Countries throughout the world have introduced specific entry requirements for anyone crossing their borders, as governments continue to grapple with COVID-19.

From testing before travel to mandatory quarantines, authorities are trying to manage who comes in to ensure COVID-19 stays out.

Here in Cayman, the seaports and airports remain closed for leisure travel, with only international repatriation flights and sea-freight deliveries being allowed entry.

The Cayman Compass takes a look at the requirements some countries have introduced to allow travellers to enter their jurisdictions.

Cayman Islands
The Cayman Islands government locked down borders in March, within days of the first confirmed case of the novel coronavirus.

- Advertisement -

Last month, Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell revealed the first part of government’s phased plan to allow people to travel to Cayman from 1 Sept. That plan has since been revised, with borders now set to reopen on a phased basis from 1 Oct.

The proposed reopening, when initially announced, included a negative COVID-19 test taken 72 hours before departure. Upon arrival, visitors will receive a health-monitoring device known as a BioButton. They will then be taken to monitored self-isolation for five days at wherever they are staying.

The BioButton, an on-body sensor for scalable remote care, will be part of Cayman’s COVID-19 reopening plan. –  Photo: BioIntelliSense, Inc

A COVID test will be administered at the end of that five-day period, and, if the result is negative, visitors can leave isolation but must continue to wear the BioButton.

Masks are required when travelling and in the airport.

The initial phase of reopening the borders is targetted mainly at residents and people who own second homes on the islands, rather than tourists; and only repatriation and charter, rather than commercial, flights will be arriving.

United States
The US did not close its borders, but it has placed restrictions on visitors from certain countries.

Foreign nationals who have been to China, Iran, UK, Ireland, Brazil and the European Schengen area during the previous 14 days may not enter. The Schengen area includes Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City.

Individual states have outlined their own restrictions for interstate travel, including mandatory self-quarantine orders for 14 days.

For European destinations, travel restrictions vary from country to country. However, some measures apply to all 27 members of the European Union, and include a ban on visitors from the US.

Leisure travel from non-EU countries was banned until 1 July, when the EU opened its borders to visitors from 14 countries.

However, that ‘white list’ has since been reduced to 11.

The remaining countries from which visitors are welcome are Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay. China is also being considered for inclusion, subject to confirmation of reciprocity.

United Kingdom
The UK, like the European Union, has produced a list of exempted countries from which visitors are allowed.

Arrivals from many of the countries on that list, which includes the Cayman Islands, are not required to self-isolate upon arrival in the UK.

Residents or visitors travelling to Britain must provide their journey and contact details.
Those not from the approved list of countries will need to self-isolate in the place they are staying for the first 14 days after arrival.

Anyone who refuses to provide contact details can be fined £100 (CI$108) or more. Refusal to isolate could result in a £1,000 (CI$1,080) fine, or further action.

Travel to Canada for tourism, recreation or entertainment is currently prohibited, and only essential travel is allowed, e.g. for repatriation.

At this time, only Canadian citizens, permanent residents, people registered under Canada’s Indian Act or individuals deemed to be ‘protected’ by immigration and refugee authorities, are allowed entry.

A mandatory quarantine plan demonstrating how the individual will isolate for 14 days is required.

Anyone displaying COVID-19 symptoms will not be permitted to enter, regardless of the reason for travel.

For travellers seeking to visit Antigua, a negative COVID-19 test result, taken within seven days of their flight, is required. This requirement also applies to transiting passengers.

Children under 12 years of age are not required to present a COVID-19-negative test result.

Passengers arriving by sea are subject to quarantine, according to guidelines issued by the Port Health authority.

All travellers are subject to assessment by Port Health staff for signs and symptoms of COVID-19, through a series of checks, as well as the completion of a health-declaration form on arrival.

Arriving passengers will be monitored for COVID-19 for up to 14 days. Visitors may be required to undergo further testing for COVID-19 on arrival or at their hotel or place of lodging, as determined by the health authorities.

The Bahamas was among the first in the Caribbean to reopen its borders to visitors. However, a subsequent sharp rise in cases prompted Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis to announce last week that the islands were going back into strict lockdown.

On Monday, he stated that lockdown restrictions would be lifted on a number of islands, including Mayaguana, Inagua, Crooked Island, Acklins, Long Cay, Long Island, Rum Cay and Ragged Island.

International flights are still being allowed in to the Bahamas, but authorities are recommending that only essential travel be undertaken.

Each traveller must submit a Travel Health Visa Application Form prior to travel and produce a negative COVID-19 test, taken no fewer than 10 days before arrival.

A 14-day mandatory quarantine is required for arrivals.

All travellers are required to adhere to national lockdown rules.

Bermudian authorities require that within 48 hours of departure, travellers must complete an online travel authorisation process. A $75 fee per traveller is required, which includes the cost of all COVID-19 testing in Bermuda.

Children aged 9 and younger do not have to be tested at any point, and their travel authorisation fee is $30.

Between three and seven days before departure, visitors must obtain a negative PCR COVID-19 test result.

Travellers must acquire international health insurance that will cover costs associated with a positive COVID-19 diagnosis while in Bermuda.

Upon arrival, travellers must undergo testing at the Bermuda L.F. Wade International Airport. Those with a pre-departure COVID-19 test will quarantine at their accommodation until the local results are ready.

The turnaround time is between six and eight hours in most cases, when arrival happens during the day, but it could be longer.

Masks are required when travelling and in the airport.

Note: Information contained in this article is correct as of 10 Aug., but regulations are being updated regularly by various governments. Travellers are advised to check with the relevant authorities before embarking on travel.

- Advertisement -

Support local journalism. Subscribe to the all-access pass for the Cayman Compass.

Subscribe now