“The vaccine rollout gives us much hope and confidence for the future.”
So said HE Governor Martyn Roper as he gave an update on the vaccine shipments from the United Kingdom.
He was speaking as the government announced that an important threshold has been reached to reduce the mandatory quarantine period from the current 14 days down to 10 days from March 22nd.
With gradual steps being taken towards eventually reopening the borders and the economy, Mr Roper remarked: "We're now in an incredibly good place to reopen and safely bounce back strongly from this global pandemic that has so tested the entire world.”
No target date has been set for reopening the borders and the economy as that still depends on the continued good community response to the vaccination campaign.
A target of vaccinating between 70 and 80 per cent of the population has been indicated by the government as a goal to start looking at relaxing travel restrictions and allowing international commercial travel, especially for land-based and long-stay tourism.
More vaccine shipments from the UK are arriving in Cayman up to April 7th by which time Cayman will have received 100,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine provided by the British government.
“After the final delivery on April 7th we will have received over 100,000 doses which is enough to vaccinate the entire adult population," Mr Roper said.
"That means that by early May, all those over the age of 16 who want to be vaccinated could have had a second dose of the vaccine.”
He called it “a fantastic achievement” especially as the supply of vaccines around the world remains such a challenge.
“The community in Cayman has rallied around and we can all be proud of the progress we have made."
“If anyone had said last March, that by May this year we would have a safe, reliable vaccine against Covid and have vaccinated all adults over 16 in Cayman, not many would have believed it.”
He again urged everyone to take the vaccine when invited to do so.
Noting that "it has been an incredibly long year and an incredibly tough one for all of us,” Mr Roper reminded that this month sees two important milestones in Cayman’s fight against COVID-19 over the past year.
"I just want to take a moment to reflect that on 13th of March last year, we closed schools across our islands on the 22nd of March, we closed our borders."
"We can all be proud of the progress we have made," he added.
It’s also noteworthy that on March 22nd the quarantine duration will be reduced from 14 days to 10 days.