Mandatory COVID-19 tests for unvaccinated travellers leaving Grand Cayman for the sister islands and strict boating restrictions are just some of the new COVID-19 regulations being implemented this week.
On Friday, 17 Sept., the PACT Government released the Prevention, Control and Suppression of COVID-19 (Travel and Boating) Regulations, 2021, which will be in effect Tuesday, 21 Sept. to 17 Nov.
Travel from Grand Cayman to the Sister Islands
Section 3 of the new regulations require anyone five years and older to either provide proof of having received an approved vaccination at least 14 days prior to the trip, or provide a negative PCR test within 48 hours prior to departure.
In instances when a person is travelling by air, this proof must be provided to the relevant airline company. Where the person is travelling by boat, the information must be given to a Customs and Border Control Officer.
In addition, travellers must not be showing any respiratory symptoms of COVID-19.
If travellers show any respiratory symptoms associated with COVID-19 after they arrive in Cayman Brac or Little Cayman, they are to be managed by a Medical Officer of Health, as per Section 4, at an approved facility.
Depending on the purpose of travelling, the person may be required to pay for the costs associated with their quarantine at the government approved facility while in the sister islands.
Approved travel includes returning students and or parents who travelled with their children for school, travel for the purpose of government business, a member of a national sporting team and or parent who travelled to represent Cayman, travel for medical reasons.
Use of boats in Cayman’s waters
Persons using boats capable of carrying more than 40 people, for purposes separate from fishing, must ensure that there is no more than 100 persons on board or 70% of the operating capacity – whichever is less.
The new regulations also restrict boat operators from congregating in with other vessels in circumstance that would lead to the total number of people exceeding 100.
Use of boats for fishing in Cayman waters
Any boat operator seeking to leave Cayman’s waters must first receive clearance from Customs and Border Control. The new regulations mandate that fishing boats leaving Cayman’s waters have no more than 25 people, and they must return no later that 48 hours after their departure.
Anyone who uses a fishing boat to leave Cayman’s waters and returns must comply with the directions of a Medical Officer of Health’s instructions on isolation, and any additional health monitoring.
If persons return to Cayman following a fishing begin to show respiratory signs of COVID-19, they must quarantine at a place approved by the Medical Officer of Health, and they may be required to pay for the cost of their accommodations while in isolation.
Persons aboard a fishing vessel must not congregate with other vessels in circumstances where the total number of people exceeds 25.
Anyone who breaches these penalties could face a fine of up to $10,000 and or two years in jail.