Regulations have been made by Cabinet under the Public Health Law (2002 Revision) for the prevention, control and suppression of COVID-19. The following are currently in force:

This page describes policies that are currently in effect and will be updated as they change. While some of this information is meant to assist with understanding the Regulations, the Regulations remain the authority on what persons should and should not do during this time.

Additional legislation, including Regulations that were previously in force, can be found in the Legislation Gazette Supplements. The "hard" curfew orders - which are no longer in effect on any of the Islands - were enacted under the Police Law (2017 Revision).

The current suppression levels can be found here.

 

 

Public Health

As of 4:30am on Sunday, 21 June 2020, all "hard" curfew orders have been revoked in the Cayman Islands. 

Background

On Monday, 23 March 2020, His Excellency the Governor announced the imposition of a curfew throughout the Cayman Islands. This first announcement described a nightly curfew to begin on Tuesday, 24 March and in effect from 9pm in the evening until 5am in the morning. It was expected to be in force for an initial period of 10 days. Later that same day (Tuesday, 24 March), it was announced that the curfew hours would be longer, running from 7pm in the evening until 5am in the morning.

On Wednesday, 25 March, an extended curfew was announced for the 58-hour period running from 7pm on Wednesday, 25 March through 5am on Saturday, 28 March.

At 5:01am on Saturday, 28 March, the curfew reverted to being a nightly "hard" curfew from 7pm to 5am, accompanied by a new "soft" curfew during the daytime. See also Shelter in Place / Soft Curfew.

On Friday, 3 April, the Commissioner of Police announced the expansion of the hard curfew, to run from 7pm to 5am nightly as well as all day on Sunday going forward, i.e. for 34 hours from 7pm each Saturday evening through 5am the following Monday morning. The Commissioner also announced the period this hard curfew would be in place had been extended to at least 5am on Friday, 17 April.

On Thursday, 16 April, the Commissioner of Police announced a new hard curfew order would come into effect on Friday, 17 April and continue the hard curfew regime until at least 5am on Friday, 1 May.

On Friday, 1 May, the Commissioner of Police confirmed the hard curfew would continue in the same form through 5am on Monday, 4 May. However, from that date forward, the nightly hard curfew hours would be reduced slightly and run from 8pm in the evening to 5am in the morning as well as all day on Sunday. This adjusted hard curfew regime is was in place on Grand Cayman until 5am Friday, 15 May.

On Tuesday, 5 May, the Premier announced the hard curfew would be fully lifted in Little Cayman from that evening.

On Thursday, 7 May, the Commissioner of Police reported the 24-hour hard curfew on Sundays would be lifted in Cayman Brac from that evening. However, the nightly hard curfew from 8pm in the evening to 5am in the morning would continue in Cayman Brac every day until at least Friday, 15 May. 

On Friday, 15 May, the Commissioner of Police announced a new hard curfew on Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac each night, including Sunday, between 8pm in the evening and 5am in the morning. This order ran through Sunday, 31 May. 

On Friday, 29 May, the Commissioner of Police announced an extension of the hard curfew from Monday, 1 June. The new order provided for a daily hard curfew from 8pm until 4:30am until Sunday, 7 June and then from 10pm until 4:30am from Sunday, 7 June. The new imposition of curfew order related to Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac only and was expected to run through Monday, 22 June.

On Friday, 19 June 2020, the Commissioner of Police announced the hard curfew would be revoked across the Cayman Islands from 4:30am on Sunday, 21 June.

All hard curfew orders were imposed under Section 49 of the Police Law and authorised after consultation with the National Hazard Management Executive, which includes the Premier and the Leader of the Opposition. Cabinet also gave its agreement to each order. Orders were reassessed by the Commissioner of Police every 48 hours.

As of Sunday, 21 June 2020, the "soft curfew" or "Shelter in Place" provisions have been lifted and no longer apply to any of the Islands.

However, Regulations under the Public Health Law continue to provide for certain restrictions and requirements, which are detailed throughout this page.

Background

Also referred to as "Shelter in Place", the "soft curfew" was provided for in Regulations under the Public Health Law. This allowed for essential movement during the day, when the "hard" curfew was not in effect. In addition to designated essential workers carrying out their duties, people were able to move only for reasons of health, emergencies, daily exercise and essential tasks. Surname-based restrictions also applied to certain essential tasks at certain times and on certain islands.

Continuing Government's response to COVID-19, Cabinet enacted the Public Health (Control and Suppression of Covid-19) Regulations, 2020 [no longer in force] on Friday, 13 March 2020 to ban processions, festive ceremonies and public gatherings of 50 or more people. These Regulations were amended on Friday, 20 March to also restrict certain operations. Those amendments had the effect of closing bars, nightclubs, gyms, indoor leisure facilities, spas, public and strata pools, cinemas, theatres, concert halls, tourist attractions, museums, galleries, beauty salons, barbers and tattoo shops from Monday, 23 March. Restaurants were also no longer to provide for dining in from the same date and sports group meetings were banned.  

Regulations providing for what is known as "Shelter in Place" or the "soft curfew" were enacted two weeks later, on Friday, 27 March, and repealed the Public Health (Control and Suppression of Covid-19) Regulations, 2020 (as amended). The Public Health (Prevention, Control and Suppression of Covid-19) Regulations, 2020 [no longer in force] came into effect at 5:01am on Saturday, 28 March and were in force through Sunday, 3 May during the hours when the "hard curfew" was not in effect. See also Hard Curfew

These initial Regulations providing for the soft curfew were amended on Monday, 6 April and again on Thursday, 16 April, including to extend the period during which the Regulations would be in effect. On Friday, 1 May, by notice published in the Cayman Islands Gazette (Extraordinary No.37/2020, page 21), Cabinet further extended the operation of these Regulations through Sunday, 3 May.

