Beginning 20 November 2021, the Cayman Islands transitions to Phase 4 of its border reopening plan. In Phase 4, the Control of COVID-19 NO# 3, 2021 Regulations stipulate that any traveller arriving to the Island who is not required to quarantine is, by law, to undergo Antigen-Detecting Rapid Diagnostic Tests (“Lateral Flow Tests”) on days 2, 5 and 10 after arrival. This requirement applies to fully vaccinated tourist visitors. In addition to incoming travellers, screening testing, using lateral flow tests, is strongly recommended for all hospitality workers.
Because many people with COVID-19 infections are asymptomatic, their infections may be difficult to detect without regular testing. These new testing requirements are being introduced as a critical part of a layered approach to promoting a safe tourist in- destination experience and to reduce the risk of a forced lockdown or subsequent border closure due to unacceptably high levels of COVID-19 cases.
The new mandatory lateral flow testing requirements for visitors will allow us to effectively screen our tourist visitors with no symptoms or mild symptoms and promptly identify any positive cases so that effective measures can be taken to prevent further transmission. The approved use of a 10-day series of daily flow tests for close contacts of visitors who test positive can also help to safeguard the vacation experience of other members of a visitor group who test negative following exposure.
The key benefits anticipated from these screening test programmes are:
- a reopening to fully vaccinated tourist visitors that is safely maintained without a forced lockdown or subsequent border closure; and
- reassurance to the local community that tourism operations are taking seriously their responsibilities for the sector to support a safe tourist in-destination experience and safe working environments for hospitality workers.
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- Nature and Frequency of Testing
- Responsibilities of the Traveller
- Roles and Responsibilities of the Tourism Accommodation Provider
- When further COVID-19 Testing may be Required Outside of the Day 2, 5 and 10 day testing regime
- Responsibility of Tourism Businesses, including Tourist Accommodation Providers, to provide a layered approach to COVID-19 Prevention Strategies
- Reporting Lateral Flow Test Results of Incoming Travellers
- Purpose of Reporting Test Results for Incoming Travellers
- How to Report on Antigen Detecting Rapid Diagnostic Testing
The purpose of this protocol is to provide guidance for the effective deployment of lateral flow tests within the Cayman Islands tourism Sector, in order to:
- Promote and support compliance with legal requirements under the Control of COVID-19 (Testing) Regulations, NO# 3, 2021 Regulations under the Public Health Act (2021 Revision) for mandatory COVID-19 testing of incoming travellers on Day 2, 5 and 10 following arrival; and
- Promote and support the implementation of lateral flow tests as part of a screening testing programme for hospitality workers, in alignment with the recommended use of these tests within workplaces as provided for by the National Policy on the Use of Antigen-Detecting Rapid Diagnostic Tests (“Lateral Flow Tests”) in the Cayman Islands.
In addition, additional guidance on the “Protocols to be Followed in the event that a Tourist Visitor Tests Positive for COVID-19” is provided as an appendix to this protocol document.
Nature and Frequency of TestingBeginning 20 November, 2021, all incoming travellers; tourist visitors and returning residents, who are exempt from quarantine are required to undertake lateral flow tests on Days 2, 5 and 10 following their arrival on island, whereby the arrival day is considered day zero.
Self-administered lateral flow tests are not acceptable for the purpose of complying with the required testing for incoming travellers. For the purpose of complying with legal requirements the lateral flow testing of travellers must be certified by a Registered Health Care Provider in the Cayman Islands.
Click below for a list of providers on all three islands.
Where a lateral flow test or PCR test is provided by a registered healthcare provider in the Cayman Islands, a negative test result may qualify as a departure test for onward traveller, if taken within the required timeframes for their intended travel destination. However, it should be noted that all tests for travel must meet the testing requirements for the intended travel destination, and it is the responsibility of the onward traveller to ensure that a lateral flow test will meet their requirements. In addition, for departure purposes, the onward traveller may need to show proof of the test results via a printed certificate, email or text message.
Responsibilities of the TravellerThe costs of any COVID-19 testing undertaken to comply with Regulations regarding travel remains the responsibility of the traveller.
Upon arrival, each incoming traveller will be issued with a Rapid Antigen Testing Card by Customs Border Control (CBC). Upon each Lateral Flow Test administered this card is required to be certified. Hotels and other hospitality providers may require guests, for example, to present this card demonstrating that they are in compliance with testing requirements before allowing entry to high traffic areas such as restaurants and pools.
Role and Responsibilities of Tourist Accommodation Providers
It is within the best interest of each tourist accommodation provider to support tourist visitors’ compliance with the testing requirements, as part of a quality service for a positive visitor experience. It is recommended that at a minimum, tourism accommodation providers:
- Promote awareness of the requirements for testing amongst their tourist visitors,
- Provide timely reminders to their tourist visitors of their test days,
- Support easy access to testing for their tourist visitors.
