By Staff Writer
Specific restrictions are being put in place for travel to the Sister Islands especially Cayman Brac following the outbreak of community transmission of COVID-19 cases on Grand Cayman.
There are currently 24 confirmed cases of community transmission on the main island.
Consequently, the government has announced that it is putting regulations in place to safeguard the Sister Islands.
These include requiring that anyone travelling to the Sister Islands from Grand Cayman who has not been fully vaccinated within the previous 14 days to provide a negative PCR test certificate from an approved laboratory, no more than 48 hours prior to departure.
The negative certificate must include the name and address of the approved laboratory where the test was performed.
Inter-island travel requirements for persons going from Grand Cayman to the Sister Islands will remain the same for verifiably vaccinated individuals.
Also, anyone who arrives in the Sister Islands from Grand Cayman who shows respiratory symptoms or symptoms of the virus will be quarantined until the person is no longer a risk to the public.
The new regulations will also require that anyone who has to be quarantined in the Sister Islands after having travelled from Grand Cayman is liable for any costs associated with the quarantine facility.
However, there are several exceptions that exclude returning students; evidence that the travel was government-related, sporting-event related as part of a national team; for medical purposes; educational purposes; and any person who has responsibility for taking a child or an adult away from the Islands for medical purposes.
Another element of the new suppression measures will reduce the number of people allowed to ride on boats from 500 down to 50, or to 50% of the legal capacity of the vessel, whichever is lesser.
The new travel restrictions will go into effect once the revised travel and boating regulations are published early next week.
Hon. Premier Wayne Panton said: “Hopefully these new regulations which come into effect on the 21st of this month will provide some comfort to our friends and families on the Sister Islands. The other regulations, which we have been working on are currently being finalised in the drafting process, and these will be dealt with and published next week.”
The increased COVID-19 suppression measures follow the Government's decision to pause the transition from Phase Three to Phase Four of the Cayman Islands' border reopening plan in the face of renewed community transmission of the virus and increased public concern.
Official statistics show that to date there have been 774 positive cases in the Cayman Islands since the CPVID-19 pandemic started last year, with 12 in Cayman Brac and one in Little Cayman.
Of that total, there are currently 25 symptomatic people, 27 asymptomatic and 720 recovered.
Currently, 709 persons are isolating at home.
The person admitted to hospital out of the 24 community transmission cases is improving, is no longer is running a temperature and has had not required respiratory support.
The outgoing Chief Medical Officer Dr. John Lee reported that over 7,000 PCR tests were conducted since last week, with the overwhelming majority testing negative. He said these results highlight the fact that wide-spread vaccinations work in suppressing the disease.
He called it “exceedingly reassuring news"
The person admitted to hospital out of the 24 community transmission cases is improving and is no longer running a temperature and also has had not required respiratory support.
(Additional reporting via Government Information Service - GIS)