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COVID-19 Guidance: Inbound Travel

Cayman Islands Government
Published: October 8 2020
Last Updated: June 4, 2021

Cayman Islands Inbound Travel Guidance

This page covers information relating to inbound travel in regards to COVID-19 in the Cayman Islands.

Persons wishing to travel inbound to Grand Cayman must apply via the Travel Cayman portal.

Travellers who have not completed this process and travellers who have not received authorisation to travel will not be permitted to board a flight.

Inbound flights to the Cayman Islands are currently available for:

  • Caymanians,
  • Permanent residents,
  • Work permit holders and their families,
  • Persons who own residential property within the Cayman Islands,
  • Students with a valid visa to study in the Cayman Islands,
  • Persons with close family ties to residents or work permit holders - spouses, fiancés, parents, grandparents and siblings
  • Persons approved on the Global Citizen Concierge Program,
  • Other visitors approved via the Travel Cayman team.

Persons applying to travel as a Work Permit holder or Permanent Resident, or as a dependant of a permit holder or permanent resident, must ensure that the permit or facility is fully approved, with all fees paid, prior to applying to travel. If you are unsure of your immigration status, please contact Workforce Opportunities and Residency Cayman (W.O.R.C.) via email at WORC.Administration@gov.ky or via phone at 1(345)945-9672.

All in-bound travellers are required to:

  • Effective  14 January, 2021, undergo pre-arrival PCR testing if aged 10 years or older. Learn more here.
    • Effective Friday, 14 May, 2021 if the traveller has completed a full course of vaccination by the HSA against COVID-19 disease at least 14 days before boarding they are not required to undergo pre-arrival testing and will be allowed to board as long as they present the original vaccination card at airline check-in and Passport control upon arrival.
  • Undergo COVID-19 testing upon arrival (day 0) in Cayman and again on day 15; and
  • Remain in quarantine for a minimum of 14 days, after which a PCR test will be required on day 15 where a negative test result and sign off by the Medical Officer of Health is required for the quarantine period to cease. Allow 24-72 hours for off-boarding process, this includes a negative test result and return of monitoring equipment.
Travellers may not leave the Cayman Islands until the mandatory period in quarantine has been completed. If there are exceptional circumstances that require departure on an outbound flight, or by sea, prior to the end of the quarantine period, Travel Cayman must obtain the approval of the Medical Officer of Health. Email requests for early departure to travelcayman@gov.ky.

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Cayman Airways

In partnership with the Cayman Islands Government, Cayman Airways is offering repatriation flights to Grand Cayman from various destinations based on demand. This includes flights from: La Ceiba, Honduras; Kingston, Jamaica; Havana, Cuba; and, Miami, Florida. For the latest news and information on repatriation flights, visit www.caymanairways.com/latest-news

 

Persons wishing to travel inbound on Cayman Airways repatriation flights can book seats directly with Cayman Airways by calling Cayman Airways Reservations on 345-949-2311, or:

  • In the USA, call 305-266-4141 or (toll free) 1-800-422-9626
  • In Jamaica, call 876-613-9105 or (toll free) 866-759-1372
  • In La Ceiba, call (toll free) 800-2791-9422

 

 

British Airways

British Airways is operating a repatriation service between Grand Cayman and Heathrow Airport, UK. This schedule will continue to be reviewed until normal commercial services can be resumed.

Dates for upcoming inbound flights include include 16 June, 30 June, 7 July, 14 July, 28 July, 11 August, 18 August, 25 August, 08 September, and 22 September.

To make a booking contact British Airways directly at www.ba.com 

 

Private Aircraft or Charter Aircraft Operations

If you are intending to travel to the Cayman Islands in a private jet or charter, your aircraft operator must contact the Civil Aviation Authority of the Cayman Islands at civil.aviation@caacayman.com for prior authorisation. The Civil Aviation Authority requires up to 6 days to provide authorisations. For further information please refer to the CAACI website.
 
Persons wishing to travel inbound to Grand Cayman must apply via the Travel Cayman portal.
                          
Note: Some airlines are offering flights to the Cayman Islands and accepting future bookings. However, no airlines have permission to operate commercial flights while our borders are closed. If you make reservations directly with any airline while the island borders are closed you are doing so at your own risk and should be aware that vouchers issued by airlines are not transferable to British Airways or Cayman Airways repatriation flights.
 
 

Pre-Arrival Testing FAQs

Scroll down or click on the questions below to read our pre-arrival COVID-19 testing frequently asked questions for inbound travel to the Cayman Islands:

  1. What is the policy on pre-arrival testing?
  2. What happens if a passenger shows up for check in but does not have evidence of a valid negative PCR test result?
  3. What will happen if a passenger produces a test result that is positive?
  4. When will the pre-arrival tests be checked and by whom?
  5. Do I have to provide a paper copy of my test results?
  6. What will airlines staff and CBC officers check for?
  7. Are tests other than a PCR test acceptable?
  8. Why are rapid antigen tests not acceptable as an alternative to a PCR test?
  9. Why must the sample for the PCR test come from swabbing the upper airways (nasopharyngeal samples)?
  10. What kind of information should be included in my test results?
  11. If travellers have a negative pre-arrival test result, will they still need to take a PCR test on arrival?
  12. Does a negative PCR test result reduce the length of time in quarantine?
  13. Who pays for the pre-arrival PCR test?
  14. Does a negative PCR test result guarantee entry to the Cayman Islands?