Tourism accommodation providers may support easy access to testing by adopting one or more of the following recommended practices:
- Providing their tourist visitors with details of Registered Healthcare Providers who provide lateral flow testing in Grand Cayman and the Sister Islands;
- Negotiating pre-set testing packages for their tourist visitors with Registered Healthcare Providers;
- Scheduling tests for their tourist visitors with registered healthcare providers;
- Making arrangements for on-site testing for their tourist visitors using licensed healthcare providers.
When further COVID-19 Testing may be Required Outside of the Day 2, 5 and 10 day testing regime
The day 10 test is the final test required for a traveller that has tested negative for all three tests, however, further testing may be required by Public Health should the traveller:
- develop COVID-19 symptoms, or
- become a primary contact to a COVID-19 positive case.
Where a traveller develops COVID-19 symptoms:
- Tourist visitors should immediately self-isolate, along with any close contacts that form part of their travel group at their tourism accommodation, or private residence if they are staying with local contacts. Where they are staying at a tourism accommodation, they should immediately notify their accommodation provider until arrangements can be made for confirmatory testing by a Registered Healthcare Provider.
- Returning residents should immediately self-isolate along with any close contacts that form a part of their household until arrangements can be made for confirmatory testing by a Registered Healthcare Provider.
In accordance with general Public Health guidance, any person with symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 disease should contact their local healthcare provider or the Flu Hotline to seek advice on the best next steps. The Flu Hotline can be reached on 1-800-534-8600 or 925-6327 (Flow) or 947-3077 (Digicel), or email email@example.com.
Where a traveller tests positive for SARS-CoV-2, the positive result must be reported to Public Health by the registered Healthcare provider. In addition, the following actions are required:
- The traveller must self-isolate within their accommodation, and
- The tourist visitor and tourism accommodation provider must follow the protocols established and approved by Public Health for dealing with a SARS-CoV-2 positive tourist visitor.
Responsibility of Tourism Businesses, including Tourist Accommodation Providers, to provide a layered approach to COVID-19 Prevention Strategies
To promote safer tourist in-destination experiences, lateral flow testing for tourist visitors must be implemented as part of a layered approach by all tourism businesses, including tourism accommodation providers. Therefore, in conjunction with lateral flow testing, all tourism businesses are expected to implement other prevention strategies that include:
- operating within the entry requirements of Phases 4 & 5 of the Border Reopening Plan
- consistent and correct use of masks;
- physical distancing;
- improved ventilation;
- handwashing and respiratory etiquette;
- isolating in approved government quarantine tourism accommodation when sick and getting tested; and
- routine cleaning with disinfection and other controls, in compliance with the minimum standards established by CARPHA or other industry standards.
Any registered healthcare provider who administers Antigen detecting Rapid Diagnostic Tests (Ag-RDT, otherwise known as lateral flow tests) is required to report on all tests administered to travellers and advise Public Health (PH) of all positive cases for SARS- tCoV-2 which is a notifiable disease. Providers will give travellers an official certificate of test results.
Purpose of Reporting Test Results for Incoming Travellers
COVID-19 is considered a notifiable disease under the Public Health Act (2021 Revision). As such it is a legal requirement to report positive cases of SARS-CoV-2. The reporting of test results serves three main purposes:
- Public Health – Any person who tests positive for COVID-19 is a potential risk to the health of the Public in general and as such these cases would be managed by Public Health experts, subject to instructions from the Medical Officer of Health, and required to immediately isolate. All positive cases of SARS-CoV-2 should be immediately reported to Public Health so that necessary arrangements can be made for monitoring of and support of such positive individuals. This includes the scheduling of any necessary subsequent testing.
- Compliance – All testing should be reported to confirm that arriving travellers are in compliance with the requirements of Regulations to the Public Health Act.
- Data, Analytics, and Planning – the collection of both positive and negative test results is useful for the purpose of analytics and assessing COVID-19 trends. This will assist Public Health and the Government in forwarding planning for improved management of COVID-19.
How to Report on Antigen Detecting Rapid Diagnostic Testing
The following guidance should be followed by registered healthcare providers for reporting the results of lateral flow tests for travellers, including tourist visitors:
- Reporting – Providers are asked to submit a daily report of each Ag-RDT administered for that respective day. Positives cases for SARS-CoV-2 are to be immediately reported as soon as they are detected.
- Notifying Tourism Accommodations – Where a tourist visitor tests positive for COVID-19, the Registered Healthcare Provider should immediately report this to the tourism accommodation provider using the information provided by the visitor. Where other travellers are residing at the private residence of a local contact, then this should be reported to that local contact by Public Health or the traveller.