Government has further modified restrictions on visitors to the Cayman Islands by removing the “60 per cent vaccination rule, ” changing restrictions on unaccompanied unvaccinated children to quarantine and addressing the payment for quarantine facilities by government.
60 per cent vaccination rule
For readers who are unfamiliar with the “60 per cent vaccination rule,” this required certain people to quarantine upon arrival in Cayman even though they were fully vaccinated. This was because they were from a country (like Jamaica or Belize) with a vaccination rate less than 60 per cent for the first dose of an approved vaccine. While this rule was in place, some travelers said it was “discriminatory” as it was believed to have a “disproportionate effect on fully vaccinated travelers from poor countries or countries where people had difficulty accessing the vaccine.” In effect, this category of fully vaccinated travelers had to quarantine in Cayman whereas other fully vaccinated travelers were subject to more relaxed rules.
Under the regulations, any vaccination person may travel to the Cayman Islands without being subject to quarantine on arrival if they do the following:
- Complete the pre-arrival test
- Complete a medical and travel questionnaire and undergo a medical examination if a Customs and Border Control (CBC) Officer considers it necessary
- Complete and submit a travel declaration to Travel Cayman no less than 72 hours prior to departing
- Provide evidence of the travel declaration when requested to do so by a CBC Officer
Visiting unaccompanied children under the age of 12 years, even if unvaccinated, will not be required to quarantine under certain conditions. The changes are expected to increase airline and visitor traffic at Owen Roberts International Airport by supporting more family travel this summer. This relaxation change means an unaccompanied unvaccinated child (under the age of 12 years) – who is a Caymanian, resident, or person with close ties – will not be required to quarantine on arrival in the Islands if they intend to reside at a place where all other occupants, 12 years and over, are vaccinated.
However, the unaccompanied unvaccinated child will be required to quarantine if they intend to reside in a place where an unvaccinated person over the age of 12 years is also applicable. Unaccompanied unvaccinated tourist visitor children are still not allowed to travel to the Cayman Islands.
Commenting upon the regulations, Minister of Health & Wellness, Hon. Sabrina Turner said:
As we welcome the relaxation of additional travel restrictions, we cannot disregard how much compliance with COVID-19 regulations has contributed to us arriving to this juncture. With more persons arriving to our shores daily, I urge the public to remain aware by getting their COVID-19 vaccinations including boosters and following public health guidelines to prevent infection.
Payment for quarantine facilities
Additionally, a change to Regulation 13 now means that Government is no longer required to pay the costs of accommodation at a quarantine facility or isolation under the below circumstances:
- a person who provides evidence that the person is a student attending an educational institution outside the Islands and is returning home
- a person who provides evidence that the person’s travel was for the purposes of government business
- a person who provides evidence that the purpose of the person’s travel was to represent the Islands in a sporting event as part of a national team
- a person who provides a medical certificate signed by a medical practitioner that the person traveled overseas in order to obtain medical services
- a person who is a parent, guardian or caregiver who provides evidence that the person traveled overseas for the purposes of taking the person’s child, or a child in the person’s care to an overseas educational institution or represent the Islands in a sporting event as part of a national team; and
- a person who provides evidence that the person had responsibility to take a child or an adult overseas to obtain medical services.