Screening testing of hospitality workers can also serve to promote safer working environments for hospitality workers and provide an additional measure of assurance to our tourist visitors. As with the intended use of lateral flow tests in other workplaces, the approved use of a 10-series of daily lateral flow tests for close contacts can also help tourism businesses to remain operational, by allowing hospitality workers who test negative to return to work.
Nature and Frequency of Testing
In concert with the new mandatory lateral flow testing regime for incoming travellers beginning 20 November 2021, Tourism Businesses are strongly recommended to set up COVID-19 testing programmes for all employees, irrespective of their vaccination status, for the purpose of:
- screening hospitality workers with no COVID-19 symptoms or mild symptoms, and promptly identifying any positive cases so that effective measures can be taken to prevent further transmission.
Tourism Businesses are also encouraged to participate in Public Health approved use of lateral flow tests to reduce the number of persons required to isolate as a result of a positive case. This will enable a good degree of business continuity alongside a reduction in people transmitting SARS-CoV-2 to the rest of the population enabling a safer health environment for all.
For the purpose of this protocol, hospitality workers should include:
- Hospitality staff/worker/co-workers in a business that serve visitors as its primary audience.
- Workers in ancillary businesses who serve the hospitality industry.
- Workers in any Tourism businesses that serves tourism in any capacity in its business location and/or services.
- Workers that provide in-destination experiences, in relation to activities, leisure or business that a tourist participates in while in the jurisdiction.
- Workers involved in providing touristic leisure activities, such as waterspouts, spa, golf, beach activities and attending attractions or events.
In line with the National Policy on the Use of Antigen-Detecting Rapid Diagnostic Tests (“Lateral Flow Tests”) in the Cayman Islands:
- Lateral flow tests, including self-administered lateral flow tests, may be used to provide COVID-19 screening tests for hospitality workers with no COVID-19 symptoms or mild symptoms;
- Where lateral flow tests are used for this purpose, they should be administered at least twice weekly with a minimum of three days between tests;
- The results of any positive tests for a hospitality worker must be reported to Public Health in accordance with the Public Health Act (2021 Revision), which indicates that COVID-19 is a notifiable disease that is required to be reported to the Medical Officer of Health, as soon as he/she becomes aware of the positive test results.
- Where testing is introduced into the workplace by tourism businesses, the plans in respect of workplace testing should be set out in a formal workplace testing document. This document should help to provide tourism workers with sufficient information and assist in enabling testing to be carried out privately, fairly, and consistently. Employers should engage with employees prior to introducing employee testing.
Responsibilities of Tourism BusinessesTourism Businesses may choose to introduce COVID-19 screening testing, using lateral flow tests, in different ways. For example, they may:
- Set up a programme using self-administered lateral flow tests;
- Set up a supervised on-site screening testing programme that is administered by a third-party Registered Healthcare Provider or by staff trained for this purpose;
- Direct staff to use the services of a Registered Healthcare Provider approved for use by the tourism business for the purpose of providing lateral flow tests for their employees.
- Tests negative on a lateral flow test within 24 hours of close contact with a SARS-CoV-2positive person;
- Commences a series of 10 daily lateral flow tests; and,
- Continues to test negative each day while participating in the daily lateral flow testing programme.
While participating in the daily lateral flow testing regime, the hospitality worker is also required to continue to monitor symptoms and to strictly adhere to all recommended COVID-19 prevention strategies, such as mask-wearing, handwashing, respiratory etiquette and physical distancing. Should the hospitality worker become symptomatic, even if the LFT result is negative, they should immediately isolate and contact the Public Health Department.All costs related to the provision of COVID-19 screening testing for employees of a tourism businesses, including lateral flow test kits or the provision of an internal or external testing service or the costs of PCR tests, must be met by the tourism business.
Responsibilities of Hospitality Workers
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.
Hospitality workers may choose to conduct additional tests at home that are in excess of the number of tests carried out by the tourism business and/or at different intervals, for their own purposes. Under these circumstances:
- The costs of these tests will be borne by the individual.
- Hospitality staff are not required to provide the results of these tests to PH, unless there is a positive test result;
- In this event that there is a positive test result, hospitality staff are required to follow the Public Health protocols for reporting a positive test result.
Procedures to be Followed when a Hospitality Worker Tests Positive
If a team member tests positive on a lateral flow test, the employee must not attend work, must isolate and must follow Public Health protocols for reporting the positive result. Public Health policy will determine when it is safe for the employee to return to work.Where the members of the hospitality worker’s household are fully vaccinated, each individual member of the household may conduct daily LFT testing for 10 days and follow the National Policy in this regard. If an individual receives a negative LFT result, that individual can attend school/work if daily results continue to be negative. If an individual receives a positive LFT result, that individual must:
- stay at home and
- contact Public Health immediately.
If a vaccinated individual is unable to conduct daily lateral flow testing, the individual is required to isolate for 10 days.
Where the members of his/her household are NOT fully vaccinated, and they are 18 years of age or older, they are to isolate for 14 days. Public Health should be notified and a negative PCR test result will be required for release from isolation. Unvaccinated children residing in the household under 18 years old can continue to go to school if their daily LFT result is negative.
Procedures to be followed when a Hospitality Co-Worker Tests Positive
Once a hospitality staff member tests positive, a surveillance period is in effect for all team members who qualify as close contacts of the hospitality co-worker and this surveillance period will continue until no positive results are received for 10 consecutive days.
During a surveillance period, a tourism business may choose to implement a 10-day series of lateral flow tests for all close contacts in order to reduce the number of employees required to isolate, as prescribed in paragraph 37 above.
If another co-worker tests positive during the 10-day surveillance period, the surveillance period resets and continues until there are no positive cases for 10 consecutive days.
Follow-up testing, using a laboratory-based PCR test may be conducted by the Public Health Department, but a positive or equivocal lateral flow test should be treated as indicating someone is very likely to have COVID-19.
It should be noted that if a hospitality worker is contacted by Public Health and he/she is instructed to self-isolate, a negative lateral flow test cannot be used to override the Public Health instruction made in accordance with the Public Health Act (2021 Revision) and any relevant Regulations.
When Lateral Flow Tests may be administered by Public HealthLateral flow tests may be used by Public Health for diagnostic purposes, as part of an outbreak investigation and response. Where lateral flow tests are used by PH for this purpose:
- The tests may be administered to affected hospitality workers regardless of vaccination status.
- These lateral flow tests may form part of a Public Health strategy to:
- Provide a more rapid response for identifying persons actively infected with COVID-19 virus, to help guide clinical and infection control decisions.
- Reduce the number of persons required to isolate as a result of a positive case.
The results of any positive tests must be reported to Public Health in accordance with the Public Health Act (2021 Revision), which indicates that COVID-19 is a notifiable disease that is required to be reported to the Medical Officer of Health, as soon as he/she becomes aware of the positive test results.
All positive reports from self-administered lateral flow tests should be reported by:
- completing an online reporting form on www.exploregov./report-covid19-result, or
- calling the Flu Hotline on 1-800-534-8600 or 925-6327 (Flow) or 947-3077 (Digicel), or
- by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Any registered healthcare provider who is administering lateral flow tests is required to advise the Medical Officer of Health (MOH) of people positive for SARS-CoV-2 which is a notifiable disease.