GRAND CAYMAN — The Cayman Islands, which has been closed to international travel since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, has announced a five-phase reopening plan to finally welcome back tourists to its shores.
The destination, which comprises Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, will start allowing a limited number of fully vaccinated tourists in September, subject to whether it achieves an 80% on-island vaccination rate. If all goes well, quarantine requirements will lift for fully vaccinated visitors starting in October. Cruising, however, will take longer to return to the islands, with cruise lines anticipated to return in January 2022.
The Cayman Islands, like many other destinations in the Caribbean, effectively closed its borders to international travel and cruise traffic in early March 2020 to limit the spread of COVID-19. According to the Cayman Islands Government (CIG), the new five-phase approach to reopening will continue to safeguard the Caymanian population while also allowing international visitors to once again enjoy the destination.
“My colleagues and I in government have worked tirelessly to develop this phased approach in preparation for the opening of our borders to international travellers, and we are pleased to announce the wait for paradise is almost over!” said Minister for Tourism and Transport Kenneth Bryan. “Our guests will appreciate the impactful developments and enhancements we’ve made to the destination, surely proving that Cayman is worth the wait.”
The CIG has worked closely with health authorities, public sector and private sector to develop its five-phase reopening plan, which includes the following:
∙ Phase 1: Reduced Quarantine Period | June 2021
In this stage, the Cayman Islands has reduced quarantine periods and eased other travel restrictions. For fully vaccinated and securely verified travellers, a mandatory five-day quarantine is in place; unvaccinated travellers are required to undergo a 14-day isolation period.
∙ Phase 2: Reduced Repatriation Restrictions | August 9, 2021
In this phase, additional travel restrictions will be eased, including the removal of GPS monitoring. All local businesses must adhere to the advanced safety protocols issued by regulators and Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) guidelines. All travellers will continue to apply for entry authorisation via the Travel Cayman Portal.
∙ Phase 3: Limited Introduction of Tourism | September 9, 2021
This phase, subject to the achievement of 80% on-island vaccination rate, will allow for a limited introduction of tourists with secure verification of vaccination status. Cruise travel will not be permitted during this phase. All travellers will continue to apply for entry via the Travel Cayman Portal.
∙ Phase 4: Reduced Quarantine Restrictions | October 14, 2021
Quarantine requirements will be removed for all securely verified, fully vaccinated travellers. Unvaccinated visitors will be required to apply for entry via Travel Cayman and quarantine upon arrival for a 14-day period. Additionally, all travellers must declare travel and vaccination status on the Travel Cayman Portal.
∙ Phase 5: Travel for Unvaccinated Children | November 18, 2021
While cruise tourism remains prohibited at this stage, unvaccinated children (under age 12) will now be allowed to travel with vaccinated adult tourists; no quarantine period will be required for children. Unvaccinated visitors above the age of 12 will be required to quarantine for 14-days.
∙ Welcome Back | Assessed January 27, 2022
Once the country has completed all five phases and following a thorough assessment from the Government and health officials, the Cayman Islands will celebrate its Grand Re-Opening, welcoming all travellers without quarantine or travel restrictions. At this time, cruise tourism may resume.
In all phases, Public Health officials will monitor the prevalence rate and spread of COVID-19. The transition between stages will be determined by a myriad of factors.
In addition, in all phases, all inbound travellers are required to make a declaration of travel and vaccination status on Travel Cayman Portal and present the declaration certificate, vaccination documents and provide proof of medical insurance, which includes coverage for COVID-19, upon arrival.