Travellers can book inward flights before clearance

| 15/10/2020 | 76 Comments

(CNS): Officials from the new authority dealing with incoming travellers have released details of the evolving process for those wanting to enter the Cayman Islands during this first phase of the border reopening. It now appears that the list of approved travellers can book flights before receiving clearance from the TravelCayman team, as the number of seats available each month and quarantine faculties are being joined up.

The confusing system transition does not appear to be going well. It has been described as chaotic and shambolic by those trying to use it, with people receiving a catalogue of mixed message or no information at all. However, officials said Wednesday that the phone lines had begun to clear and cases were being handled, with the finishing touches also being done to the new application online portal.

The Cayman authorities undoubtedly handled the lockdown and containment of the coronavirus pandemic so well that our community is believed to be COVID-19 free. But this success has made the reopening process all the more challenging, given the situation in the countries where most of those returning to Cayman are coming from.

While the government termed the recent change as a border reopening, the authorities are still stressing that travel to and from Cayman should be essential travel only.

Only Caymanians, permanent and other legal residents, worker permit holders, property owners and those with direct family connections to those groups are cleared to return to Cayman.

In a document outlining the new process, officials indicated that people in these groups must decide on one of three quarantine options. Firstly, the fully secured government quarantine facilities at either the Wyndham Resort in East End or the Holiday Inn in George Town, which are free for Caymanians and permanent residents.

Anyone can can opt for the second choice, which is paid-for secure facilities at Matthews Residence’s, Palm Heights, Sunshine Suites or the Ritz-Carlton. These facilities range in price from CI$1,850 to CI$9,000 for the two weeks quarantine.

The third option is isolating at a home residence using a geofencing tag, where all members of one household are quarantined together and must all agree to the terms and conditions. This option is currently free but that may change going forward. Government has hinted that non-Caymanians or non-residents could be charged around $200 per person.

In a lengthy document, officials outlined the current process and pointed to the main change relating to flights and approval and the need for travellers to ensure they qualify for return and meet the criteria.

Travellers can book inbound flights directly with the approved airline carriers, namely Cayman Airways and British Airways. All travellers must be approved prior to entering and ensure they qualify but they do not need the approval letter to book a flight from La Ceiba, Honduras; Kingston, Jamaica; or Miami, Florida on CAL or London on the BA flight.

TravelCayman will be focused on ensuring that quarantine options and monitoring technology options match the inbound inbound seats. The team also confirmed that the applications will be dealt with on a week by week basis. All travel applicants are asked not to call unless they are travelling to Cayman this month.

A new online portal is in development, which officials claim will reduce the need to call and email the Travel Cayman team. The new portal will be launched in the coming days, allowing travellers to select quarantine arrangements and submit travel plans online and removing the need for manual responses to each query.

See the full document below and see here for more travel information.



Share your vote!


How do you feel after reading this?
  • Fascinated
  • Happy
  • Sad
  • Angry
  • Bored
  • Afraid
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Tags:

Category: Business, Health, health and safety, Transport

Comments (76)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. John Slack says:

    Are the flights really “repatriation “ or shopping trips for residents?
    I am a US citizen who is a property owner on the island who cannot legally enter the island without a fourteen day quarantine period and a negative test.
    How many repatriation flights are necessary until everyone who needs to leave has left.
    I then need to ask the question, how long until the Cayman Islands government gives to the inevitable and opens the island so it can sustain itself . The withdrawals from the pension funds won’t last forever and investors will stop any flow on to an island without much of an economy. It is essentially a false economy at this point!

    • Anonymous says:

      Such a disservice. Called exactly at 8:30am number 6 in que at 9 am 5 in queue, music and on hold advisories stop with just a murmur in phone. Cautious so held on another 30 min only to be cut off. Get your SH.. together boys!!!!!

  2. Anonymous says:

    The government are absolute morons to allow self quarantine at a private residence!
    Our leaders are becoming far too lax about the requirements for entry. If friends and loved ones here have not seen an inbound traveler for months, it’s a good bet that at some point someone will take a chance and drop by for a visit. The geofencing bracelet will not prevent visitors from coming into the quarantine abode. Should the inbound travelers be infected, the visitors can become infected and they can become spreaders throughout the community. The trouble with this scenario is that contact tracing will be difficult because the quarantined travelers will probably not rat out their visitors and the visitors certainly will not admit where they got it from and subject themselves to prosecution.