 

 

 


What is the policy on pre-arrival testing?

  • Effective 14 January, 2021, pre-arrival testing is required for arriving travellers to the Cayman Islands aged 10 years or older
    • Effective Friday, 14 May, 2021 if the traveller has completed a full course of vaccination by the HSA against COVID-19 disease at least two weeks before boarding they may not be required to undergo pre-arrival testing. Learn more
  • Travellers must provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 PCR test result on a swab from the upper airways, to be taken no more than 72 hours prior to departure on their flight to the Cayman Islands.
  • The test must be from an accredited laboratory.

 

What happens if a passenger shows up for check in but does not have evidence of a valid negative PCR test result?

Airlines will deny boarding to anyone who cannot provide evidence of a valid negative PCR test result from a test taken no more than 72 hours prior to departure.

 

What will happen if a Traveller produces a test result that is positive?

In line with public health guidelines on travel and the movement of people, airlines will deny boarding to anyone who is found to be positive for COVID-19 disease and they will be managed under the requirements in the country where the positive test is made known.

 

When will the pre-arrival tests be checked and by whom?

The traveller’s pre-arrival PCR test result will be checked by an airline representative, as part of the check-in process. It will be checked again, by CBC officers, on arrival.

 

Do I have to provide a paper copy of my test results?

A paper copy is recommended. However, an electronic copy is also acceptable. The negative test result must be presented (printed or electronically on a mobile device) to the airline representative in order to complete the check in for a flight.

 

What will airlines staff and CBC officers check for?

  1. To verify that the name, date of birth provided on test result matches the traveller’s identification details in their passport or other travel documents.
  2. Verify that the test results are for a COVID-19 PCR test from a swab from the upper airways.
  3. Check that the test result is negative.
  4. Check that the test is from an accredited laboratory. For example:
    1. United Kingdom: UKAS accredited laboratory or NHS.
    2. USA/Americas/worldwide:
    3. JC (Joint Commission) or JCI (Joint Commission International),
    4. ISO or COLA (Commission on Office/Laboratory Accreditation) accredited laboratories; or
    5. National Public Health Laboratories or other government approved providers.
  5. Check that the sample for the PCR test was taken no earlier than 72 hours before the date of travel. The test date will count as Day 0 as illustrated below:

 

Earliest Pre-Arrival Test (Day 0) Flight Arrival Date (Day 3)
January 11 January 14

 


 

Are tests other than a PCR test acceptable?

  • A COVID-19 PCR test from an upper airways sample will be accepted; in some cases, this might be termed a NAAT (nucleic acid amplification) test.
  • Rapid antigen or antibody tests are not acceptable.

 

Why are rapid antigen tests not acceptable as an alternative to a PCR test?

The PCR test is far more sensitive in the detection of the virus causing COVID-19. Rapid antigen tests are not as sensitive or accurate as PCR tests for detecting whether someone is positive for COVID-19, particularly when they are asymptomatic.

 

 

Why must the sample for the PCR test come from swabbing the upper airways (nasopharyngeal samples)?

Swabbing the upper airways provides a more accurate result than some other specimen collection methods.

 

 

What kind of information should be included in my test results?

Ideally, the test result should display the following information:

  • Name of individual tested (must be the same on travel document and lab test result)
  • Date of birth of individual tested (must be same on travel document and lab test result)
  • Name and contact information of testing laboratory, and an indication of laboratory credentials
  • Date of sample collection
  • Date of test
  • Type of test (must be PCR)
  • Type of sample
  • Test result (must be negative)

 

If travellers have a negative pre-arrival test result, will they still need to take a PCR test on arrival?

Yes. All travellers are required to take a PCR test on arrival. A 14 day mandatory quarantine period also applies.

 

Does a negative PCR test result reduce the length of time in quarantine?

No. The period of quarantine is unchanged. The protocol are as follows:

  • Travellers must remain in quarantine for a minimum of 14 days, and take a Day 15 COVID-19 test.
  • Travellers must await the Day 15 test result and then if the test is negative, complete the off-boarding process.
  • The test result and off-boarding process combined can take an additional 24-72 hours after the Day 15 test.

 

Who pays for the pre-arrival PCR test?

The traveller has to cover the costs of the pre-arrival test. However, currently no fee is charged for PCR testing on arrival or at the end of the mandatory quarantine period on island.

 

 

Does a negative PCR test result guarantee entry to the Cayman Islands?

No. Those entering as a visitor must meet all normal Cayman Islands immigration requirements including a paid up outbound ticket and sufficient funds to maintain themselves during their stay. Persons from certain countries are required to possess a valid visa.

Work Permit holders and their dependents must ensure that their permit is valid on the day of travel, and that all permit fees have been paid in full. If a permit commences at a future date, then either you must enter as a visitor (and meet all visitor immigration requirements), or your employer must apply for an exemption letter.

 

 

Still have Questions?

Persons with more questions should contact the Travel Cayman team directly by email at TravelCayman@gov.ky or telephone 945-0556 or 946-7858. You can also visit our travel homepage.  

 

Tags: Travel, Guidance

Cayman Islands Government, Government Admin Building, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, Tel: 345 949 7900

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