On Thursday, 30 April, Cabinet enacted a second set of Regulations that also included a "soft curfew", repealing and replacing the previous Regulations (as amended) effective Monday, 4 May. The Prevention, Control and Suppression of Covid-19 Regulations, 2020 [no longer in force] provided for persons to continue to shelter in place while allowing for additional and adjusted exempt operations and activities. These Regulations expired on Tuesday, 19 May.

The Prevention, Control and Suppression of Covid-19 (Little Cayman) Regulations, 2020 [no longer in force] came into effect on Tuesday, 5 May for Little Cayman only. The Prevention, Control and Suppression of Covid-19 (Cayman Brac) Regulations, 2020 [no longer in force] came into effect on Thursday, 7 May for Cayman Brac only. These two sets of Regulations had the effect of not applying the Prevention, Control and Suppression of Covid-19 Regulations, 2020 to those two islands and lifting the "soft curfew", though certain restrictions and requirements were continued. Both of these sets of Regulations expired on 31 May.

The Prevention, Control and Suppression of Covid-19 (Grand Cayman) Regulations, 2020 [no longer in force] provided for a continuing "soft curfew" on Grand Cayman only and were in effect from Tuesday, 19 May through Sunday, 31 May. 

The Prevention, Control and Suppression of Covid-19 (Partial Lifting of Restrictions) Regulations, 2020 [no longer in force] came into effect on Monday, 1 June and made provisions relating to all three islands. However, the "soft curfew" applied only to Grand Cayman. These Regulations were in effect through Saturday, 20 June.

The Prevention, Control and Suppression of Covid-19 (Partial Lifting of Restrictions) (No.2) Regulations, 2020 [no longer in force] came into effect on Sunday, 21 June and did not provide for a "soft curfew" on any of the Islands. These Regulations were in effect until Sunday, 19 July, then they were repealed and replaced by the Prevention, Control and Suppression of Covid-19 (Partial Lifting of Restrictions) (No.3) Regulations, 2020 [no longer in force]. These were replaced by the Prevention, Control and Suppression of Covid-19 (Partial Lifting of Restrictions) (No. 4) Regulations, 2020 [no longer in force]. These were replaced by the Prevention, Control and Suppression of Covid-19 (Partial Lifting of Restrictions) (No. 6) Regulations, 2020. These regulations came into effect on 27 November 2020.

Public gatherings or meetings of more than 500 people indoors are banned in the Cayman Islands at all times.

Public gatherings or meetings of more than 1,000 people outdoors are banned in the Cayman Islands at all times.

Where a venue hosts simultaneous, separate, and unrelated indoor and outdoor gatherings, the total number permitted to gather there is a maximum of 1,500 people, with the break-down as 1,000 maximum gathering outdoors and 500 maximum gathering indoors for the event being held in those respective areas.

All processions are also banned, regardless of the number of people involved, with the exception of those for uniformed or youth organisations.

Details

Leisure, recreational or spiritual activities - including those organised by service clubs, faith-based organisations, community organisations, civic organisations and business organisations - are included in the restrictions on public gatherings.

Churches are included in this restriction. 

Processions, parades, or social activities related to such parades, including carnivals, stage shows, parties and concerts are banned. Processions and parades involving a uniformed service or a youth organisation will be permitted under this legislation

Workplaces are not considered public gatherings, except in spaces where customers and other members of the general public are permitted to have access. 

These restrictions are in place under the Prevention, Control and Suppression of COVID-19, 2021. These Regulations came into effect on 21 January 2021.

Background

Restrictions on public gatherings were first put in place effective Friday, 13 March 2020 and initially banned gatherings of 50 or more people through Regulations made under the Public Health Law.

On Friday, 27 March, Cabinet enacted new Regulations which reduced the maximum number of persons allowed to gather in public to two and introduced additional measures effective 5:01am on Saturday, 28 March. These restrictions on public gatherings were extended through various dates and have been amended and replaced over time, including to gradually increase the number allowed to gather, which has varied by island.

Social distancing and thorough attention to hygiene are the best form of defense against the transmission of COVID-19.

As of Tuesday, 25 August 2020, social distancing is not legally required in public spaces in the Cayman Islands. Persons may or may not choose to practice social distancing as they judge best.

It is recommended to maintain distancing where possible, especially in public places, and consider the use of masks especially for the vulnerable. 

Social distancing means staying at least three feet from any other person who is not a member of your household. It can:

  • Reduce the risk of transmission from persons who may be infected with the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 (whether they are symptomatic or asymptomatic)
  • Reduce the number of people who would have to be isolated should anyone subsequently test positive for the COVID-19 virus

You may wear a mask or cloth face covering outside of your own home. See also When & Why To Wear A Mask In The Cayman Islands.

If wish to wear a mask or cloth face covering, you cannot be denied entry to a public place by the owner or operator.

In certain places, you may be required to wear a mask or cloth face covering. These include:

  • health care facilities
  • residential home care facilities
  • prisons or places of detention
  • airports

The Medical Officer of Health may also allow the owner or operator of other types of public places to require masks. If so, a notice will be issued and this website will be updated to reflect the current policy.

When using a taxi, omnibus or school bus, the driver and all passengers must wear a mask or cloth face covering at all times.

