Cayman’s COVID-19 climate is changing rapidly, and as we are within the process of conducting a phased border reopening, there are new details about airport arrival, isolation facilities and safety precautions that you must know prior to travelling.
We are sure that you will have many more questions about the process, especially now with the launch of the National Vaccination Programme. That’s why we have answered all of the most frequently asked questions for you! To know more about quarantining, arrival processes and more, read the FAQs below!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What happens when I get to the airport?
On arrival, the isolation team will greet you at the airport. You must have your passport and the isolation confirmation email ready on your phone (or printed), ready for identification.
There are several steps that must be taken before you can be released from the airport and transported to your approved quarantine location. The Cayman Islands Government have advised the following steps.
1. NOTE: You are only fitted with a wristband if you are participating in the Quarantine at Residence programme. You will be fitted with your iMSafe smart wristband at the General Aviation Terminal of the airport – this is new monitoring technology that you wear as a bracelet. Fitting and activation will take approximately 5 minutes or less per traveller. The wristband is light-weight, hypoallergenic, waterproof, latex free and is completely unobtrusive. Children who are 5 years old and up will be fitted with a smart wristband.
2. After this, you will proceed to the COVID-19 testing station to be swabbed for your initial PCR Test. Please note your test result will be sent to the email address provided within 24 hours. (Children ages 5 and up will undergo testing at the airport, although they don't necessarily have to provide a negative PCR result before travelling).
3. The Cayman Islands Government have arranged for authorised transportation to take you directly to your approved quarantine location. No stops of any kind will be permitted on the way there! You are also not allowed to arrange private transportation for safety purposes. The public will not be allowed into the airport so please advise any family members or friends not to come to the airport on the day you arrive.
2. Do I have to quarantine in a government facility or a hotel?
No! One of the most integral things to bear in mind is that you no longer have to quarantine at a government-led isolation facility, whether you are a Caymanian or a permanent resident. Caymanians and residents, subject to approval, can now quarantine at a private facility or at home. There are also more quarantine options for work-permit holders and property owners.
3. Do I have to get a COVID-19 PCR test before I fly?
Yes. As of 14thJanuary 2021, all arriving travellers aged 10 and over MUST have a COVID-19 PCR (Polymerase chain reaction) test prior to travelling. This test must be taken no more than 72 hours prior to your flight, and you MUST provide evidence of a negative result on your swab (from your upper airways) before you travel.
4. If I didn’t take the test, can I still travel?
No. Airlines will reject boarding to anyone who cannot prove they have had a negative PCR test result within the last 72 hours.
5. How do I provide my test results?
Printing out a paper copy of your results after you have received them is ideal. However, if you show the test results on your phone, that is also fine. Your results must also be from an accredited laboratory or institution such as a UKAS accredited laboratory or the NHS, National Health Laboratories or other government approved providers.
6. I've received a negative test result but my children haven't been tested. Can we still travel together?
That depends how old your children are. If your children are aged 10 and older, they cannot travel unless they provide a negative PCR result no more than 72 hours prior to departure. Parents are responsible for keeping records of their children's test results (that is, if they are age 10 and above). If your child is below the age of 10 they do not need to take a COVID test before they travel (but if they are 5+, they will have one upon arrival in Cayman).
7. Do I have to have another PCR test when I arrive in Cayman?
Yes, you do. All travellers will be tested again on arrival.
8. Is the quarantine period shorter now?
No. The quarantine period is still 14 days. Travellers
must take a day 15 COVID-19 test, and can only be released 24-72 hours
later if a second negative result is received.
9. I'm Caymanian and I don’t want to quarantine in a government facility... What should I do?
As of October 2020, there are now three options available to you:
- Quarantine at Residence
- Quarantine at a Government Run Facility
- Quarantine at a Privately Run Facility
Government Run facilities previously included The Wyndham Reef Resort
and Comfort Suites. Now, there are more options available in Palm Heights, The Ritz-Carlton, Sunshine Suites, St. Matthew’s Hall and St. Matthew’s Residence.
You also don’t have to choose any of these. As long as you are fitted
with an iMSafe wristband, and applied previously to Travel Cayman,
telling them where you would like to quarantine and received approval
from them, you are good to quarantine at your home or a private accommodation of your choosing (again, subject to approval from Public Health officials).
10. How do I prepare for quarantine? How will I know if I’m ready?
Preparing to isolate for a period of 14 days may seem like a daunting, stressful task. There are a variety of things to worry about, such as toiletries and medications, and if you have children, the stress may double. However, if you plan ahead and think about what you will need to be able to stay in your home for the full 14 days, it will be a much easier, smooth endeavour. The Cayman Islands Government recommends that, to prepare:
- If you are taking any medication, please be sure to bring along an adequate supply to ensure you have enough while in quarantine. A one-month supply is recommended.
- If your household includes others, ensure they are aware of the quarantine requirements and are prepared to quarantine with you or find alternative accommodation prior to your arrival.
- Ask friends or family to drop off anything you need or order supplies online ahead of your arrival.
11. I have family at home – do they have to quarantine, too?
Yes. Everyone in your household are subject to the same regulations. According to the Cayman Islands Government, yourself and your family members must:
- Wear an iMSafe wristband
- Quarantine in a location that has been approved
- Have a COVID PCR test upon arrival at the airport and on the 15th day of the isolation period
- Remain in isolation for a minimum of 14 days, of which when the mobile compliance team will visit your household and begin the ‘off-boarding’ process, A.K.A., when yourself and your family are free to leave the home.
12. I live in an apartment complex – can I use the pool and other communal facilities?
No – you are not allowed to use communal areas. You must stay within your geo-fencing perimeter. You are only allowed to use private areas, such as a private yard or outdoor balcony.
13. Can I have visitors while I quarantine?
No. You are not allowed to have ANY individuals enter your home or your yard space, even if you are not even inside of your home at the time. This includes all family members, friends, food delivery persons, work colleagues and domestic helpers. Any breach in the terms and conditions may cause you to be forcibly removed from the Quarantine at Residence programme and placed in a Government Run facility. Committing an offence is also a breach of the Public Health Law and regulations made to control the spread of Coronavirus.
14. Can I leave my place of quarantine? What if it’s an emergency?
For no reason whatsoever are you allowed to leave your place of isolation. The only exemption is if you have received advance authorisation from the Medical Officer of Health or in the case of an emergency (again, which has been approved).
15. I don’t want to quarantine at home anymore. I want to go somewhere else. What do I do?
If you decide midway that you do not want to participate in the Quarantine at Residence programme anymore (after you have been fitted with a wristband and transported), you will have to complete the remainder of isolation in a Government Run facility, which can result in incurring costs of CI$9,000 or more.
16. What if I break my wristband?
You are responsible for any tampers or damages to your geofencing device. You must make sure that your device: has at least 30% of charge in the battery; has Mobile Data services enabled, including for the Tracesafe application; and remains in the same room as you within your place of isolation.