The updated UK travel traffic light system has kept the Cayman Islands, Anguilla, Bermuda, Montserrat and the Turks and Caicos Islands on a green ‘watchlist’ given their comparatively low level of current COVID-19 cases. This is one step away from the definitive green travel list.
The overseas territories currently on the green list are; Gibraltar, St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, Falkland Islands, British Indian Ocean Territory, South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands.
The British Virgin Islands has been downgraded from the green watchlist to amber.
The British government has stipulated that countries on the green watchlist can be moved up to the full green, or down to amber or red, if their local COVID-19 situation changes as the list is under constant review. The BVI has been hit with a sudden resurgence of COVID-19 cases.
The updated UK travel traffic light system from this week means that fully vaccinated residents of the Cayman Islands and other green or green-watchlist Overseas Territories travelling to England are not required to quarantine on arrival, although they still need to PCR swab and test two days after arrival.
A Cayman Islands government statement says: “This policy, which is in effect in England but has not yet been extended to Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, positively impacts Cayman Islands residents vaccinated on-island and travelling to England via common transit countries including the Bahamas, the United States, Canada, Jamaica, or any other amber list country.”
HE Governor Martyn Roper explained, “Regulations have recently changed in the United Kingdom to allow residents of the British Overseas Territories vaccinated under the UK vaccination programme to be treated as if they were vaccinated directly by the UK’s National Health Service (NHS).”
The UK is not currently accepting vaccination cards from Cayman Islands residents as verified proof. Instead, the Governor’s Office has worked in conjunction with the Cayman Islands Health Services Authority (HSA) and the Public Health Department to develop a standard certificate in line with all other British Overseas Territories which can be used for entry through the UK border.
Chief Medical Officer Dr John Lee noted, “While a ‘Letter of Certification’ has been developed for entry through the UK border, we would like to remind Cayman Islands residents vaccinated locally that this is for border entry purposes only. At this time, it is not possible to have a Cayman vaccination entered into the UK’s securely verifiable electronic NHS system.”
The Letters of Certification will be available from the office of the Medical Officer of Health. Members of the public are asked to apply by email to firstname.lastname@example.org attaching a copy of their vaccination card via screenshot or attachment to the email request.
All requests will take three business days to process, so applicants are asked to take this time into account when submitting their requests prior to travel.
Dr Lee has previously reported that local efforts to develop a securely verifiable electronic system for COVID-19 vaccines administered in the Cayman Islands are ongoing.
Meanwhile, the British Virgin Islands, struggling with a new COVID-19 surge has intensified its vaccination campaign. Most of the cases are among people who have not had a COVID-19 injection.
In a matter of weeks, 23 people have died and infections have soared to over 2,200 with 1,600 active cases, from a little over 300 hundred cases.
The BVI had recently started opening its borders.