Cayman Islands Travel & Tourism F.A.Qs
This section covers questions relating to travel and tourism in regards to COVID-19 in the Cayman Islands. Click the links below to skip to the relevant questions or scroll down to read more:Questions About Leaving or Returning to the Cayman Islands
- Are airports closed in the Cayman Islands?
- What do I do if I need to travel while the airport is closed?
- What assistance is available if I am currently outside of the Cayman Islands?
- I am a Caymanian studying abroad and my passport has expired or is not in my possession and I want to return home. What do I do?
- Are cruise ships banned from the Cayman Islands?
- How are cruise ships screened for health when it comes to COVID-19?
- I was planning to go on holiday soon. Can I still go?
- Where can I get the most up-to-date travel advice?
- What If I am an outbound passenger who cannot transit through the United States?
- What if my permission to remain in the Cayman Islands expires?
- Do travellers from the UK need to isolate?
- Do travellers from Cayman need to isolate in the UK?
- Can I travel to the Cayman Brac and Little Cayman?
- Can persons returning to the Cayman Islands isolate at home due to medical circumstances?
- What if I need to leave the Cayman Islands before the end of my quarantine period (14 days)?
- Am I required to have health insurance to enter the Cayman Islands?
- Who qualifies as ‘Other approved visitors’ from 1st October?
Questions About A Phased Border Reopening
Questions About Technology
- How will my personal information be protected if I wear the monitoring technology
- How does the monitoring technology work?
- What happens if the wearer leaves the quarantine location?
- I’ve completed quarantine and have a negative test result. Can I leave my residence
- How do I receive shopping or deliveries whilst I quarantine at home?
- Do I need PCR / COVID-19 test before I travel to Cayman?
- Who can visit person’s in quarantine at residence?
- How are people being transported from the airport?
Questions About Going To The UK
- I need to obtain a visa for the UK?
- How do I get an appointment?
- Can I book an appointment over the phone?
- Where do I go for the biometric appointment?
- How long will the biometrics take?
- What paperwork should I bring?
Questions About Leaving Or Returning To The Cayman Islands
Are airports closed in the Cayman Islands?
Ensuring minimum impact of the COVID-19 virus on the Cayman Islands is the highest priority for the Cayman Islands Government, and this includes consideration on when borders will re-open.
All airports in the Cayman Islands - Owen Roberts International Airport in Grand Cayman, Charles Kirkconnell International Airport in Cayman Brac and the Little Cayman Airport - will remain closed to international leisure and non-essential travel until at least 1 October 2020, according to decisions taken by Cabinet. Official decisions regarding border opening continue to be reviewed by the Cayman Islands Government and further decisions will be announced as available.
Airports in the Cayman Islands were first closed at 11:59pm on Sunday, 22 March 2020.
The Travel Cayman team offers advice and assistance to persons with an urgent and compassionate need to travel during the airport closure. If you need to travel to the Cayman Islands, please contact the Travel Cayman team.
Cargo and courier flights are unaffected by this temporary airport closure and air ambulances will also be allowed to operate as normal.
Chartered flights may carry international passengers with an urgent or compassionate need to travel under strict requirements, including mandatory isolation at a Government-provided facility for Caymanians and residents returning to the Cayman Islands.
What do I do if I need to travel while the airport is closed?
There are no restrictions on outbound travel from the Cayman Islands but non-essential travel is strongly discouraged. If you plan to return, options are limited and your stay overseas may be longer than anticipated.
If you are looking to travel inbound on board a repatriation flight you must also register your travel request with the Travel Cayman team. Travellers who do not complete this process will not be permitted to board a repatriation flight. Persons wishing to travel to Grand Cayman must apply via the Travel Cayman portal.
What assistance is available if I am currently outside of the Cayman Islands?
British Overseas Territories citizens will be provided the same help from the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) when travelling outside the Overseas Territories as they would do to any other British national.
