A British Airways flight from London arrived at Grand Cayman’s airport Monday afternoon, carrying 58 Caymanian students and other residents, who will be quarantined for 14 days in a government-mandated facility.
The passengers were checked upon arrival by Public Health officials and transferred by bus to their quarantine location, a government release read.
The plane also brought in COVID-19 tests and medical equipment, which will allow the territory to improve its testing capabilities.
“We are at a stage where we will now be stepping up significantly our testing capabilities, which is really important, and on the British Airways flight which is arriving, there are 1,700 test kits on there and 200 swabs,” Governor Martyn Roper said before the plane’s arrival Monday.
“I know there are concerns about all this equipment coming in internationally but my office has been involved with supplies from South Korea and China. We’ve been using the British embassies in Seoul and Beijing to do due diligence for us, ensuring that we can be satisfied about the quality.”
The flight was Cayman’s first international arrival since its airports closed on 22 March. The flight first stopped in Bermuda, where it dropped off 129 residents returning to that territory. It also carried British security personnel bound for Turks and Caicos.
When the flight leaves on Tuesday, it will carry 131 people of different nationalities from Cayman, stopping in Nassau before returning to London.
Roper acknowledged that there is demand for individuals in Cayman, many affected by lay-offs in the tourism industry, to travel elsewhere.
“We are clear that there are a number of people who want to go to the US, who want to go to Canada. There are people who want to go to India, the Philippines and Jamaica. We may be able to use another London flight to arrange that,” Roper said.
“Obviously, we will depend on other governments if we can send aircraft to, for example, the US or Canada and so, we will use the Foreign Office’s diplomatic network to help us on that.”
Premier Alden McLaughlin said on Monday that Deputy Premier Moses Kirkconnell is also exploring the possibility of establishing emergency flights to the US.