Mandatory COVID-19 tests for unvaccinated travelers leaving Grand Cayman for the sister islands and strict navigation restrictions are just a few of the new COVID-19 regulations implemented this week.
On Friday, September 17, the PACT government released the COVID-19 (Travel and Boating) Prevention, Control and Suppression Regulations, 2021, which will be in effect from Tuesday, September 21 to November 17.
Travel from Grand Cayman to the Sister Islands
Section 3 of the new regulations requires anyone five years of age and older to provide proof of having received an approved vaccination at least 14 days prior to travel, or provide a negative PCR test within 48 hours of departure.
In cases where a person is traveling by plane, this proof must be provided to the airline concerned. When the person travels by boat, the information must be passed on to a customs and border control officer.
In addition, travelers should not have any respiratory symptoms from COVID-19.
If travelers exhibit respiratory symptoms associated with COVID-19 after arriving in Cayman Brac or Little Cayman, they should be treated by a medical officer of health, per section 4, at an approved facility.
Depending on the purpose of the trip, the person may be required to pay the costs associated with their quarantine at the government approved facility while in the sister islands.
Approved travel includes returning students and / or parents who have traveled with their children for school, travel for government business purposes, a member of a national sports team and / or a parent who has traveled to represent Cayman, travel for medical reasons.
Use of boats in Cayman waters
People using boats capable of carrying more than 40 people, for purposes other than fishing, must ensure that there are no more than 100 people on board or 70% of the operating capacity – according to the lesser of the two.
The new regulations also prevent boat operators from joining together with other vessels in circumstances that would result in a total number of people greater than 100.
Use of boats for fishing in Cayman waters
Any boat operator seeking to leave Cayman waters must first receive clearance from customs and border control. The new regulations require fishing vessels leaving Cayman waters to have no more than 25 people and must return no later than 48 hours after departure.
Anyone using a fishing boat to exit Cayman waters and return must follow a medical officer of health’s instructions on isolation and any additional health surveillance.
If people return to the Cayman Islands after a fishery begins to show respiratory signs of COVID-19, they must self-quarantine in a location approved by the Medical Officer of Health and they may be required to pay the cost of their accommodation for up to their isolation.
Persons on board a fishing vessel should not congregate with other vessels in circumstances where the total number of persons exceeds 25.
Anyone who violates these penalties could face a fine of up to $ 10,000 and or two years in prison.
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