Access to beaches and the sea is no longer restricted by time of day. You are also no longer limited in the amount of time you may spend at the beach and may engage in activities other than exercise.

In all public places, including on beaches and in boats on the sea, gatherings are restricted to no more than 500 persons indoors and 1,000 persons outdoors. See also Public Gatherings.

Background

Public beaches were first closed throughout the Cayman Islands under a "hard curfew" order that was in place from Monday, 13 April 2020. This order was lifted for Little Cayman on Tuesday, 5 May and for Cayman Brac on Thursday, 7 May. The order was lifted for Grand Cayman effective 5am Tuesday, 19 May.

When public beaches were closed for a full 24-hour "hard curfew", this restriction was in place through an order made under section 49 of the Police Law. Access to public beaches was strictly curtailed for any activity, including walking, exercising, swimming, snorkelling, or engaging in any type of marine activity. In the order, "public beaches" meant the portion of the beach that ends at the high watermark, referred to as soft sand. Private owners with beach access were not allowed beyond the high water mark.

In Grand Cayman only, from Tuesday, 19 May, beach access continued to be restricted to Monday through Saturday by surname, for exercise purposes only, and for up to two hours between 5:15am and 7pm pursuant to Regulations made under the Public Health Law. These restrictions were partially lifted from Sunday, 7 June, when beach access was no longer restricted by surname and allowed between 4:45am and 9pm. However, these provisions continued to limit beach access to between 4:15am and 9pm, for up to two hours, and for exercise purposes only between Sunday, 7 June and Saturday, 20 June.

The Prevention, Control and Suppression of Covid-19 (Partial Lifting of Restrictions) (No.2) Regulations, 2020 [no longer in effect] came into effect on Sunday, 21 June 2020 and removed all remaining restrictions on beach access specifically. However, these Regulations continued to provide for restrictions on public gatherings in Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac and required social distancing in public places, including beaches in Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac.

On Sunday, 19 July 2020, the Prevention, Control and Suppression of Covid-19 (Partial Lifting of Restrictions) (No.3) Regulations, 2020 [no longer in effect] came into effect and relaxed certain restrictions. This included increasing the number of people able to gather in public in Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac from 25 to 50. These Regulations also reduced the distance that must be maintained from other persons in public places from six feet to three feet.

On Tuesday, 25 August 2020, the Prevention, Control and Suppression of Covid-19 (Partial Lifting of Restrictions) (No. 4) Regulations, 2020 [no longer in effect] came into effect and relaxed certain restrictions. This included increasing the number of people able to gather in public in the Cayman Islands to 250. 

The Prevention, Control and Suppression of Covid-19 (Partial Lifting of Restrictions) (No. 6) Regulations, 2020 [no longer in effect] came into effect included increasing the number of people able to gather in public in the Cayman Islands to 500.

Effective Saturday 3 October 2020 boats leaving port in the Cayman Islands will  be able to fish outside of territorial waters, without quarantining upon return.
 
Persons must file their travel plans with the Port Authority and Customs and Border Control.
  • This should include the names of the Captain, crew and all passengers.
  • Clearance to depart must be issued by the Customs and Border Control Service.
  • On return all vessels must declare if they have allowed anyone, other than these persons to depart, or board their vessel while on the trip/journey.
Persons will only be authorised to fish at the following areas –
  • 60 Mile Bank- N 20.015388, W 82.034369
  • Pickle Bank- N 19.331364, W81.579896;
  • 12 Mile Bank- N 19.318341, W 81.611573 & N 19.344467, W 81.555659;
  • Lawford’s Bank- N 19.47.000, W 79.13.000; and
  • Fish Attracting Device (FAD) N 19.44.730, W 81.19.573

These restrictions are in place under the Prevention, Control and Suppression of Covid-19 (Partial Lifting of Restrictions) (Travel and Boating) (No.6) Regulations, 2020. These Regulations came into effect on 27 November 2020, expired 31 January 2021, but were extended until 15th April 2021 on January, 20, 2021 by special notice.

You may have no more than 500 persons or the legal capacity (whichever is lesser) on a boat within territorial waters.  

If boats are congregating, the number of persons gathering must not exceed 500 total.

Commercial boats are subject to the same restrictions on the number of passengers.

You may visit Cayman Brac and Little Cayman by boat provided you have been in the Cayman Islands for at least 14 days prior to the date of travel and you are not showing any respiratory symptoms or symptoms of COVID-19. See Inter-Island Travel.

 

Outdoor exercise is no longer restricted by time of day. Public and strata gyms are also allowed to open and contact sports are permitted across the Cayman Islands, subject to certain restrictions and requirements. 

Sports are permitted provided that no more than 500 people shall be permitted at any time as spectators or as participants of the relevant sport indoors, and no more than 1,000 people shall be permitted at any time as spectators or as participants of the relevant sport outdoors.

These restrictions are in place under the Prevention, Control and Suppression of COVID-19, 2021. These Regulations came into effect on 21 January 2021.

In Cayman Islands, no person shall host or attend a wedding which hosts 500 or more persons other than the bride, bridegroom, official witnesses and the marriage officer outside, or 1,000 people outside.

In the Cayman Islands, no person shall host or attend a funeral where there are more than 500 persons inside and no more than 1,000 people outside other than the six pallbearers, at least one officiant and essential mortuary staff.

These restrictions are in place under the Prevention, Control and Suppression of COVID-19, 2021. These Regulations came into effect on 21 January 2021.

Individuals arriving from overseas

All individuals who have not been vaccinated and are arriving in the Cayman Islands from anywhere overseas on or after 16 March 2020 are required to isolate for a minimum of 14 days whether or not they show any symptoms of COVID-19. See also Returning Caymanians & Residents.

