Government eases quarantine restrictions for some travelers

In the latest change to COVID-19 regulations, the government has removed a requirement to quarantine for vaccination travelers arriving from countries with less than a 60% vaccination rate or whose vaccinations cannot be securely verified.

The new ties amendments also allow unvaccinated children under 12, traveling unaccompanied, who are Caymanian, resident or have close to Cayman, to visit the islands if they plan to reside in a place with occupants vaccination.

Restrictions on visits by unvaccinated tourists, including unaccompanied unvaccinated children, remain in place.

Previously, people traveling from countries with first-dose vaccination rates lower than 60%; vaccination travelers whose vaccination certificates could not be verified; and unvaccinated unaccompanied children under the age of 12 visiting residents in Cayman were required to quarantine, but those restrictions were lifted today, 8 April.

Also, the government will no longer pay for quarantine for residents in government facilities, according to a statement from the Ministry of Health and Wellness.

Until today, government has been paying for quarantine facilities for returning students; those traveling on government business or representing Cayman in a sporting event as part of a national team; individuals traveling overseas for medical services; and parents and guardians who had accompanied a child to school or college, to a sporting event or to obtain medical services overseas.

What travelers need to provide

According to the statement from the ministry outlining the change to the regulations, incoming vaccination individuals are still required to carry out a number of steps before they can come to Cayman, including:

  • Produce a negative pre-arrival COVID certified antigen or PCR test taken no earlier than a day before the departure of a flight to Cayman;
  • Complete a medical and travel questionnaire, and undergo a medical examination if a Customs and Border Control officer considers it necessary;
  • Complete and submit a travel declaration from Travel Cayman no less than 72 hours prior to departing.

The only unvaccinated individuals allowed to travel to Cayman are Caymanians or residents; people with close ties to the islands; or a child traveling with an accompanying vaccination person. Those individuals, including children age 5 or over, are required to provide a negative COVID test taken within a day of departing for Cayman, and to complete and submit a travel request to Travel Cayman no less than five days before coming to the islands.

In its statement, the ministry said, “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.”

Minister of Health and Wellness Sabrina Turner, in the statement, 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.”

The updated regulations are scheduled to expire on May 31, 2022.

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