As Coronavirus continues to spread around the world, we provide you with information on the latest local developments as well as a guide on how to protect yourselves and your family from Coronavirus in Cayman.
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Although unconfirmed, Coronavirus (COVID-19) is thought to have emerged from illegally-traded wildlife at the Wuhan South China Seafood Market (China), with the first case being reported in December 2019.
On this page you will find detailed information and updates on the current Government restrictions, travel restrictions and much more.
On December 10th, 2020, Premier Alden McLaughlin announced the parameters for the National COVID-19 Vaccination Programme, which officially opened up to the Cayman public on the 8th of January 2021. Inoculations are free and administered based on a priority-grouping system.Read More
At the end of January 2020, the premier said that the government has no specific timeline on fully opening the borders. This is due to concerns over new strains of the virus. Instead, the focus will be on getting the enough people in the Cayman Islands vaccinated.
Presently, it is mandatory for any travellers entering the Cayman Islands to undergo PCR testing 72 hours prior to departure and isolate for a minimum period of 14 days once arrived on-Island, with testing conducted on the 15th day. There are three quarantine options available which need to be pre-approved before entering the Island. However, it is hoped that following the immunisation of groups one and two as part of the National Vaccination Programme, there will be a further opening of the Islands’ borders and changes in restrictions for incoming travellers.
On the 4th February 2021 the Premier announced that when 90% of the
over 60s are vaccinated, those who meet the following conditions will
only have to quarantine for 10 days:
While vaccination is not mandatory for entry into Cayman, incoming travellers will have the option to be exempted from quarantine, providing they meet the following conditions:
- Can provide proof of having received the COVID-19 vaccination
- Can provide proof of having a negative PCR test 72 hours prior to arrival
- Produce a negative PCR test result upon arrival
- Return to a household where the all residents have also received the COVID-19 vaccine
All people exempted under these conditions will be expected, along with their household members, to undergo repeat testing on day 5, 10 and 15, following their arrival date.
Travellers entering the Island who do not meet the requirements for exemption, will still be subject to mandatory 14 days quarantine.
As many countries globally have also implemented travel restrictions, it is important to get in contact with your consulate to confirm your country's specific restrictions. The Cayman Islands Government have a COVID-19 FAQs page that is updated regularly with local coronavirus-related news and policies in action.Read More
Current Government Restrictions: COVID-19 Suppression Levels (January 2021)
Regulations have been put forth under the Public Health Law (2002 Revision) for the prevention, control and suppression of COVID-19 in the Cayman Islands. Five levels, ranging from Maximum Suppression (Level 5) to the All Clear (Level 1), offer guidance for rules and regulations that are to be followed across the Cayman Islands.
At all levels, persons are expected to practice physical distancing, maintain good hand hygiene, wear masks/face coverings indoors certain public spaces, as well as follow any regulation issued under the Public Health Law and in accordance with Section 49 of the Police Law.
All three Islands are currently operating under Minimal Suppression, Level 2. The latest COVID-19 suppression measures are summarised below:
Public Gathering Restrictions:
- Up to 1,000 people now allowed to gather in public (as of January 20th 2021) IF outdoors
- No more than 500 people can gather indoors and where a venue host simultaneous, separate indoor and outdoor gatherings, the total number permitted to congregate is 1,500 (1,000 outdoors and no more than 500 indoors)
- Use of hookah, shisha pipes or water pipes remain prohibited
- You can now visit residential care home facilities, such as The Pines, with a negative PCR test within three days of visiting
- Persons wishing to visit a detainee in a prison or place of detention must be tested within three days of visiting and be declared negative
- Contact sports are permitted. There can be no more than 1,000 persons permitted at any time as spectators or as participants of the relevant sport
- Persons renting any shared scuba or snorkelling equipment must register with the Department of Environmental Health
- Gatherings of boats will be able to take place with up to 1,000 people
- Students are not required to wear masks or physically distance, however physical contact is strongly discouraged and the wearing of masks is optional
- Masks/face coverings must be worn on the school bus to/from school
Public Health Protocols:
- Maintaining a 3ft distance from persons outside of your household in public spaces wherever possible
- Persons are not required to wear a face mask/covering indoors at certain public spaces
- Masks/face coverings must be worn on public transport (taxi and school bus/omnibus)
- Testing is ongoing
Travel between the Islands:
- Travel will be permitted between islands for pleasure by air and boat
- Travel between Cayman’s three Islands can now be done without a PCR test providing travellers have been in Cayman for more than two weeks
- Persons wishing to travel between the Islands and who has not been in the Islands for at least fourteen days prior to the date of travel should seek the approval of the Chief Officer of the Ministry of International Trade, Investment, Aviation and Maritime Affairs 48 hours prior to travelling; and be tested for the virus and be declared to be negative
Persons are still expected to practice physical distancing and maintain good hand hygiene, as well as follow any regulation issued under the Public Health Law and in accordance with Section 49 of the Police Law.
For a detailed breakdown of the rules and regulations for Minimal Suppression, Level 2, please click here.
Latest COVID-19 Update for Cayman
(November 16, 2020) Cayman's second COVID-19 related death has been confirmed. The patient contracted the virus while traveling and was admitted to the Cayman Islands hospital after a worsening of symptoms on the 4th of October 2020 and passed away on November 15th. The patient fell within the category of people considered to be high-risk.
(September 9, 2020-Press Conference) The Chief Medical Officer, Dr John Lee, reports 86 COVID-19 tests carried out since yesterday - of which two were positive. These results are from travellers arriving in Cayman. Dr John Lee also stated that a positive case was picked up during a screening test 10 days ago from the community, which on further confirmatory testing as recommended by Public Health England returned negative results. However the person and their contacts were isolated in the interests of caution and have subsequently had a negative test several days later.