You can also reach out to the Cayman Islands Government Office in the United Kingdom (CIGOUK), which is providing general advice, guidance and updates for Caymanians in the UK. The CIGOUK is working closely with Cayman Connection UK in order to not only disseminate messages and to ensure Caymanians know where they can go for information and support, but also to develop a virtual community of support and togetherness during this time of restricted physical gathering.
Caymanians in the UK looking to return to Cayman should contact the Travel Cayman team.
Mandatory self-isolation for all travellers into the Cayman Islands and their households for 16 days upon arrival in GCM will apply.
I am a Caymanian studying abroad and my passport has expired or is not in my possession and I want to return home. What do I do?
Customs & Border Control will issue a travel authorisation letter to the relevant carrier confirming the passenger’s details and authorising travel to the Cayman Islands.
If you are a Caymanian student studying abroad and are in this situation contact one of the below Customs & Border Control officers.
- Bruce D. Smith: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Shannette Rankin: email@example.com
- Stephene Wright: firstname.lastname@example.org
Are cruise ships banned from the Cayman Islands?
Yes. Seaports remain shut for visitors and returning residents, according to decisions taken by Cabinet. Exceptions will continue to be made for essential services, health emergencies and to accommodate emergency evacuations organised by the Governor's Office.
I was planning to go on holiday soon. Can I still go?
Cabinet advises that the public should avoid all but essential travel until there is a measurable change in the global situation. If you must travel, be sure to check the most recent travel advice for the location.
As countries respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including travel and border restrictions, the FCO advises against all but essential international travel. Any country or area may restrict travel without notice.
You should also keep in mind that airports and ports in the Cayman Islands are currently closed to departing and arriving international passengers.
When are the next Cayman Airways repatriation flights?
Persons wishing to travel outbound on the repatriation flights to Miami or Kingston can book seats directly with Cayman Airways by calling 345-949-2311, 1800-422-9626 (toll free in the USA), or in Jamaica call 876-613-9105 or 866-759-1372 (toll free in Jamaica). Tickets can also be purchased online at www.caymanairways.com
Where can I get the most up-to-date travel advice?
The Ministry of Health advises the public to follow the latest travel advice from the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) at https://gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus. If you're planning to travel abroad, you should also check the country by country travel advice at https://gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
Specific travel advice may also be issued here on http://www.gov.ky/coronavirus
As countries respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including travel and border restrictions, the FCO advises against all but essential international travel. Any country or area may restrict travel without notice. Cabinet also advises that the public should avoid all but essential travel until there is a measurable change in the global situation.
What If I am an Outbound Passenger Who Cannot Transit Through the United States?
The Governor’s office is arranging flights from Grand Cayman to London via the British Airways air bridge. Unless that person can legally stay in the UK, they must check on requirements and have a ticket for onward travel.
It may also be possible to travel via Jamaica on Cayman Airways with approval of the Jamaican Government through their Travel Authorisation process.
What if I am a visitor whose permission to remain in the Cayman Islands expires?
Visitors whose permission to remain in the Islands has expired are not required to submit a Visitor Extension Application.
Visitors will not have to present themselves to a Customs and Border Control Officer and no action will be taken for permission extensions at this time.
We strongly encourage persons to register using our online form and take the necessary steps to leave the island once an opportunity presents itself.
Do Travellers from the UK Need to Isolate?
Yes. The Cayman Islands borders are closed to international leisure and non-essential travellers. Residents returning on repatriation flights are subject to a mandatory minimum of 16 days quarantine in a government managed isolation centre, comprised of 14 days in isolation with testing conducted on the 15th day. Test results take 24-72 hours, and a negative test result is required to leave.
Do travellers from Cayman need to isolate in the UK?
Yes. On 18th January 2021 the UK Government suspended all travel corridors in to the UK meaning all passengers entering the UK now have to self-isolate on arrival for 10 days. There is, however, a Test to Release scheme which allows the 10-day isolation period to be reduced if a private COVID-19 test is paid for by the passenger. More information can be found here. Information for all passengers travelling to the UK can be found here.
