Gov’t to keep border closed till October
Kirkconnell: “It is the most prudent thing to do given the environment
beyond our shores".
Government has extended Cayman’s border closures to 1 Oct. citing the
continuing spread of COVID-19, particularly in the United States.
In a statement
Friday evening, government said Cabinet has decided to extend the border
closures for an additional 30 days at which time it will be reassessed.
Borders were initially expected to reopen 1 Sept. under a phased
plan announced last month by Premier Alden McLaughlin and Deputy Premier
The plan included requiring travellers who have tested negative for COVID-19
three days prior to arriving on island to wear a BioButton and self-isolate
at a residence of their choice for five days, or, if they choose not to wear
the device, they must quarantine at a government-managed facility for 14
days, officials said in a press release.
However, according to tonight’s statement, “having continually monitored the
rate of infection in other countries, particularly in the United States
where the pandemic is still widespread”, the planned reopening will be
The announcement also comes one day after the US Department of State listed
Cayman Islands as
“Level 3: Reconsider Travel” on a list of international
“Reconsider travel to the Cayman Islands due to health and safety measures
and COVID-related conditions,” the travel advisory read, even though Cayman
has not had anyone test positive for COVID-19 in 24 days (as of 6 Aug.) and
has no active coronavirus cases.
Addressing repatriation flights, the government statement said, “During this
time, repatriation flights by Cayman Airways will continue to operate on an
ad hoc basis and the air bridge between the UK and the Cayman Islands will
also remain open, as this provides a vitally important link between the two
Kirkconnell, who is also tourism minister, commented in the release on the
decision to extend the closures, saying, “From the outset of the pandemic
the government has placed the highest priority on public health and safety
and we are approaching the reopening of the Islands borders with the same
degree of due care and attention.”
He added it was “unfortunate” government had to take that decision, but it
was the “most prudent thing to do given the environment beyond our shores”.
Kirkconnell said waiting to open Cayman’s borders “is allowing us to learn
from the experiences of other countries and is ensuring that sufficient time
is allocated to putting all of the necessary precautions in place [to] keep
our Islands safe and people protected”.
Pointing to the start of the academic year in September, government said it
has recognised that parents are keen to confirm travel plans to accompany
students needing to go overseas to continue their education.
“The Governor’s Office has confirmed that a British Airways flight will
leave the Cayman Islands for London, Gatwick on 28 Aug., which is mainly for
students and their parents,” the press release said, adding the office is in
advanced discussions with British Airways to introduce a regular fortnightly
service to London, Gatwick. More details are expected to be released next
Cayman Airways, it pointed out, is also scheduling a series of repatriation
flights from Cayman to Miami, US; Kingston, Jamaica; and Le Ceiba, Honduras.
“Although there are no restrictions on outbound travel from the Cayman
Islands, non-essential travel is strongly discouraged, as options to return
are limited and travellers may have to remain overseas longer than
anticipated,” the release said.
Some commercial airlines are offering flights to the Cayman Islands and
accepting future bookings, which government said it is aware of.
However, it clarified that while Cayman’s borders remain closed, “approval
has not been granted for the operation of any commercial flights.
“Travellers who make reservations directly with any airline while the
Islands borders are closed are doing so at their own risk. It should also be
noted that airline vouchers issued by other airlines for such flights are
not transferrable to the British Airways repatriation flights, nor are they
valid for use on Cayman Airways,” the statement said.
All people wishing to travel inbound on board a repatriation flight must
register their travel request with TravelTime, and complete an online form
in order to receive pre-travel approval while borders remain closed, the
“Travellers who have not completed this process will not be permitted to
board a repatriation flight,” it added.
“The Cayman Islands Government, through TravelTime are making every effort
to assist residents with returning home. However, travellers should remain
aware that we are in uncertain and challenging times and with inbound travel
restrictions in place, delays in securing a return flight should be
expected,” the statement said.
Government policy stipulates that all people entering the Cayman Islands
must be quarantined for 14 days in a government facility and will require a
negative PCR test prior to returning to their own accommodations.
Questions or concerns pertaining to inbound travel should be directed to
TravelTime by emailing email@example.com or
by calling 649-6913 between the hours of 8:30am and 5:00pm, Monday to
Current information about the Cayman Islands COVID-19 response and
suppression strategies is available at https://www.exploregov.ky/coronavirus