All individuals who have been vaccinated arriving in the Cayman Islands from anywhere overseas on or after 22 March 2020 must first provide evidence of the vaccination. Visitors who have been vaccinated are required to isolate for a minimum of 10 days whether or not they show any symptoms of COVID-19.

While airports are closed to international leisure and non-essential travel, Caymanians and residents arriving on flights from any destination will be required to isolate in a Government-provided facility or such other place that is specified by the Medical Officer of Health. See also Closure of Airports & Seaports.

Returning travellers must currently:

  1. effective 14 January, 2021, undergo pre-arrival PCR testing if aged 10 years or older.

  2. quarantine for a minimum of 14 days if not vaccinated (and 10 days if vaccinated)

  3. undergo COVID-19 testing isolate until a negative result has been returned

The Control of COVID-19 Regulations, 2021 also allow for travellers to isolate at a private residence or such other place of isolation as specified by the Medical Officer of Health. You can read more about the Quarantine at Residence programme here.

Where a person arrives in the Islands having been permitted to isolate at a private residence and there are other people living with them the entire household will isolate with them and take directions from the Medical Officer of Health.

For those who are vaccinated, and quarantining at residence, the other occupants at that private residence must have completed an approved vaccine course at least fourteen days before the traveller's arrival. If the household that a vaccinated traveller isolates in are unvaccinated, the quarantine period is a minimum of 14 days for the whole household.

Crew members from any ship or aircraft will self-isolate after arrival until the crew member is due to leave the Islands.

If a person is required by the Medical Officer of Health to stay in a facility of isolation or quarantine, the person is liable to pay for any costs associated with the person’s accommodation in such a facility.

From Monday, 22nd March 2021, the penalty for contravening the Control of COVID-19 Regulations, 2021 or for or presenting false medical certificates or false vaccination certificates upon conviction is a fine of up to ten thousand dollars and imprisonment for up to two years.

Individuals in the Cayman Islands

Anyone who is advised to isolate by Public Health must comply with this requirement.

Anyone who believes they may have come in contact with someone who has COVID-19 should isolate at home for 14 days.

Anyone who shows symptoms of COVID-19 should isolate at home for 14 days. Symptoms include coughing, fever, tiredness, breathing difficulties, and loss of smell and taste.

Details

If a person is required to isolate at home, everyone in the household is also required to isolate, even if they do not show symptoms of COVID-19. Isolation means no member of the household is allowed to leave the home unless it is an emergency.

Those who display symptoms of COVID-19 - including coughing, fever, tiredness, breathing difficulties, and loss of smell and taste - are also required to seek medical advice by contacting their General Practitioner or the 24-hour Flu Hotline on 1-800-534-8600 or 925-6327 (Flow) or 947-3077 (Digicel), or email flu@hsa.ky

Members of the household should limit their contact and maintain a distance of at least six feet from the individual who is suspected of having COVID-19.

For more information on isolation and what it requires, download our advice on self-isolation and see our COVID-19 FAQs: Self-Isolation.

An owner or operator of a business shall not use or permit the use of a hookah, shisha pipe or water pipe at the place of business.

These restrictions are in place under the Prevention, Control and Suppression of COVID-19, 2021. These Regulations came into effect on 21 January 2021.

You can rent scuba or snorkelling equipment  provided that the person renting the equipment:
  •  prior to renting any shared scuba or snorkelling equipment will register with the Department of Environmental Health, for the purposes of monitoring and ensuring compliance with this regulation;
  •  the person shall ensure that all shared scuba and snorkelling equipment is cleaned each day using an agent approved for use against the virus by the Director of Environmental Health of the Department of Environmental Health;
  • where the person rents any shared scuba equipment to a customer, the person shall not rent the same shared scuba equipment to another customer until three days has elapsed; and
  •  the person shall comply with the written guidelines issued by the Director of Environmental Health of the Department of Environmental Health. 

These restrictions are in place under the Prevention, Control and Suppression of COVID-19, 2021. These Regulations came into effect on 21 January 2021.

Travel & Tourism

As of 1st October, 2020 the Cayman Islands borders began a phased reopening and entry is limited to select categories of travellers arriving by air. Read more

Airports

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.

As of 1st October, 2020 the Cayman Islands borders began a phased reopening and entry is limited to select categories of travellers arriving by air.

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.

If you need to travel to the Cayman Islands, please contact the Travel Cayman team,  even if you have done so prior to 1 July 2020.

Travel between the Islands is also currently restricted pursuant to Regulations made under the Public Health Law. See also Inter-Island Travel.

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. See also Returning Caymanians & Residents.

Seaports

As of Monday, 16 March 2020, cruise ships and private vessels are not being accepted to the ports of the Cayman Islands.

Cargo ships are unaffected by this ban, including for inter-island transport of freight.

Persons may travel between the Islands by boat under certain conditions. See also Inter-Island Travel.

Background

On Friday, 17 July 2020, Cayman Islands leaders announced the phased reopening of borders from 1 September 2020 that will enable tourism to resume but in ways that will be the "safest possible" for both locals and the air-arrival visitors. Read more

On Friday 7 August 2020, Cayman Islands Government announced extending border closure for a further 30 days until 1 October. Read more

 

As of 1st October 2020, the Cayman Islands borders began a phased reopening and entry is limited to select categories of travellers arriving by air.

