It's unlikely that cruise ships will be returning to Cayman anytime in 2021, Premier Alden McLaughlin says.

Cruise ships are unlikely to return to Cayman’s waters this year, Premier Alden McLaughlin said Thursday.

The premier said he was optimistic that Cayman’s vaccine programme could mean a resumption of some travel and tourism from March, but he ruled out cruise tourism for the time being.

“Cruise is not on our radar at all at this stage,” he said. “We would have to be satisfied that the world was in a very different place in terms of safety related to COVID-19 before we would even consider having the cruise ships come here.

“As they have demonstrated, they are really crucibles for the virus because of the way people have to live in such confined spaces and in such close contact with each other.

“Honestly, I don’t see cruise tourism resuming on any sort of significant level before next year.”

He said that was likely to be a global issue, not just for Cayman.

From government’s perspective, he said, it was simply not part of the current focus.

“The cruise ship business is not really within our contemplation at this stage.”

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