The UK’s looming lockdown will not impact British Airways air-bridge flights to Cayman, government officials have confirmed.
Cayman Islands representative to the UK and Europe, André Ebanks, in a statement issued Wednesday afternoon, said Thursday’s scheduled BA flight will go ahead as planned, and flights in the coming weeks will also not be affected.
“Based on continued discussions and a productive dialogue with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, [the Cayman Islands Office in the UK] has been able to confirm that the new [lockdown] measures permit essential international travel and British Airways have not cancelled [Thursday’s] upcoming flight to Cayman,” he said in the statement.
The UK is set to enter into a four-week lockdown starting Thursday as part of new COVID-19 restrictions implemented by the Boris Johnson-led government. The proposed measures were passed in the House of Commons Wednesday afternoon, with 516 MPs voting to support them and 38 opposing them.
The month-long lockdown, Johnson said, will end on 2 Dec.
Under the UK lockdown restrictions, “People cannot travel internationally or within the UK, unless for work, education or other legally permitted exemptions,” the British government has said.
Cayman’s UK Office confirmed that the British Airways flights to Cayman should continue as planned as the newly enacted lockdown measures permit essential international travel, similar to the spring/summer lockdown.
Since the lockdown announcement was made over the weekend, the Cayman Islands UK Office officials have been in discussions with the FCDO on the implications for the Heathrow-Cayman air-bridge flights.
“It is our office’s pleasure to report the outcome of these discussions and developments with travellers scheduled to travel between the UK and Cayman tomorrow and the weeks ahead. And we wish to thank the FCDO for their responsiveness and close communication with our office, as usual,” Ebanks said in the statement.
He reminded that all travellers flying to the Cayman on the BA flight from the UK must have a copy of their Travel Cayman authorisation certificate (printed copy or electronic) when checking in with British Airways at London Heathrow as proof of international travel authorisation to the Cayman Islands.
On Wednesday, the UK reported that 25,177 people have tested positive for COVID-19 and another 492 have died after contracting the virus.
UK media reports say Wednesday’s death toll is the highest daily total for Britain since May.
The UK has now reported a total of 47,742 COVID-19 fatalities.
From Thursday, pubs, restaurants and non-essential shops will be forced to close their doors.
Prior to the vote, National Health Services England announced it is moving to its highest alert level from midnight.