Got COVID Travel Concerns? Consider The Cayman Islands
So, you’re fully vaccinated and anxious to escape back to the Caribbean! COVID’s recent comeback, though, is giving you some serious pause. Indeed, it seems that even the fully-vaccinated among us are susceptible to the Delta variant. So where, outside of your own private island, can you go in the Caribbean and be most assured of avoiding COVID travel trouble? By several measures, the best answer is the Cayman Islands.
Full vaccination is the veritable golden ticket to global travel. Many destinations have made it a requirement for entry. At the same time, COVID-conscious travelers are increasingly choosing their escapes based on vaccination rates.
The Most Vaccinated Corner of the Caribbean
In the Caribbean, nowhere is as vaccinated as the Cayman Islands.
More than 70% of the population is fully vaccinated right now! (Mid-June 2021.) This ranks fourth in the world, according to statistics compiled daily by OurWorldInData.org.
Sounds like the Cayman Islands are a great choice, right? Time to jet off immediately to enjoy all that Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac, and Little Cayman have to offer!
Err…not so fast.
2021 Covid Travel to The Cayman Islands
Ever since the earliest days of the pandemic, the Cayman Islands has maintained some of the world’s most stringent COVID travel restrictions. Even as things stand now, Cayman will not be fully open for travel until January 2022!
Jetting there in the intervening months, though, is possible. Just this week, Cayman announced a new five-phase plan toward full reopening. Here are a few details…
Phase 1 – The initial COVID travel reopening phase covers the months of June and July 2021, extending to August 9, 2021. Fully vaccinated travelers can enter the destination freely during this period, though they will be subject to a mandatory five-day quarantine. Non-vaccinated folks can visit as well, though their quarantine period is 14 days. All travelers wishing to enter the Cayman Islands must also register via the destination’s online travel portal with a negative PCR test result . Oh, and you’re be subject to mandatory GPS tracking during your quarantine period, no matter your vaccination status. Most importantly, phase 1 (and phase 2) only apply to Caymanian nationals, residents and those with work permits, and other with close ties to the islands (e.g.: property owners). If this isn’t you, then skip to phase 3.
Phase 2 – A few restrictions will be lessened for travel between August 9 and September 9, 2021. For instance, if you’re fully vaccinated and have securely verifiable documents to prove it, then you’re free from the GPS tracking.
Limited Introduction of Tourism… But No Kids
Phase 3 – This phase sees the doors to Cayman swing open to many of us, if only slightly. Beginning September 9, 2021, fully vaccinated travelers can escape to the Cayman Islands once more! PCR test, online portal registration, and five-day quarantine restrictions still apply, however, and travel insurance is a must. As well, unvaccinated kids under the age of 12 will not be allowed to enter the destination at all. Note: elevation to phase 3 is contingent upon the destination achieving an 80% vaccination rate among local residents. This, of course, is virtually a slam dunk considering the 70% level they’re at right now.
Phase 4 – Beginning October 14, 2021, COVID travel to the Cayman Islands will no longer require a quarantine period! This solely applies to fully vaccinated travelers, of course. Travel insurance, portal registration, and PCR test requirements, though, remain in effect. Oh, and unvaccinated kids 12 and under are still prohibited.
‘Tis The Season
Phase 5 – Just in time for the Holidays, Cayman will be just about all the way back open. Kids 12 and under are welcome to return as of November 18, 2021…even if they’re unvaccinated! Said kids must be accompanied by a fully vaccinated adult, though. Online portal, PCR test, and travel insurance are all still musts.
No Cruise Ships
Notably, cruise travel to the Cayman Islands is banned during the entire five-phase reopening period. For uncommon travelers always keen on avoiding hoards of cruise travelers, this presents a unique opportunity. Imagine enjoying Rum Point or Stingray City without crowds? Sure sounds appealing to me…
For full details on the Cayman Islands COVID travel reopening plan, visit the destination’s official tourism website.