Effective  22 March, as per Control of Covid-19 Regulations, 2021, all arriving passengers who have not been vaccinated will be required to undergo pre-arrival PCR testing if aged 10 years or older, to isolate and be tested at the end of their quarantine period. See also Quarantine & Isolation. 

Click here to read more about Travel & Overseas Guidance.

If you need to travel to the Cayman Islands, please contact the Travel Cayman team.

There are currently 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. On arrival, you will also be subject to quarantine requirements. See also Quarantine & Isolation.

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.

You may travel between Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman without being tested for the COVID-19 virus provided that:
  • you have been in the Islands for at least 14 days prior to the date of travel, and
  • you are not showing any respiratory symptoms or symptoms of COVID-19.

If you wish to travel inter-island and have not been in the Islands for at least 14 days prior to the date of travel, at least 48 hours before travelling, you must: 

  • request travel authorisation from Travel Cayman team; and
  • be tested for the COVID-19 virus.

You will only be permitted to travel after the COVID-19 test has been declared to be negative by the Medical Officer of Health.

These restrictions are in place under the Prevention, Control and Suppression of Covid-19 (Partial Lifting of Restrictions) (No. 6) Regulations, 2020. These Regulations came into effect on 27 November 2020.

On 24 April 2020, an amnesty was implemented with immediate effect against prosecution of persons for overstaying, and will remain in effect until further notice. The amnesty is intended to reflect the spirit of compassion and humanitarianism which underpins the Government’s approach to policies in response to COVID-19.

For persons who have overstayed their time in the Cayman Islands or who are otherwise in the Islands illegally, the amnesty seeks to remove fear of prosecution as a potential barrier to making urgent arrangements for departure via special evacuation flights or other airlift coordinated opportunities. See also Closure of Airports & Seaports.

Section 101 of the Customs & Border Control Law, 2018 provides the Director of Customs & Border Control with powers to remove certain persons who are unlawfully in the islands, where those persons are not a Caymanian, a permanent resident, a work permit holder, nor the holder of a Residency and Employment Rights Certificate, a Residency Certificate for Persons of Independent Means or a holder of a student visa.

Non-residents and tourists will not be permitted entry to the Cayman Islands at this time.

The Ministry of Health advises the public to follow the latest travel advice updates from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office. British Overseas Territories citizens will be provided the same assistance from the FCO when travelling outside the Overseas Territories as they would do to any other British national.

Cabinet also advises that the public should avoid all but essential travel until there is a measurable change in the global situation.

See also Closure of Airports & Seaports.

Effective 20 March 2020, until further notice, Workforce Opportunities & Residency Cayman (WORC) will no longer provide passport endorsement stamps. 

If an individual's Work Permit has been approved, the Work Permit License (approval letter) will act as the authority required for any travel purposes.

Employment & Benefits

The pension holiday commenced 1 April 2020 and was extended to 31 December 2020. Read more at COVID-19 FAQs: Pensions (Amendment) Law 2020.

A pension plan member was able to withdraw funds from his or her account in a private pension plan subject to certain provisions.

Background

The National Pensions (Amendment) Law, 2020 was passed in the Legislative Assembly on Thursday, 23 April 2020 and the provisions relating to emergency withdrawal of pension funds are came into force on Friday, 1 May 2020.

This Law expired on 31 October 2020.

Upon the expiration of this Law, the National Pensions Law (2012 Revision) has effect as though it has not been amended by this Law.

See also COVID-19 FAQs: Pensions (Amendment) Law 2020.

Severance is to be paid to employees being laid off unless the employees are to be brought back to work within 30 days (in most industries or fields), or 60 days if the temporary layoff is as a result of the COVID-19 virus. See also Extension of Temporary Layoff Period.

Once 60 days have passed, for employees in these industries or fields the termination is no longer considered to be temporary and severance becomes payable.

In the construction and agriculture industries, severance is to be paid to employees being laid off unless the employees are to be brought back to work within six months. Once six months has passed, the termination is no longer considered to be temporary, and severance becomes payable.

Severance is calculated at one week’s wage for each completed year of employment. Employees being terminated by the employer are also required to be paid any earned wages, gratuities, commission, vacation, and notice pay.

The Department of Labour & Pensions would encourage employers to arrange for final payments owed to employees to be made upon termination. Employers should be mindful that they must remit employees’ wages within one month of the wages being earned to avoid incurring an offence. See also Department of Labour & Pensions and COVID-19 FAQs: Labour & Pensions.

To further alleviate financial pressure on employers and employees, Regulations have been made by Cabinet to extend the period of temporary layoff before which severance is payable by 30 days. 

This extension will enable employers to continue to employ staff rather than terminate employment and result in persons losing their benefits under the Labour Law.

Details

Under the Labour Law, severance is payable to employees being laid off unless the employees are to be brought back to work within 30 days (in most industries or fields). See also Severance Pay.

This 30 day layoff period has been extended to 60 days if, as a result of the COVID-19 virus, an employer temporarily terminates the employment of any employee entitled to severance pay. Once 60 days has passed the termination is no longer considered to be temporary, and severance becomes payable. Read more in the Labour (Extension of Severance Pay Period) Regulations, 2020.

In the construction and agriculture industries, severance is to be paid to employees being laid off unless the employees are to be brought back to work within six months. Once six months has passed, the termination is no longer considered to be temporary, and severance becomes payable.

The Department of Labour & Pensions encourages employers and employees alike to follow the guidelines outlined by the Chief Medical Officer and the Public Health Department. All employers owe their staff a duty to protect their health and safety and should have plans in place to manage business continuity in the event of COVID-19 impacting their operation.