(August 25, 2020- Press Conference) The Governor has confirmed fortnightly commercial British Airways flights to/from the Heathrow Airport in London starting 17th September (LHR-GCM) and 18th September (GCM-LHR). There will be regular flights every two weeks thereafter. These flights can be booked directly through BA, but you will need permission from CI Boarder Control to travel TO Cayman, for this you must apply with TravelCayman.
(August 19, 2020) The Chief Medical Officer, Dr John Lee, reports 183 COVID-19 tests carried out today - of which two were positive. These results are from two separate travellers arriving in Cayman on different flights. They have been in isolation since they have arrived and will remain in isolation with their travelling parties until they have completed the necessary additional period of isolation.
For a complete record and summary of each press conference that was held to address the developing Coronavirus crisis in the Cayman Islands, please click here.
Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that normally affects animals including camels, cats and bats. Coronaviruses are zoonotic, which means they are transmitted between animals and humans. The virus itself is a new, or ‘novel’ coronavirus causing respiratory illness in people.
it is rare for animal coronaviruses to evolve and infect people, it has
occurred before with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).
Generally, coronavirus can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long-term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.
- Sore Throat
- Dry Cough
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty breathing
Symptoms occur 2-14 days after being exposed to the virus. Coronavirus pneumonia is a dry cough with no runny nose. If you have a runny nose and sputum, you may just have a common cold.
A Flu Hotline is available to assist people if they have concerns or are exhibiting symptoms. Call the Flu Hotline on 1 800 534 8600, and, depending on your symptoms, an HSA official will visit you at your home. If you are exhibiting any coronavirus symptoms you must self-isolate.
Testing can be done at the Cayman Islands Health Services Authority (HSA) and the CTMH Doctor's Hospital for persons exhibiting symptoms or those considered front-line workers.
Public Health Plan of Action
The Department of Public Health currently has three scenarios planned if patients have contracted the virus in the Cayman Islands. These include:
- If a patient has mild symptoms they will be isolated at their residence. If they require isolation from family, an undisclosed location will be discussed
- If a patient has moderate symptoms they will be isolated in special rooms at the Cayman Islands Health Services Authority and private institutions
- If a patient has severe symptoms they will be isolated in rooms in the ICU at the George Town Hospital and private institutions.
How to Stay Safe
The virus is spread in large droplets by coughing and sneezing. In response, James Robb MD UC, an American pathologist and the WHO have issued recommendations and precautions to prevent the spread of this disease. These include:
- Avoid touching your face, mouth and
nose - the most common way for the virus to infect you is through your
nose or mouth via your hands.
- Frequent hand-washing with antibacterial soap and water for 10-20 seconds or using alcohol-based hand rub/sanitiser greater than 60%. The virus can only live on your hands for 5-10 minutes
- When coughing/sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – throw away the tissue and wash your hands
- Avoid handshaking - use a fist bump, slight bow, elbow bump, etc.
- If you have fever/cough/difficulty breathing seek medical care early and disclose travel history
- Use disinfectant wipes to disinfect areas that your hands will come in contact with such as the handle and child seat in grocery carts, hand rails on public transport and stairs, etc
- Avoid consuming raw or undercooked animal products
If the droplets fall on a metal surface it will live for at least 12
hours. If you come into contact with any metal surface, wash your
hands as soon as you can with an antibacterial soap. On fabric it can
survive for 6-12 hours, so avoid sneezing in your elbow, if possible.
The virus can also be spread on cell phone screens, handles and handsets
and will be potent for up to seven days.
Advice for Home Isolation
If you are experiencing any symptoms or have been advised to isolate your self at home, here are some tips:
- Stay home- Do not go to work, school, or public areas until you have been told by the Public Health Department that is safe to do so. You will need to ask for help if you require groceries, other shopping or medications.
- Separate yourself from others in the home- You should stay in a well-ventilated room with a window to outside that can be opened, separate from other people in your home. Use a separate bathroom and towels from the rest of the household, if available. If you have to share these facilities, regular cleaning will be required. If you live in shared accommodation with a communal kitchen, bathroom and living area, you should stay in your room with the door closed, only coming out when necessary, wearing a face mask. Avoid using the area while others are present.
- Call your doctor or flu hotline before visiting- If your symptoms are getting progressively worse and you need to see a doctor, you should discuss what you are experiencing in advance over the phone. This will ensure that your healthcare provider can take steps to minimise contact with others. If it is an emergency and you need to call an ambulance, inform the call handler or operator that you are being tested for COVID-19.
- Practice good hygiene- Cover your mouth and nose with a disposable tissue when you cough or sneeze and dispose of it into a plastic waste bag. Immediately wash your hands with soap and water after you cough, sneeze or touch any surface.
- Do not have visitors in your home- If it is not essential for someone to visit, talk over the phone. This will minimise the chances of the virus spreading.
- Avoid sharing household items- You should have designated dishes, drinking glasses, eating utensils, towels, bedding or other items to avoid sharing them with other people in your home. After using these items, wash them thoroughly with soap and water. Laundry, bedding and towels should be placed in a plastic bag.
- Handling waste- All waste that has been in contact with the individual should be put in a plastic rubbish bag and tied when full. The plastic bag should then be placed in a second bin bag and tied. Do not dispose of it or put it out for collection until you know that patient does not have COVID-19.
Countries Affected by the Virus
At the time of publication (19/01/2021) there are 219 countries/regions affected by COVID-19 and a total of 96,112,117 confirmed cases, 2,052,102 deaths and 68,778,147 recovered cases.