    Government regulations offers far better protection from livestock borne disease than the rules that apply to Covid 19. In order to import bulls into the islands the regulations mandate that the importer must provide negative test results AND provide documented proof that “animals for export were held in a quarantine facility approved by the government of the country of origin for a minimum of 30 days prior to export and were transported directly from the quarantine facility to the port of embarkation”. In a Compass article, Mr. George Ebanks of the Cayman Islands Agriculture Society, speaking of the mandatory quarantine prior to the animals being imported, said that “Strict quarantine and testing is essential in order to prevent the introduction of pests and diseases.”

    Allowing self quarantine at private residences is as airheaded and downright dangerous an idea as this government has ever ever come up with. All the lockdown time, the curfews, the restricted alphabet days, the business closures and the rest will be for nothing if Covid 19 gains a foothold in our community. Taking into account the vast percentage of asymptomatic and mild cases we had heretofore, we can conclude that the strain we initially had was a milder variety. Perhaps it is because of the low threat and impacts Covid 19 has had on the Cayman Islands that our people have become complacent. The new strains could well be ones that bring a higher viral load early on and could have the potential to be far, far more deadly.

    The CI government should take a hint from the requirements for importing cattle. They should arrange to have a quarantine/lockdown facility in Miami and make inbound travellers quarantine there rather than take foolhardy risks with the lives of our people. Most people with half a brain would agree that the same strict standard that mandates an appropriate quarantine period and negative testing before a bull can travel into our islands should certainly apply to potentially infected humans. (Can somebody lend our government half a brain?)

    • Anonymous says:

      Complacent? Mate, you lot are beyond hysterical about COVID

      The economic loss is harder to measure but you can be assured it will occur. Just think what the extra 30m a month would do if spent on education, healthcare, job training, policing etc etc

    • Anonymous says:

      Man, you are going off the rail! I just can’t believe the crap that comes out of your comment.

      The perpetrators who inflicted havoc on the planet and the human species must be stopped! Humans have fought off viruses for eons.

      • Anonymous says:

        Like we fought off the bubonic plague? It is reported that 25,000,000 people died! Look it up.

        • Anonymous says:

          Hum. This is not even remotely close to the bubonic plague. Have a valium, this is the sort of hysterics that burned down the economy to ashes

    • Anonymous says:

      As a health professional I may not agree with everything this post says but the majority of it makes a lot of sense. Very surprised to see how many likes there are for the “mass hysteria” comments. Think hard about what reality will really be like here if we have an outbreak as a result of these potentially dangerous “home quarantines” and government forces us all back into a lengthy lockdown. What will the economy look like then when it comes to a screeching halt and a large percentage of the population suddenly finds themselves jobless again.
      I agree that more of an effort should be made to test and identify positives “before” they are allowed to board a plane and reach Cayman. 12 (heavy viral load) positives in the last week from people allowed to come back from abroad. That’s a lot folks and puts us on precarious ground especially when most of them are allowed to do a very potentially leaky home quarantine. If people can be identified as positives before leaving their departure country, then we can obviously avoid having them come here and spread the virus. If they are tested again immediately after arrival and show positive, then they should be forced to go into a government quarantine facility with no contact to any family members or roommates until their time in quarantine is over and they have had their negative tests. Come on Cayman, we worked so hard to get back to some semblance of a normal life with our kids back in school and being allowed to go out to restaurants and gyms and our beaches without any restrictions, let’s not throw it all away now!! And come on Dr. Lee, don’t cave int to the pressures of a few at the expense of the rest of us.

      • Anonymous says:

        As a health professional you may wish to look at what Bermuda is doing. They have extensive testing including pre arrival testing going on for visitors and then no quarantine after you test negative at arrival.
        They have been running this for about 6 weeks and they haven’t had a surge in cases and their tourism industry is open for business.
        I am not advocating that Cayman follows them but it does provide a reality check on all those people who keep banging the “fear” drum that calamity will strike if we continue with the home quarantine program.
        Based on the real world evidence about how Bermuda is managing it, there is plenty of scope for Cayman to reduce the quarantine period from 14 days to 10 or even 5 days with a negligible increase in risk.
        We need to start thinking openly and creatively about how we are going to live with Covid going forward. A vaccine is not going to stop Covid it will just protect the more vulnerable people in our society. It is time we stopped the fear game and started having more constructive conversations about where we go from here.

