advising when they can expect to hear back from the Travel Cayman team. The travel request then appears on the dashboards of multiple government agencies, each of which plays a part in reviewing and approving the travel request. Customs and Border control will check the immigration status to confirm that the traveller complies with prevailing policies, while in parallel, several teams of inspectors validate that the proposed residential quarantine location is suitable for the prescribed quarantine period.
When all checks have been completed in the system, a Certificate to Travel is automatically issued, and applicable traveller data is passed on to relevant agencies as required. For example, the Health Services Authority would receive a complete list of incoming passengers two days before a flight, so that they can register travellers in the system that is used to manage COVID-19 PCR testing, and prepare and label the tests that will be required each day.
Travellers who have not submitted an application and received approval to travel from Travel Cayman will not be permitted to board a repatriation flight to the Cayman Islands. Please note that Travel Cayman authorisation is in addition to normal entry and landing requirements.
Questions or concerns pertaining to inbound travel should be directed to the Travel Cayman team by emailing TravelCayman@gov.ky or by calling 743 8463 between the hours of 8:30am and 5:00pm, Monday through Friday.
Important Note for November Travel
Travellers are asked to note that currently, they can only select their preferred quarantine arrangements via the Travel Cayman portal for November travel only. This is a temporary measure to allow applications for travellers arriving in November to be prioritized.
Travellers who have already applied for November arrival through TravelTime are asked to reapply through the new Travel Cayman portal in order to select their quarantine option.
BA Increase Repatriation Flights
In addition to the enhanced online experience, travellers will be pleased to note that British Airways has increased service to the Cayman Islands and is now offering weekly flights from Heathrow to Grand Cayman. The dates of approved flights into the destination are 29 October, 5, 12, 19 and 26 November and 3 December. Details are not yet available for additional approved flights in December but further information will be published when dates are released. To book an approved BA repatriation flight, travellers are requested to contact British Airways directly on www.BA.com.
The public is reminded that although there are no restrictions on outbound travel from the Cayman Islands, non-essential travel is strongly discouraged due to the limited availability of inbound flights. Travellers may therefore have to remain overseas longer than anticipated.
Direct Airline Bookings
The Cayman Islands Government has not granted approval for international commercial flights to resume to the Cayman Islands. Travellers who book non-approved flights with carriers other than Cayman Airways and British Airways are doing so at their own risk. Airline vouchers issued by other carriers for flights that do not take place are not transferrable to British Airways or Cayman Airways. Travellers should visit www.exploregov.ky/travel for the latest news and information and to confirm the dates of approved flights before booking