Premier Wayne Panton Announces Cayman Border Reopening Set for 20th November
Premier Wayne Panton has announced during a recent government press briefing that the Cayman Islands border will reopen on 20th November.
This will mean fully vaccinated passengers entering the Cayman Islands will no longer be required to quarantine. Travellers will still be required to test on arrival however the removal of quarantine will allow for the booming tourism industry to resume.
Panton said, “While we’ve had some visitors during the recent months, our tourism partners have always made it very clear that the real economic turnaround will come with the removal of quarantine for vaccinated travellers.
“This now gives us the opportunity as a country to rebuild our reputation, rebuild our world-class tourism destination and get many families and businesses back to work.”
He said Cayman was on the cusp of reaching the 80% vaccination target and he expects that threshold will be reached before 20 Nov.
Panton added that the government was moving forward cautiously with the health of the community as the number one priority.
“COVID-19 will be with us for the foreseeable future. We know there’s no better time than now to continue with our reopening plan,” he said.
“We’ve looked at this issue every which way. We don’t see… a better time to do this. So this is our time. This is the moment that the country will go forward and succeed.”
Tourism Minister Kenneth Bryan confirmed during the conference visitors will still be required to show proof of a negative PCR test within 72 hours of arrival and proof of vaccination.
With those conditions met, he said, “visitors will be allowed to head straight to their hotels to begin enjoying all that the Cayman Islands vacations have to offer.”
Bryan acknowledged that it had been a “long and difficult year” for tourism but highlighted the announcement of the reopening date and the return of commercial air services, which began last Saturday, as the beginning of the recovery.
“There are now four airlines with confirmed routes to the Cayman Islands, namely, British Airways, JetBlue, Air Canada and Cayman Airways. I thank these airlines for the confidence that they are showing in the government’s reopening strategy, and I hope that following today’s announcement, the other international carriers will consider bringing their return dates forward in line with the government’s commitment to reopening.”
Bryan said the ministry and department of tourism would continue to work with the private sector to fine-tune preparations to welcome back visitors.
As the tourism industry prepares for a “new reality of living with COVID”, he said vaccination levels in the industry were extremely high, mask mandates would be in place and that training was taking place to ensure safe interactions with visitors.