The House of Parliament at a special meeting on Monday, 4 October 2021 will specifically deal with three bills, two of which will mandate vaccinations for certain categories of persons who are subject to immigration controls in the Cayman Islands. The bills, if passed, would mandate vaccinations for new applications and renewals.
The categories of persons covered under the proposed Immigration (Transition) (Amendment) Bill, 2021 include:
Work permit holders and their dependents,
Persons legally and ordinarily resident in the Islands for at least eight years,
Residency and Employment Certificate holders who are spouses or civil partners of Caymanians and their dependents,
Residency certificates for persons of independent means and their spouses or civil partners and dependants,
Permanent Residence holders of independent means as well their spouses or civil partners and dependants,
Direct Investment Certificate holders, and
Substantial business presence residency certificate holders.
Meanwhile, the Customs and Border Control (Amendment) Bill, 2021, if passed, will also provide for mandatory vaccinations in certain circumstances.
One of the proposed provisions stipulates that unless exempted by the Medical Officer of Health, certain categories of persons will be required to prove they are fully vaccinated, and if not yet, to provide a declaration about getting vaccinated within a specified period.
They would also have to comply with any vaccination directives from the Medical Officer of Health. Failure to do this would lead to revocation of official permission to land, enter, remain or attend an educational institution in the Cayman Islands. Exceptions would have to be on medical grounds, as approved by the Medical Officer of Health.
Failure to comply with the law can result in, after conviction, a maximum fine of$10,000 or two years’ imprisonment or both.
The third bill, the Cayman Islands Coast Guard Bill, 2021, comprehensively provides for the establishment of the Cayman Islands Coast Guard, which includes outlining the powers and duties of this uniformed service.
The Coast Guard, while not a military unit, will participate, for example, in search and rescue operations in Cayman Islands waters and beyond into international waters but without encroaching into other countries’ maritime boundaries.