Those who have been dreaming of white sandy beaches, turquoise water, and bespoke luxury in the Cayman Islands can soon make their dreams a reality: the Cayman Islands has announced plans to begin safely welcoming back tourists to Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac, and Little Cayman via an intentional phased reopening approach.
“Since March 2020, the Cayman Islands has been deliberate in all efforts to protect our people and visitors; from rapid and widespread testing, investing in the Caymanian workforce and implementing a phased strategy to safely reopen our shores to luxury-seeking visitors, the health and safety of our community was paramount in all decisions,” said Minister for Tourism and Transport, Hon. Kenneth Bryan. “My colleagues and I in government have worked tirelessly to develop this phased approach in preparation for the opening of our borders to international travellers – and we are pleased to announce the wait for paradise is almost over! Our guests will appreciate the impactful developments and enhancements we’ve made to the destination – surely proving that Cayman is worth the wait.”
Beginning in early March 2020, the Cayman Islands swiftly and effectively closed its borders to international travel and cruise traffic to protect travellers and residents from the global pandemic and emerged from the crisis as a beacon of hope, preserving the picturesque sunrise, friendly stingray kisses, world-class cuisine, and warm Caymankindness for years to come. The new five-phase approach to reopening will continue to safeguard the Caymanian population, while also carefully allowing international visitors to enjoy the sun, sand, sea and safety of Cayman once again.
The Cayman Islands Government (CIG) has worked closely with health authorities, public sector, and private sector to develop this five-phase approach to ensure a safe and healthy experience for those working in the industry and the visitors who choose to experience the bespoke luxury that the island destination is known for across the globe. Phases of reopening include:
- Phase 1: Reduced Quarantine Period | June 2021
In this stage, the Cayman Islands has reduced quarantine periods and eased other travel restrictions. For fully vaccinated and securely verified travellers, a mandatory five-day quarantine is in place; unvaccinated travellers are required to undergo a 14-day isolation period.
- Phase 2: Reduced Repatriation Restrictions | August 9, 2021
In this phase, additional travel restrictions will be eased, including the removal of GPS monitoring. All local businesses must adhere to the advanced safety protocols issued by regulators and Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) guidelines. All travellers will continue to apply for entry authorisation via the Travel Cayman Portal.
- Phase 3: Limited Introduction of Tourism | September 9, 2021
This phase, subject to the achievement of 80% on-island vaccination rate, will allow for a limited introduction of tourists with secure verification of vaccination status. Cruise travel will not be permitted during this phase. All travellers will continue to apply for entry via the Travel Cayman Portal.
- Phase 4: Reduced Quarantine Restrictions | October 14, 2021
Quarantine requirements will be removed for all securely verified, fully vaccinated travellers. Unvaccinated visitors will be required to apply for entry via Travel Cayman and quarantine upon arrival for a 14-day period. Additionally, all travellers must declare travel and vaccination status on the Travel Cayman Portal.
- Phase 5: Travel for Unvaccinated Children | November 18, 2021
While cruise tourism remains prohibited at this stage, unvaccinated children (under age 12) will now be allowed to travel with vaccinated adult tourists; no quarantine period will be required for children. Unvaccinated visitors above the age of 12 will be required to quarantine for 14-days.
- Welcome Back | Assessed January 27, 2022
Once the country has completed all five phases and following a thorough assessment from the Government and health officials, the Cayman Islands will celebrate its Grand Re-Opening, welcoming all travellers without quarantine or travel restrictions. At this time, cruise tourism may resume.
At all phases, Public Health officials will monitor the prevalence rate and spread of COVID-19. Transition between stages will be determined by a myriad of factors. At all phases, all inbound travellers are required to make a declaration of travel and vaccination status on Travel Cayman Portal, and present the declaration certificate, vaccination documents, and provide proof of medical insurance which includes coverage for COVID-19 upon arrival.