    • Anonymous says:

      Must be a troll – a good laugh though

    • Anonymous says:

      5.11pm Live alone and gonna try go UK to see family. Try and stop me not coming back and living in my own home to quarantine, done it from March and will do so again? Do not paint everyone with same brush, you do not talk for me!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Quote: “The government are absolute morons.”

      That’s not news………. Everyone knows that!

    • Anonymous says:

      We allowed those who actually tested positive to quarantine at home and it worked. Allowing people who are most likely not positive to do the same is lower risk. Get a grip, now is a time for cool heads not hysterical name calling. By luck or judgement CIG nailed it. Get over it.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Gibraltar has a similar population as Cayman, shares a border with Spain and has not shutdown its borders, imposed mandatory quarantines, or done obligatory tests on arrivals. Guess how many COVID deaths there has been. Also ZERO! Just people taking reasonable precautions for their own health and a competent government which doesn’t infantilise its populace. Maybe instead of hysteria Caymanians should try it out?

    • HearYe says:

      The government are absolute morons to allow self quarantine at a private residence!
      Our leaders are becoming far too lax about the requirements for entry. If friends and loved ones here have not seen an inbound traveler for months, it’s a good bet that at some point someone will take a chance and drop by for a visit. The geofencing bracelet will not prevent visitors from coming into the quarantine abode. Should the inbound travelers be infected, the visitors can become infected and they can become spreaders throughout the community. The trouble with this scenario is that contact tracing will be difficult because the quarantined travelers will probably not rat out their visitors and the visitors certainly will not admit where they got it from and subject themselves to prosecution.

      Government regulations offers far better protection from livestock borne disease than the rules that apply to Covid 19. In order to import bulls into the islands the regulations mandate that the importer must provide negative test results AND provide documented proof that “animals for export were held in a quarantine facility approved by the government of the country of origin for a minimum of 30 days prior to export and were transported directly from the quarantine facility to the port of embarkation”. In a Compass article, Mr. George Ebanks of the Cayman Islands Agriculture Society, speaking of the mandatory quarantine prior to the animals being imported, said that “Strict quarantine and testing is essential in order to prevent the introduction of pests and diseases.”

      Allowing self quarantine at private residences is as airheaded and downright dangerous an idea as this government has ever come up with. All the lockdown time, the curfews, the restricted alphabet days, the business closures and the rest will be for nothing if Covid 19 gains a foothold in our community. Taking into account the vast percentage of asymptomatic and mild cases we had heretofore, we can conclude that the strain we initially had was a milder variety. Perhaps it is because of the low threat and impacts Covid 19 has had on the Cayman Islands that our people have become complacent. The new strains could well be ones that bring a higher viral load early on and could have the potential to be far, far more deadly.

      The CI government should take a hint from the requirements for importing cattle. They should arrange to have a quarantine/lockdown facility in Miami, and make inbound travelers quarantine there rather than take foolhardy risks with the lives of our people. Most people with half a brain would agree that the same strict standard that mandates an appropriate quarantine period and negative testing before a bull can travel into our islands should certainly apply to potentially infected humans. (Can somebody lend our government half a brain?)

      • Anonymous says:

        I agree with the first 5 words of your post.

        The rest of it is borderline fascistic

        Humans are not cattle. We are endowed with certain rights. One of them is the right of liberty and freedom from arbitrary and unlawful detention.

      • Anonymous says:

        This rubbish was posted twice??

    • HearYe says:

      You tell only part of the story. Perhaps you are a tad benighted on news from Gibralter?
      FYI: Gibraltar’s CM imposed a total social lockdown beginning March 24. The government also imposed travel restrictions, enacted mandatory isolation for those exposed to a positive case, etc. On Aug. 26 they announced compulsory mask orders for all covered public places (under penalty of a fine!).
      So drastic were the measures that the CM said in a press conference: “We are, in effect, putting our economy into an induced coma.” BTW: They also prohibited inbound travel from the USA. Their precautions were not all that different from ours. Hear Ye this: You make it sound like Gibralter was all freedom of choice and coffee at the bistro. It wasn’t, BoBo. You need to get the rest of the story straight.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, it was Spain who closed it borders so they didn’t have to do it…
      Also that part that Gibraltar has zero cases is lie.
      https://covidist.com/mobile/GI
      As soon as Spain reopened, Gibraltar new cases started growing exponentially.

