Kirkconnell: Soft reopening a first step

What you need to know: Cayman’s border reopening

Cayman commenced its soft border reopening on 1 Oct. with five international inbound flights, three of which were private planes.

According to Cayman Islands Airports Authority stats shared with the Cayman Compass, a total of 191 passengers were expected to touch down on local shores on Thursday alone as government began phase one of its border-reopening plan.

Earlier this week, the Tourism Ministry issued updated protocols for the reopening, widening its safety bubble to allow additional categories of people to enter Cayman.

Previously only Caymanians, permanent residents, work-permit holders and their families could enter Cayman under the phased reopening. Now, residential property owners, those on student visas and relatives of residents (spouses, fiancés, parents, grandparents, siblings) will be allowed entry.

On Thursday, three private flights originating from St. Louis, Missouri; and Naples and Miami in Florida, were expected to land in Cayman, bringing in four passengers in total. The Miami flight had no passengers, but was expected to depart with passengers already here in Cayman.

A British Airways flight from London Heathrow, carrying 143 passengers, was expected Thursday, as well as a Cayman Airways flight from Miami with 44 passengers.

There were three other flights Thursday, but those were from the sister islands.

Cayman’s borders were closed back in March after the country recorded its first COVID-19 case.

After months of deliberating, the doors to Cayman are now slightly ajar, allowing a limited number of passengers in specific categories.

Premier Alden McLaughlin earlier this month said a total of 800 passengers are projected for the month of October.

Those participating in the October pilot phase of the electronic monitoring and geo-fencing home-isolation programme will not have to pay for their devices or their PCR tests, which are requirements for entry.

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