As part of this, employers should communicate with employees to assure them that the employer is monitoring the situation and taking steps to plan for disruption. The communication should also relay the current Government advice in relation to infection prevention.

While the Labour Law (2011 Revision) does not address this specific situation, it does establish the required minimum standards and allows employers to establish conditions of service more advantageous to any employee than the minimum employment standards established by this Law. 

The Department of Labour & Pensions will make every effort to work with employers and employees during this time to ensure the proper observance of the Labour Law and its Regulations.

The Labour (Amendment) Law, 2020 was passed in the Legislative Assembly on Thursday, 23 April 2020 and came into effect on Tuesday, 28 April 2020. It provides for service of documents, information, particulars and other records by electronic means and gives the Cabinet the power to grant an extension of the period for compliance with, or an exemption from, any provision of the Labour Law or Regulations in the case of a disastrous event.

See also our Business Guidance page and COVID-19 FAQs: Labour & Pensions for more information for employers and employees, or visit www.dlp.gov.ky.

If expired work permits were not renewed by 30 June 2020, employees who continue to work will be in breach of the law and both the employer and employee will be liable to a fine of CI$5,000 or to imprisonment for one year or to both.

These policies are provided for in the Immigration (Transition) (Amendment) Law, 2020 and Notice under section 6(2) the Immigration (Transition) (Amendment) Law, 2020.

See also COVID-19 FAQs: Workforce Opportunities & Residency

Non-Caymanians recruited by the Health Services Authority or by any private hospital to the posts of medical personnel are temporarily exempt from certain provisions of the Immigration (Transition) Law, 2018.

Read more in the Immigration (Transition) (Work Permit Exemptions) Regulations, 2020.

Business & Commerce

These restrictions are in place under the Prevention, Control and Suppression of COVID-19, 2021. These Regulations came into effect on 21 January 2021.

Businesses no longer require curfew exemptions or permission from the Competent Authority ("Curfew Time") in order to open. However, owners and operators must be aware of restrictions and requirements that continue to apply to their specific operations.

Inside public places, masks or cloth face coverings may be worn but are not mandatory.

For more information, see our Business Guidance page.

Though it is not required in order to return to the physical workplace, COVID-19 screening is now available to anyone. Individuals may self-register for screening using the Health Services Authority's online calendar.

Register for COVID-19 Screening

In the Cayman Islands restaurants and bars may offer indoor and outdoor services. 

No business may refuse entry to persons wearing or not wearing a mask or face covering.

These restrictions are in place under the Prevention, Control and Suppression of COVID-19, 2021. These Regulations came into effect on 21 January 2021.

Owners and operators are also reminded that restaurants and bars are only permitted to operate within the hours of operation permitted by the Liquor Licensing Law (2019 Revision), the Sunday Trading Law (2014 Revision) and the Trade and Business Licencing Law (2019 Revision). 

Liquor Licensees

The Liquor Licensing Boards of the Cayman Islands advise licensees with a restaurant licence that they are not permitted to do deliveries with food. Liquor licence holders are further advised that deliveries are only permitted under certain categories of licences of the Liquor Licensing Law with approval of the Liquor Licensing Board.

Section 10(7) of the Liquor Licensing Law provides that, “A restaurant licence permits the disposal of intoxicating liquor to any person at a restaurant, or other premises affixed to the land, at which food is served for consumption on the premises”.

Those found in breach of the law will be liable on summary conviction to a fine of one thousand dollars and to imprisonment for one year.

Licence holders are also reminded to adhere to the opening hours which are outlined on the licence. Closing hours must comply with hard curfew hours.

Interested members of the public can email info@dci.gov.ky for information.

The Cayman Islands Centre for Business Development is providing support to small and medium-sized businesses across the Islands.

Business coaching sessions will be a pre-requisite for accessing renegotiated loans. The plan of assistance will also include the infusion of capital into the sector over which the Centre will provide monitoring oversight.

As a result of current circumstances, staff members at the Centre will conduct meetings with clients by appointments, via telephone or virtually through video apps.

The Cayman Islands Centre for Business Development is located at Bay Town Plaza, 36 West Bay Road in Grand Cayman. Persons interested in making an appointment can call 244-8009 Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 5pm or email CICBD@gov.ky.

Notaries are now able to notarise documents virtually using appropriate technologies in real time.

Read more in the Notaries Public (Virtual Conduct of Notarial Acts) Regulations, 2020. These Regulations shall cease to have effect on 17 April 2022 or at such other date that the Cabinet may appoint by Order.

Education

From Sunday, 5 July 2020, educational institutions and facilities may commence full operations, including social and sporting activities. Guidelines have been issued for certain entities and activities.

See our Education Guidance page for more information and to download the new guidelines.

Background

All educational institutions in the Cayman Islands were closed effective Monday, 16 March 2020. This included all early childhood care and education centres (nurseries, preschools and daycares); infant, primary and secondary schools; tutoring centres; technical and vocational institutions; and colleges and universities.

On Wednesday, 15 April 2020, the Minister for Education announced all educational institutions would be closed until further notice as the Ministry continues to monitor the spread of the COVID-19 virus. 

On Thursday, 23 April 2020, the Ministry announced all educational institutions would remain closed for the duration of the 2019/2020 academic school year. As the academic year was still in effect, all schools (compulsory education institutions) were expected to continue distance learning.

On Friday, 26 June 2020, the Ministry provided a further detailed update, including the re-opening plan for schools, as part of the COVID-19 community update. 

