CAYMAN UPGRADED TO THE UK'S GREEN TRAVEL LIST
The Cayman Islands has been upgraded to green on the UK’s travel list meaning that persons visiting from the UK won’t need to quarantine upon returning to the country.
This comes into effect next Wednesday on June 30th.
Cayman was previously on the amber list in the UK’s three-tiered - green, amber and red - traffic light system.
The list was updated on Thursday with other Overseas Territories as well as several Caribbean destinations moved up from amber to green clearance.
Other OTs added to the UK’s green travel list are Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Montserrat, Turks and Caicos Islands, British Antarctic Territory, British Indian Ocean Territory and Pitcairn Islands.
Antigua and Barbuda, the Balearic Islands, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Madeira and Malta have also been upgraded.
It’s left to be seen how this impacts Cayman’s reopening plans.
As of this week Wednesday, the quarantine period is reduced to five days for incoming travellers who have completed an approved course of vaccination against COVID-19.
A firm reopening schedule has not yet been detailed. The PACT government says that would be largely dependent on reaching a vaccination rate of between 70 and 80 per cent of the population 12 years of age and older.
Under the UK’s travel traffic light system, travellers arriving from ‘green-listed’ countries will not need to quarantine on return (unless they receive a positive result) or take any additional tests. They still need to take a pre-departure test as well as a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test on or before day two of their arrival back into the UK.
The UK’s Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said on Thursday: "We're moving forward with efforts to safely reopen international travel this summer, and thanks to the success of our vaccination programme, we're now able to consider removing the quarantine period for fully-vaccinated UK arrivals from amber countries - showing a real sign of progress.
"It's right that we continue with this cautious approach, to protect public health and the vaccine rollout as our top priority, while ensuring that our route out of the international travel restrictions is sustainable."
The British travel industry, along with many UK residents, has been pressing for more of the favourite travel destinations to be added to the green travel list for the peak summer holiday season.
The businesses say this is critical for this to stay afloat financially while many 'holiday-hungry' say they yearn for relief from what some have called ‘lockdown-fever’ and ‘Covid-fatigue’.
However, concerns are mourning over the spread of the Dela variant of the Covid virus along with a Delta-plus variant now emerging.
The UK has one of the leading vaccination roll-outs globally but some government advisors on the pandemic are worried that the vaccination success could be put at risk by the Delta variants which currently accounts for most cases in the UK.
The current regime of vaccines is said to be effective against the variant.
Meanwhile, pressure is mounting in the European Union to restrict British tourists due to the comparatively high levels of Delta variant now circulating in the UK compared to the EU, although their vaccination rates are much lower than in the UK.