Grand Cayman, 10 August – Government moved into Phase 2 of its Reopening Plan yesterday (Monday, 9 August).
The new phase allows travellers, whose vaccinations have been securely verified, to quarantine for five days without a GPS monitoring device.
Noting that this change applies only to travellers arriving in the Cayman Islands from 9 August onwards, Health Minister Sabrina Turner, emphasises that quarantine remains mandatory for all vaccinated and unvaccinated arrivals.
“While vaccination reduces the chances of infection and transmission, and offers the best possible protection against severe disease and death, it is still possible for vaccinated travellers to transmit the COVID-19 virus”, Ms Turner explains.
Deputy Governor Franz Manderson, says that Travel Cayman, which is responsible for inward travel, is responding to the change by implementing strategies that ensures persons remain in compliance with quarantine protocols.
These include initiating daily contact with persons whose securely verified vaccinations qualify them to quarantine for five days without GPS monitoring. Physical welfare checks have also increased and the Travel Cayman team is applying strategies to facilitate the ready identification travellers that fall within this category.
Individuals quarantining without GPS technology must follow all other prescribed quarantine protocols, including remaining in their residence for the duration of the quarantine period and receiving no visitors. Contactless supply deliveries are another important requirement.
Unvaccinated travellers are still required to complete 14 days of quarantine while those whose vaccinations cannot be verified must complete 10 days. Both of these groups will still wear GPS technology.
The use of GPS technology has greatly assisted the continuous monitoring of persons in quarantine, Mr Manderson observes, but it is notable that Travel Cayman identifies most breaches as a result of checks by its mobile compliance team, as well as the reporting of suspected breaches by the public.
Anyone who suspects an individual has breached quarantine can make a report to the quarantine tip hotline at tel. 943-7233 (943-SAFE). Any person found guilty of breaching quarantine is liable upon conviction to a maximum fine of $10,000 and up to two years imprisonment.
Premier, Hon Wayne Panton, emphasises that the reopening plan, which is slowly rolling back requirements for inward travel over the remainder of 2021, is essential to safely restarting the economy.
As restrictions are reduced, Mr Panton says the likelihood of the COVID-19 disease re-entering the Cayman Islands community will increase. He comments that the COVID-19 vaccine offers the best protection against the risk that the deadly disease poses to Caymanians and residents of all ages.
Practising COVID-19 prevention protocols, including handwashing, mask wearing and social distancing, if vulnerable, are among the ways that members of the public can protect themselves, their loved ones and the wider community, the Premier says.
Mr Panton adds: “The Government, with the support of Public Health Officials and the Civil Service, has put a tremendous amount of planning and preparation into ensuring that we can successfully move through each phase of the plan, which is so important to the economic health of our country.”
“Our goal, led by the science, is to guarantee minimal risk to the community and we are continuously reviewing and upgrading our processes with this in mind. My sincerest thanks to the board for everything that they have done to date,” Mr Panton states.
Minister of Tourism and Transport, Hon. Kenneth Bryan, says, ”I am pleased that the reopening plan is progressing to Phase 2 and I look forward to the next phase when we start the limited introduction of tourism”.
From its creation in 2020, some months into the COVID-19 pandemic, to 1 August 2021, Travel Cayman had helped over 21,579 travellers with connections to the Cayman Islands to enter the country for essential reasons.
For more on the reopening plan and general information about the fight against the coronavirus in the Cayman Islands is available from www.exploregov.ky/coronavirus.