Can I travel to the Cayman Brac and Little Cayman?
All airports in the Cayman Islands are closed to international leisure and non-essential travel at least until 1 October 2020. During this time, approved travel to the Sister Islands is restricted to returning residents and to accommodate essential services such as cargo flights, couriers and air ambulance/medical emergency services.
Please also refer to our section on travelling to and from the Sister Islands here.
Can persons returning to the cayman islands isolate at home due to medical circumstances?
Isolation in a government facility is mandatory for all returning travelers. Individuals can request an exemption due to medical reasons through Travel Cayman following an initial assessment by an attending physician. The Chief Medical Officer and the Medical Officer of Health will review the request and make a determination.
What if I need to leave the Cayman Islands before the end of my quarantine period (14 days)?
Travellers who wish to leave the Cayman Islands before the end of the isolation period will be required to have a negative PCR test result and be signed off by the Medical Officer of Health prior to leaving the Cayman Islands.
Am I required to have health insurance to enter the Cayman Islands?
Travellers are strongly encouraged to have insurance which includes COVID-19 coverage before travelling to the Cayman Islands.
From 1st October, 2020 all inbound travelers will be required to attest to a statement which confirms that:
a) that they possess health insurance which includes COVID-19 coverage, or
b) that they understand the financial risks they are taking and that they have independent means to cover their medical costs.
As prescribed under existing Customs and Border Control legislation, government reserves the right to require that travellers who cannot show means to support themselves during their visit provide a written guarantee from a sponsor undertaking that they (the sponsor) will be fully responsible for the costs incurred by the visitor during their stay.
Who qualifies as ‘Other approved visitors’ from 1st October?
The category of ‘Other approved visitor’ includes students with a valid visa to study in the Cayman Islands, and persons with close family ties to residents or work permit holders, namely spouses, fiancés, parents, grandparents and siblings.
Questions About A Phased Border Reopening
Are we using the BioButton in our September & October phases?
No. For September and October, the Government’s Opening plans focus on testing “Geofencing” technology combined with the services an enhanced monitoring and compliance team.
How will participants be selected for the September testing?
Pre-selected participants will be identified based on established criteria, from travellers approved to travel on the BA Flight on 17 September. The number of participants will be limited to the maximum number of households that can be accommodated (estimated at 20-25 households). A variety of different types and locations of accommodations will be chosen to help test how robust the technology is under different circumstances – this will be the basis of how pre-selected participants will be identified.
How will travellers be approved for Quarantine at residence programme?
All travelers will need to apply via the Travel Cayman portal to be assessed for suitability of the programme.
How much will it cost to apply for the quarantine at home programme?
A fee will be applied to the quarantine at home programme of approx. $150-$200 ci. The fee is currently being evaluated but will be considerably less than fees for quarantine in a government facility.
Can anyone qualify for Quarantine at residence programme outside of government-run facilities?
It is anticipated that persons will be able to apply to be considered for Quarantine at residence programme but will need to meet certain criteria. A key part will be that their accommodation will allow them to quarantine safely. The details of this are being worked out by a Civil Service team assigned to this project.
Is the Government requiring travellers to have a PCR test 72 hours before travel?Yes. Effective 14 January, 2021, pre-arrival testing is required for all arriving travellers to the Cayman Islands aged 10 years or older. 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. Read more here
Will the PCR (Molecular) Test on arrival be completed at the airport?
In September The Cayman Islands Government will be testing the ability of Public Health to conduct tests at the airport or at travellers accommodation and we will decide how best this should be done for October.
Will the Sister Islands be included in the September testing or the October Opening Plans?
No. The September testing and the October pilot will be limited to travel to Grand Cayman only.
Questions About Sept 17 Pilot Programme
How will my personal information be protected if I wear the monitoring technology?