From Sunday, 5 July 2020, educational institutions and facilities were able to resume full operations subject to Public Health guidelines. While the 2019/20 academic year had ended, this allowed summer camps, vacation bible schools and early childhood care and education centres (nurseries, preschools and daycares) to operate.

Following the closure of educational institutions across the Cayman Islands, the Needs Assessment Unit (NAU) assisted families whose children were receiving school lunch assistance through either the NAU or the non-profit organisation Feed Our Future.

Caymanian families in need of assistance received a food stipend to ensure these children are adequately nourished during the period that schools were physically closed. Families are also encouraged to use other community support that is being extended.

The NAU contacted qualifying families directly.

Students Returning to Cayman

Students returning from overseas are required to isolate for 14 days. Government isolation facilities were first opened in mid-March to accommodate returning students over the age of 18 or members of their household who were essential workers. See also Quarantine & Isolation.

Isolation at a Government-provided facility is mandatory for all students who arrive from overseas during the period the airports are closed to international leisure and non-essential travel. See also Returning Caymanians & Residents.

Students Leaving Cayman

There is no need to apply to Travel Cayman for outbound flights. However, when returning to the Cayman Islands all travellers must apply via the Travel Cayman portal.

If you are a student with a current overseas scholarship from the Educational Council and have any questions about your status, please email the Scholarship Secretariat at scholarships@gov.ky.

Shipping & Transport

Due to space limitations, persons who have imported cargo are encouraged to clear and collect their goods as quickly as possible. Exemptions are no longer required in order to collect goods, as the "soft curfew" is no longer in place.

For information relating to sea cargo at the Port Authority of the Cayman Islands warehouse, call the PACI Billing Office on 949-2055 / 914-3789 / 914-3786.

For information relating to air cargo that arrived before or during the COVID-19 public health emergency, call Customs & Border Control on 244-4959 or email customsonlinesupport@gov.ky. Alternatively, you may use CBC's online portal to submit a Customs declaration. 

Customs & Border Control received a record-breaking amount of imported goods during the month of June, topping out at 18,000 individual imports. This was 5,000 more than the previous month placing a great strain on CBC resources as well as couriers and consolidated agents. As a result, CBC deployed additional officers to manage the increase. 

To assist with timely processing of packages, CBC reminds the public of the importance of completing and submitting an Appointment of Agent Authorisation (AoA) form when using courier or broker services. All necessary documents must also be provided to the agent, as this is the importer's responsibility.

The appointed agent should have the completed AoA form at least 48 hours prior to the arrival of goods and customers are urged to submit the appropriate invoice in order to expedite the clearing of their goods.

Approximately 40% of imports to the Cayman Islands arrive with the incorrect invoice contributing to further delays in accessing goods. To avoid delays, customers should provide CBC (including through their appointed agent):

  • Supplier/Sale invoice(s)
  • Suppliers commercial invoice with the required proof of payment

Courier system generated commercial or hand written invoices are not acceptable and the misrepresentation or omission of the value of goods can further delay the process.

Contact CBC at 949-4579 or visit cbc.gov.ky with questions or for more information.

Across the Cayman Islands, drivers and passengers of taxis or omnibuses must wear masks or cloth face coverings when providing or using the services. This includes school buses.

These restrictions are in place under the Prevention, Control and Suppression of COVID-19 (Partial Lifting of Restrictions), 2021. These Regulations came into effect on 21 January 2021.

The Department of Vehicle and Drivers’ Licensing (DVDL) reopened all locations under normal hours of business from Monday, 13 July 2020. 

Customers are encouraged to carry out transactions online if possible. The drop box system implemented while the DVDL offices were closed to the public has been discontinued.

Please visit www.dvdl.gov.ky for more information and email dvdl.helpdesk@gov.ky for assistance with online renewals.

Human Services

As of Friday, 20 March 2020, a mental health hotline is operational 1-800-534-6463 (MIND).

The mental health hotline is managed by the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) and The Counselling Centre. It is active Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm, with opening hours/days to be reviewed and adjusted as needed.

For persons seeking to access the Needs Assessment Unit's services as first-time clients, please fill out this pre-assessment form and email it to NAUInfo@gov.ky.

The NAU work priorities and procedures during the COVID-19 crisis are as follows:

  • services to Caymanians remain a priority, with immediate focus placed on providing urgent food assistance
  • other services, such as rental assistance and utilities support, continue to be reviewed and processed as secondary needs
  • housing repairs are temporarily placed on hold
  • services are available to existing clients without the need to visit the NAU offices

For clients’ convenience, and to reduce waiting times following an increase in those registering for services, the NAU has acquired five additional telephone lines and is introducing a revised processing system.

During office opening hours from Monday through Thursday, 9am to 1pm, existing and prospective clients can call the NAU on the telephone numbers directly below, using a system which assigns a group of numbers for calls based on the first letter of a surname:

Last names A-K:
Last names L-Z:

Additionally the NAU wishes to reinforce the following advice:

  • existing clients and new applicants will continue being contacted with updates on service approvals
  • clients who have changed their telephone number, or have a new point of contact (e.g. residential or email address), must call the NAU so that staff can update their records
  • new clients should visit www.nau.gov.ky for forms and can email NAUInfo@gov.ky to submit documents or ask questions

While NAU offices continue to be open on week days (excluding Fridays) to help clients, the need for social distancing is important and must be maintained during visits for the safety of all. For general enquiries regarding service approval, the NAU’s other phone numbers are: Grand Cayman, 946-0024 or 244-2426, and Cayman Brac, 948-8758.

The NAU thanks members of the public for their continued cooperation and patience as staff work diligently to process the increase in applications received.

