People visiting the Sister Islands from Grand Cayman are no longer required to undergo a COVID-19 test prior to their trip.
Premier Alden McLaughlin announced the change to the regulations at Friday’s press briefing.
As of Sunday, 19 July, people travelling between the islands can simply book a flight without taking a PCR test or notifying public health officials, so long as the travellers have been in the Cayman Islands for more than two weeks.
The Sister Islands have been COVID-free for several months, but with sporadic positive cases still being recorded in Grand Cayman, regulations previously had required that travellers from Grand Cayman return a negative coronavirus test before being allowed to fly to the Brac or to Little Cayman.
With just three positive cases in Grand Cayman announced during the month of July and only two cases still considered to be active, government officials have decided that it is safe to allow inter-island travel.
The premier also announced that boat travel between the three islands, for leisure purposes, is now also allowed.
Restrictions on international travel remain in place. The government on Friday announced that a phased reopening of the borders would begin on 1 Sept.
No cases of coronavirus have ever been reported on Little Cayman, where the entire population has been tested. A small number of cases were reported on Cayman Brac, but no one on that island has tested positive since May.
Shelter-in-place and curfew regulations were lifted on both of the Sister Islands in early May.
New regulations relating to COVID-19 prevention and suppression on the Sister Islands were released over the weekend.
Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell, at Friday’s briefing, said staycations on all three islands were “up and running”. “People are really enjoying it and reintroducing themselves to Caymankind,” he said.
Cayman Airways is gradually increasing the number of flights to the Sister Islands, the airline announced in a press release on Monday.
Paul Tibbetts, Cayman Airways executive vice president of commercial affairs, said a return to normal domestic flight operations is expected to create significant demand as Cayman residents look internally for summer activities while the country’s international borders remain closed.
“Flight operations between Grand Cayman and our Sister Islands are a very important and meaningful part of our national airline’s service to our country, so we are thrilled and ready to welcome passengers on board again now that the government has deemed it safe to do so,” Tibbetts said. “Whether you’re a resident of the Sister Islands or live on Grand Cayman, additional flights are currently being added just in time for summer getaways.”