    • Anonymous says:

      Here we go again with another baseless comparison with the Cayman Islands and the “Great” rest of the world. The pandemic is the least of Gibraltar’s border concerns. Go now and research the issues concerning la linea de la Concepcion.

  4. Anonymous says:

    You can bet your ass that CIG is subsiding these empty BA flights, just so someone can get their Waitrose sausage rolls every two weeks.

  5. Anonymous says:

    The Incompetent Authority strikes again.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I know for a fact that there is a tourist here that has no family connection, is not a property owner, nor has any essential need to be here. They are in quarantine and then will be on holiday for 2 weeks. How is this allowed to happen? Government or Travel Cayman are clearly not checking the “approved” status of travellers, and these types of people are just bogging down the whole system for all of the legit residents who need to travel to and from Cayman right now. Where are all the unemployed Caymanians? Can they not be hired to answer the phones and emails and assist the travel process? It’s ridiculous.

    • Anonymous says:

      1.29pm Would be happy to, better than sitting alone all day and night. Anybody have any details of who to contact?

    • Anonymous says:

      How dare they spend their money keeping your economy afloat…

      • Anonymous says:

        How dare they potentially kill our economy by potentially bringing and spreading the COVID to our community! One tourist will NOT keep our economy afloat, but one infected tourist could easily bring it down

        • Anonymous says:

          No one tourist will not. But the way you collectively treating foreigners (or driftwood if you prefer?) most certainly will kill the economy and the flow of USD you are reliant on…

      • Anonymous says:

        Whose money????

    • Anonymous says:

      Get a life instead of spying on people. He/she might have many legitimate reasons to be here.

    • Anonymous says:

      And this is a bad thing why. They are quarantining for 14 days will have to test negative and then will be spending money in your economy. No risk are willing to quarantine for 14 days to be able to enjoy a vacation on your island and spend money. Isn’t this what you should be striving for in your state of hysteria.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Please get some expats involved in the process. Let them figure out the hard stuff. No one cares who gets the credit just make it functional. What you have now is the usual undereducated but arrogantly self important management of a critical aspect of Cayman Islands survival. Please try harder to keep Cayman Islands from failing.

    • Anonymous says:

      In any private industry if the CEO or similar messes up he/she gets sacked. Only in Cayman you will get an Award for it.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Whoopee do. So now I can book a flight and commit to pay for it, but I still wont know until the day before whether I can actually fly on it? Fix the screening system – how hard can it be for heavens sake. given the small numbers involved and the fact that we have broken the gridlock problem of enough beds in quarantine, just how hard can it be? You are either a traveler who falls into one of of the authorized categories, or you are not. And if you are an authorized traveler, you either have pre cleared home residence by travel time , or you default to going to either government facility or one of the hotels. Sure travelers would agree to that in exchange for a confirmed seat even if public health cant get their act together to clear home residences – the key issue is not where you will spend the quarantine, but that you can make the damn flight. Its not rocket science for heavens sake. Tp hear that the last group of travelers had people waiting for Eric Bushs signature on a piece of paper is infuriating.

  9. Anonymous says:

    What a ridiculous operation. If the CAL system required the “travel approval” BEFORE booking, it would eliminate the issue of people having to panic because their departure is close yet no approval received. Common sense should dictate you don’t buy tickets until you KNOW you can travel.

    • Anonymous says:

      It would replace it with a different problem – no one being on the planes because precious few people can make arrangements to travel internationally at 48 hrs or less notice. Then you would replace people desperate that they may not get their seat confirmed with people desperate because they have no way of getting home. And kiss goodbye with the “move to Cayman and work remotely”
      initiative.

      May as well just shut the airport down except for the billionaires boy club who are not dependent on a scheduled flight and know damn well there is no way they are going to be refused entry.

  10. Anonymous says:

    #shitshow

  11. Anonymous says:

    Why must the civil service always over complicate things?

  12. Anonymous says:

    “… non-residents could be charged around $200 per person… ”
    Is it a Pirate week already?

  13. Anonymous says:

    West Nile Virus in Florida

    • symptoms for West Nile Virus are similar to the flu or the coronavirus
    • symptoms of the West Nile Virus can be fever, headaches and fatigue that can last for weeks. That can be very similar to COVID-19, where symptoms also include fever or chills and body aches.
    • families should use mosquito netting to protect young children instead of using repellent on them

  14. Anonymous says:

    shambolic incompetence and confusion at every turn…..business as usual for the civil service.

