GEORGETOWN, Cayman Islands – The Government of the Cayman Islands will reopen its borders to international travel starting September 1.
Deputy Premier and Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell who made the announcement on Friday said the reopening will come in phases.
“The prospect of reopening is a subject of concern to many in our communities,” said Kirkconnell at government’s COVID-19 press briefing, adding that government has noted the COVID-19 situation in North America and beyond.
“We also recognise that keeping our borders closed indefinitely is not reasonable, sustainable and cannot continue from an economic standpoint.”
Some of the measures that will be taken once the borders reopen include – having passengers take a COVID-19 test, 72 hours before entering the territory – that result must come back negative; approved passengers arriving at the Owen Roberts International Airport must adhere to the facility’s new social distancing protocols and visitors will receive a health monitoring device upon arriving in the Cayman Islands.
Visitors will also be taken to a monitored self isolation for five days, following which they will be given another COVID-19 test and if negative, they will be permitted to leave – but with a monitoring device. are able to leave isolation but must still wear the monitoring device.
Kirkconnell said visitors will also need to pay a flat registration fee that would help cover the cost of the monitoring device and other costs incurred with the reopening protocols.
Kirkconnell said the next phase of reopening would not include isolation but declined to give a date on when that phase would begin.
He told reporters that the covernment does not have a pre-set number of visitors it intends to allow to travel to Cayman during the first phase. Instead, he said, that number depends on a number of variables, including the number of people who leave on repatriation flights.
“Safety and security will remain the main drivers in decision making,” Kirkconnell said. “We prefer to err on the side of caution.”