While you are wearing the monitoring technology, we will only process the minimum amount of personal data necessary to monitor and support you during your period of quarantine. A range of technical and organisational security measures have been put in place to protect your personal data from unauthorised access. This includes protecting your identity and only allowing an authorised person to access your name and contact details if this is required to follow up on a credible alert.
How does the monitoring technology work?
The Stay Safe Cayman wristband communicates via bluetooth to a custom mobile app on a smart phone and creates a virtual perimeter around the quarantine location.
What happens if the wearer leaves the quarantine location?
An alert will be sent to the monitoring team if anyone wearing a monitoring device goes beyond the boundaries of their quarantine location, tampers with or damages the device, or if your smart wristband stops communicating with the phone, or the phone with the servers.
I’ve completed quarantine and have a negative test result. Can I leave my residence?
Once you have a negative test result confirmed by Public Health you are free to go out into the community and continue life as normal. Although the Cayman Islands are relatively safe from COVID-19, it is still advisable to continue frequent hand washing or sanitizing, avoid touching your face and nose and stay a safe distance from people who are not within your household.
How do I receive shopping or deliveries whilst I quarantine at home?
All major grocery stores plus a wide variety of restaurants offer delivery services.
In all instances, whatever supplies you order, you should use suppliers who offer contactless payment and delivery, which means paying online and having the delivery left outside your door. This is because you (and your household) are not permitted to have direct contact with any individual during your period of isolation. Additionally, you must not physically collect supplies until after the delivery person has left your front door, yard space or property vicinity.
Do not allow friends or relatives to visit or enter your home or yard during your quarantine, even if they have offered to drop off essential supplies. This is to keep them safe.
Do I need PCR / COVID-19 test before I travel to Cayman?
Yes. Effective 14 January, 2021, pre-arrival testing is required for all arriving travellers to the Cayman Islands aged 10 years or older. 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. Read more here
Who can visit person’s in quarantine at residence?
Persons in quarantine at a residence are not permitted to have any visitors, whether friends or family, not even if they have offered to drop off supplies. Anyone found to be in breach of this condition could be required to complete the remainder of their isolation in a Government isolation facility and is liable upon conviction to a fine of ten thousand dollars and imprisonment for two years
How are people being transported from the airport?
All persons who have been approved to quarantine at home will be taken directly to their quarantine location by government approved transport. No stops for any reasons are permitted on the way to the quarantine location.
What are the penalties for breaching Quarantine at Residence?
Any person who leaves their approved quarantine location or otherwise does not comply with the Quarantine at Residence conditions issued by the Medical Officer of Health is liable to a fine of ten thousand dollars and to imprisonment for two years.
In particular it is now an offence for persons quarantined at home to permit another person to visit them. Exceptions include the MOH and persons with written permission from the MOH. While food, grocery and medication delivery services are permitted, delivery persons may not enter any premises where persons are quarantined or have contact with the residents.
The regulations also stipulate that in multi-dwelling premises, such as a condominiums or apartment buildings, these restrictions do not apply beyond the residence in which persons are quarantined.
Questions About Going to The UK
Do I need to obtain a visa for the UK?
For standard visitor visas apply at https://www.gov.uk/standard-visitor-visa/apply
For transit visas apply at https://www.gov.uk/transit-visa
To check if you need a visa for the UK visit https://www.gov.uk/check-uk-visa
How do I get an appointment?
The appointments are assigned as part of the application process – you will be provided with the dates and times that are available and will be able to choose one that suits you.
Can I book an appointment over the phone?
No all appointments are available online only.
Where do I go for the biometric appointment?
Full instructions on where to go and what to take will be provided as part of the application process and when the appointment is confirmed.
How long will the biometrics take?
It is anticipated each appointment will last approximately 15 minutes.
What paperwork should I bring?
Full instructions on what to bring to the appointment will be provided as part of the application process.
Is there a priority service?
No, at this time only the standard visa service is available.
Still have Questions?
For tourism related questions please contact Visit Cayman Islands.