Persons who are legally residing in the Cayman Islands and currently unemployed and not receiving any health insurance benefits from their employer as a result of measures taken to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic may apply for Standard Health Insurance Contract (SHIC) premium payment assistance. 

  • An employer applicant must be a legal company currently licensed and provide evidence that there is an employment agreement. Information will be needed where assistance is requested for the employer's statutory contribution to the premium rate.
  • self-employed applicant will need to provide evidence regarding their legitimate business.
  • An individual applicant who was an employee must provide information regarding their previous employer and health insurance coverage. 

Eligible applicants, including any dependent(s) of the applicant, must provide information that they had, at a minimum, health insurance coverage under a SHIC prior to 1 April 2020. Assistance will not be provided to any applicant with current health insurance coverage, including through their spouse.

Assistance with partial payment of the premium will be given favourable consideration. Once an application has been duly considered the applicant will be provided with information on the way forward with the request for assistance.

Required documentation:

  • Completed application form with any supporting documentation to validate the need for the assistance.
  • A copy of the latest payment of the health insurance premium to the applicant's approved insurer.
  • Any other information that the applicant would consider to be helpful to support the application.

Applications and supporting documentation must be submitted via email to hic@gov.ky. If you are unable to submit the documents electronically, please place the documents in a sealed envelope addressed to the Health Insurance Commission and place it in the drop box located at the Staff Entrance of the Government Administration Building, 133 Elgin Avenue, George Town, Grand Cayman.

Please direct any questions to hic@gov.ky

Click here to read the full guidance notes.

Click here to download the Application for the Standard Health Insurance Contract Premium Payment Assistance. 

DCFS has implemented social distancing protocols and a focus on essential services delivery, in the form of child protection and residential care.

  • All direct contact with clients is temporarily suspended. This includes home visits and supervised contact. DCFS will maintain contact with clients where possible via telephone, WhatsApp or Zoom.
  • Staff at the department’s main office at Apollo House East and the Cayman Brac office are working from home as of Wednesday, 25 March 2020. The M.A.S.H. office at Anderson Square is closed to the public.
  • DCFS residential homes were closed to all visitors on Thursday, 13 March 2020. Persons wishing to speak with family members can contact the Golden Age Home at 949-1972, Maple House at 945-2615, and the Kirkconnell Community Care Centre at 948-2291.
  • As of Sunday, 19 July 2020, visits are permitted to residential homes only if visitors receive a negative test for the COVID-19 virus within the three days prior to the intended visit. Visitors to residential homes must also maintain a distance of at least six feet from all other persons at all times.

For non-critical services provided by the Department of Children and Family Services, email dcfs@gov.ky or call 916-2837 or 926-6853 in Grand Cayman and 929-7932 in Cayman Brac Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 5pm.

For critical services, including child protection and domestic abuse, by the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (M.A.S.H), call 1-800-534-2273 or 945-0545 or email MASH@gov.ky.

For critical services support for protection of the elderly, call 1-800-534- 2222 or email dcfselderlyservices@gov.ky.

For emergencies, dial 911.

Admissions to Caribbean Haven Residential Centre are suspended effective Tuesday, 13 March 2020. Presently there are 20 clients in residence across the male and female treatment programmes.

Intake services for The Counselling Centre (TCC) and the Family Resource Centre (FRC) will no longer be offered on a walk-in basis. These services will now be available by appointment only between 9am and 5pm.

The Department of Counselling Services appreciates that COVID-19 related anxiety in the community requires the availability of its services in some form, and clients can contact TCC at 949-8789 and FRC at 949-0006.

Group programmes have been suspended until further notice. Residents of Cayman Brac will also be offered services over the telephone, as travel to the Brac has been suspended until further notice.

Consistent with the approach of the Cayman Islands Government, Her Majesty’s Cayman Islands Prison Service (HMCIPS) has taken proactive steps to help prevent the transmission of COVID-19 to prisoners and staff. As of Tuesday, 17 March 2020:

  • All routine visits to prisoners will be suspended while visits by legal representatives and police will be permitted albeit under restricted conditions.
  • Volunteers who would normally attend both prisons to deliver a range of services will no longer be permitted.

Other internal restrictions will be introduced to reduce the flow of people entering the prison as the situation develops. This may include a revised staff attendance arrangement if it is deemed necessary.

Consideration will also be given to whether a reduced schedule of other internal programmes and services will be required.

In addition to imposing restrictions aimed at limiting the movement of people, HMCIPS has already taken steps to enhance the existing levels of personal and environmental hygiene at all their sites.

Working closely with partners from the Health Services Authority, isolation areas at both Fairbanks and Northward have been identified and prepared should any suspected case emerge.

While the decision to cancel visits was entirely necessary, HMCIPS does appreciate the importance of maintaining family contact and are considering a range of initiatives to ensure this can continue as much as possible.

With the exception of the Medical Officer of Health or a person authorised by the Medical Officer of Health for the purposes of surveillance or management of a person in quarantine or isolation, no person shall visit or be permitted to visit a detainee in a prison or place of detention. These restrictions are in place under the Prevention, Control and Suppression of Covid-19 (Partial Lifting of Restrictions) (No.6) Regulations, 2020. These Regulations came into effect on 27 November 2020.

Seafarers, Veterans & persons on Permanent Financial Assistance were provided a one-time payment of $425 on Friday, 27 March 2020 in recognition of the extra and anticipated expenses that are likely to be incurred by these individuals and their families in buying additional supplies due to the rapidly-evolving COVID-19 situation.

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