An informative press conference, held on September 9, 2020, by the Chief Medical Officer Dr John Lee, Premier Alden McLaughlin, Governor Martyn Roper, Commerce Minister Joey Hew and Health Minister Dwayne Seymour, gave us insights as to how we will be welcoming visitors to our shores again very soon. Here are some highlights from the press conference on border opening:
Phased Border Opening from 1st October
From 1st October, specific Cayman Airways flights and British Airways flights will bring visitors to our shores, along with private planes, but anyone wishing to travel here must first register with the Government’s Travel Time website (www.exploregov.ky/traveltime). Premier McLaughlin stressed that Cayman was not opening its border to commercial flights and acknowledged the “reopening” may not look that different from the current situation.
Once visitors are approved for travel by the Government and have arrived, they will be required to have a COVID-19 test, and then wear some kind of digital tracking device, most likely a bracelet, which triggers an alarm if they break their quarantine. They will be required to self-isolate at their residence or a hotel for a minimum of two weeks. Premier McLaughlin said the continued prevalence of the virus in both the US and the Caribbean meant that Cayman would still be requiring a 14-day quarantine period for anyone arriving in October.
After which time they will have a second COVID-19 test, which will have to be negative before they are cleared to leave the property and have the tracking device removed. This procedure will be tested on 20 to 25 households travelling back to Cayman from London on 17th September.
Chief Medical Officer John Lee said the countries of the world which were dealing best with the opening of their borders were ones that had strong COVID-19 management. The strong uptick in cases regionally was shaping the Government’s cautious border opening here.
Once the soft opening of the borders takes place on 1st October, not only will Caymanians and returning residents be permitted to travel to the Cayman Islands, but also people who own property here and those who are looking to come here for an extended stay. The new Global Citizen Initiative, which will allow people to live in Cayman and work remotely as “digital nomads” should also be in place, allowing for a small influx of new long-stay residents.
It is envisaged that we will see some 800 people come to Cayman during the month of October. From the 1st October, British Airways will be operating fortnightly flights for an initial period of three months, with three flights taking place in October.