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 Cayman's current Government restrictions, travel restrictions and much more.
A five-phase reopening plan for Cayman's borders was unveiled by Premier Wayne Panton on July 8th, 2021. Transition through the phases remains dependent on the local and international COVID-19 climate. As of Monday, 22nd November 2021, the Cayman Islands have entered Phase 4 of the Phased Border Reopening Plan. Please see below for a full outline of what regulations pertain to Stage 4, depending on your vaccination status. Click here for more information on the border reopening plan.
Phase 4: Reduced Quarantine Restrictions - Updated December 16th 2021
- Quarantine requirements removed for all securely vaccinated travellers. 10 days quarantine period for unverified vaccinations and 14 days quarantine period for unvaccinated travellers
- Travellers are required to make a declaration of travel and vaccination status, with a declaration certificate issued and vaccination checked on arrival. See this link to start the application.
- Unvaccinated travellers must still apply via Travel Cayman Portal
- Unvaccinated travellers still required to undergo an exit PCR test
- Return to School PCR test required for all unvaccinated children age 5+ returning from international travel
- All vaccinated travellers must get a certified Lateral Flow Test done on days 2, 5 and 10 after arrival. This costs CI$25 and there are many places in Cayman where you can get this done. If you test positive on any of these tests then you must immediately take a PCR test, which is no longer free, and must quarantine for 10 days if fully vaccinated and 14 days if not fully vaccinated. You must then take a PCR test and can only leave isolation once you receive a negative PCR test. Full vaccinated members of your household do not need to quarantine but must take a lateral flow test daily and if negative can leave their home for the day.
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 2022)
Regulations have been put forth under the Public Health Act (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 and follow any regulation issued under the Public Health Act and in accordance with Section 49 of the Police Act. The measures currently in effect include:
Public Gathering Restrictions:
- Face masks/coverings are mandated to wear when using public transport, at health care facilities, institutional care homes, places of detentions, airports and businesses when required by owner/tenant.
- Up to 100 people now allowed to gather indoors and up to 250 can gather outdoors. In the case where venues/events are split between indoors/outdoors, 100 persons are allowed indoors and 200 persons are allowed outdoors in the respective areas.
- In cases where venues/events take place solely outdoors, and persons are divided into 2 or more partitioned groups, each area (not including staff of the business) are allowed to have max. 250 people in each area (the max. amount of persons at the venue must not exceed 500 total).
- Use of hookah, shisha pipes or water pipes remain prohibited.
- Contact sports are permitted.
- Persons renting any shared scuba or snorkelling equipment must register with the Department of Environmental Health.
- Children over the age of five must wear a mask/face covering in school if they cannot maintain a distance of 6 feet from others
- Masks/face coverings must be worn on the school bus to/from school
Travel between the Islands:
- Anyone five years and older wishing to travel to the Sister Islands must provide proof of vaccination (full course completed at least 14 days prior to the trip) or provide a negative PCR test or a certified lateral flow test within 24 hours of departure
People are still expected to practice physical distancing and maintain good hand hygiene, as well as follow any regulation issued under the Public Health Act and in accordance with Section 49 of the Police Act.
For a detailed breakdown of the rules and regulations, please click here.
Under the Public Health ‘Control of COVID-19 (Testing) Regulations, 2021’, Cayman’s approved testing methods have expanded to include the use of Antigen-Detecting Rapid Diagnostics Tests (Lateral Flow Tests, LFTs).Read More
The National COVID-19 Vaccination Programme began its roll-out to the Cayman public on the 8th of January 2021. Inoculations are free and administered based on a priority-grouping system. As of January 14th 2022, 83% of Cayman's population have now received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccination and 10% have received two doses. 26% of the population have received a booster. There have been 15 deaths related to Covid since the start of the pandemic.
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 Doctor's Hospital for persons exhibiting symptoms or those considered frontline 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 (14/01/2022), there were 222 countries/regions affected by COVID-19 and a total of 328,526,076 confirmed cases and 5,541,609 deaths.