From 14 January 2021, travellers arriving in the Cayman Islands will need to show evidence of a negative result from a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) COVID-19 test taken no more than 72 hours prior to departure, in order to board their flight.
Cabinet approved the measure on Tuesday, 5 January 2021, which requires all travellers aged 10 and older to provide negative test results from an upper airways swab. An amendment to the current Regulations under the Public Health Law (2002 Revision) that outlines the new requirements and penalties for any breach is expected to be published on www.gazettes.gov.ky by Monday, 11 January.
“Given the new, highly transmissible strain of the SARS-CoV-2 virus reported in 45 countries to date, the added testing requirement aims to reduce the potential for any surge of cases in the Cayman Islands”, remarks Premier Hon. Alden McLaughlin.
Chief Medical Officer Dr John Lee notes that countries around the world and the region are increasingly mandating similar requirements.
The Cayman Islands Government requires that the test results are provided from laboratories as follows:
- in the UK, from a UKAS accredited laboratory, or the National Health Service.
- in the USA/Americas/worldwide from:
-- JC (Joint Commission) or JCI (Joint Commission International) accredited laboratories, or
-- ISO or COLA (Commission on Office/Laboratory Accreditation) accredited laboratories, or
-- National Public Health Laboratories or other government approved providers.
A paper copy of test results is recommended but an electronic copy is acceptable. Airlines will check passengers prior to departure to confirm that an appropriate negative PCR test has been provided, and will deny departure to anyone without proof of a negative test. Cayman Islands Customs and Border Control officers will also require the same proof.
“We strongly believed that it was important to act promptly to protect our local community given the worsening health situation we are seeing in so many countries. At the same time to minimise the impact on Caymanians and residents, who may be currently travelling for urgent reasons, we have taken steps to support these persons,” comments Minister of Health, Hon. Dwayne Seymour.
Outlining the infrastructure that has been set up to support persons who are affected Travel Cayman Director, Dr Tasha Ebanks-Garcia says guidance has been developed for stakeholders, including Cayman Airways
, British Airways, the Cayman Islands Government Office in the United Kingdom, inbound travellers and members of the public.
The Travel Cayman Director urged anyone planning to travel to the Cayman Islands to visit www.exploregov.ky/travel for more details about the new requirements.
In addition to the new pre-arrival test, all other current public health requirements for arriving travellers remain in place. Travellers must take a PCR test on arrival in the Cayman Islands and quarantine for a minimum of 14 days. A Day 15 PCR test will continue to be required and travellers must have a negative test result in order to be released from quarantine.
Persons with questions should contact the Travel Cayman team directly by email at TravelCayman@gov.ky or tel. 1-345-945-0556/1-345-946-7858. Phone lines are open Monday through Friday 8.30a.m. to 5p.m.