  15. Anonymous says:

    The flights in December are still called repatriation flights. Are they? Or are they regular flights? Can a tourist come in? What is the REAL plan?

  16. Anonymous says:

    $9,000 to sit behind 4 walls for 14 days? Wow!

    • Anonymous says:

      They have bidets

    • Savannah says:

      It’s despicable how much people have to pay just to quarantine. Just a one way flight out of miami to cayman is $305 when normally it’s less than $100. Then on top of that you have to pay to thousands of dollars to quarantine. Get it together cayman

      • Anonymous says:

        To be fair, you pay zero if you are Caymanian or PR and stay in the government facility. Of course, all irrelevant if you ant get permission to travel because TravelCayman is apparently incapable of dealing with 800 seats a month.

        • Anonymous says:

          You may pay zero but we will be paying for years to come, $2,500 plus power person is unsustainable and it is ultimately our money that government is spending.

      • Anonymous says:

        The flights out if London are being offered as premium seats for close to 2500 Pounds. One way!
        How many persons can afford that to float an half empty plane just because GOV cant handle more than 100 persons at a time! Work in 2 shifts including weekends if needed. Even better have it transferred to a private enterprise.

    • Anonymous says:

      Was doing a Staycation at the Ritz a few weeks ago. Sitting by the poolside bar waiting for some drinks and a gentleman came strolling up with a happy smile as he was being welcomed back home by a couple of other chaps who obviously were also residents of the Ritz and knew him well. One fellow asked the newcomer when he had gotten back from South Africa, to which the gentleman replied, “I just flew in a couple hours ago”. So much for quarantine measures being followed there.

      • Anonymous says:

        That sounds much nicer than the North Koreanesque Riz concentration camp video I saw a couple weeks ago on cayman compass.

        May have to reconsider my relocation plans. Two weeks inside a 30sqm room ain’t gonna happen.

  17. Anonymous says:

    This is not going to stop until is another wave of c-virus and get another hard lock down. sad. So very sad

  18. Say it like it is says:

    I also arrived today,every passenger I spoke with only got their travel permission late last night except for two who had to call the CIG London office at check in to get theirs. This last minute uncertainty causes immense anxiety to travellers and has to stop. There were only around 50 or 60 passengers on the flight so we are not talking vast volumes of paperwork.
    Eric Bush who signs these letters needs to stop this last minute process and issue the travel authorisations at least a week in advance.

  19. Anonymous says:

    In other words, government just lost all ability to prioritize residents over others for limited spaces.

    • Anonymous says:

      They were already NOT prioritizing residents over visitors. Why doesnt CNS request end of October statistics on how many of the permitted 800 were permanent residents/Caymanians vs visitors/vacation home owners.

      But then, if travel by residents is only supposed to be essential why are there entire families going away just for shopping and coming back in with fully paid quarantine using the public purse. They said they were not even asked what the purpose of their travel was.

      And you cant register with traveltime for November travel yet? But yet people are already confirmed? By time the “open” booking starts end of October, all the spots will be filled by who-knew-who to get advanced approval.

      We’re gonna have a hell of a tab at the end of all this and it will only be paid back by increasing the cost of living on the rest of us by way of increased indirect taxes.

      • Anonymous says:

        “But then, if travel by residents is only supposed to be essential why are there entire families going away just for shopping and coming back in with fully paid quarantine using the public purse.”

        Exactly! Too many people going in/out unnecessarily. This type of foolishness is bogging down the system AND drains the Government’s funds! Stop allowing this leisure travel or start making those with non-essential travel reasons have to pay their own quarantine!

  20. Jody says:

    Issuing travel time letters at check in just caused hassle for everybody, including BA.

    Too many ground staff in Cayman running around like headless chickens, really poor communication

    Arrived today

    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks Jody, good to know from travellers what is going on. Welcome back!

    • ( ͡ ͡° ͜ ʖ ͡ ͡°) says:

      Welcome!🌞

    • Anonymous says:

      Welcome back and thanks for the update!
      Nothing new about ground staff in Cayman running around like headless chickens, why so many staff standing around doing nothing or just passing the buck when asked for assistance?!

  21. Anonymous says:

    #worldclassbeauracracy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.