Cayman Islands borders to reopen in March

| 31/12/2020 | 193 Comments
Premier Alden McLaughlin, Christmas 2020

(CNS): The Cayman Islands will be reopening its border to tourists in just a few months, according to Premier Alden McLaughlin. In his New Year’s Eve message, he said that with the arrival next week of enough coronavirus vaccines to protect the most vulnerable, the borders can open in March. However, visitors must be vaccinated and provide a negative COVID-19 test to enter or they will still be required to quarantine.

“By March we hope to have successfully vaccinated and protected a sufficiently large number of our population, including all of those at most risk. If we can achieve that target, we should be able to open our borders once again,” McLaughlin stated in his New Year Message.

Having struggled to get through the worst of the health crisis, McLaughlin said his government was determined to keep Cayman safe.

“We will require that arriving travellers have also been vaccinated and received both a negative COVID-19 test before arriving and a second negative test on arrival, along with any other public health requirements. Travellers not meeting these requirements will have to quarantine,” he added.

The premier noted that availability of vaccines is the safest way to open up the country and the economy more broadly. “Our first shipment of vaccines will arrive in early January and we will then roll out our national vaccination plan,” McLaughlin stated, but warned that rebuilding will take time and “resolute effort.”

Nevertheless, the premier said he was confident that Cayman and its people will emerge stronger from the challenges everyone faced this year. “Despite the challenges of COVID-19, our economy will strengthen with growing private sector confidence and increasing investment.”

Facing a general election this year, even though he will no longer be running as the Progressives’ leader, the premier spent much of his New Year’s address outlining what he said were the achievements of this current Government of National Unity and the previous PPM-led coalition.

He said that continued investment is critical to the rebuilding of the economy in the wake of COVID and that will happen “as long as the business sector remains confident in the political and fiscal leadership government is providing”.

Heading into a new year and an election season, McLaughlin said that on all the main issues that matter to Caymanians, residents and investors, the government and the country was heading in the right direction.

“We have achieved much over this term. But we know there is still more to deal with, particularly with the pandemic and its consequences,” he stated. “This year has been a tougher time than any of us can remember. Yet as a country we have come through the worst of this crisis and while there is still a long road to travel, as I have said, we are on the right path.”

See the full NY Message in the CNS Library or watch it below:

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Comments (193)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    From CNN today – New Zealand adds mandatory pre-flight day of departure testing to 14 day strict quarantine protocol in order to save lives

    New Zealand will require all travelers from the United States and the United Kingdom to obtain a negative Covid-19 test result before departing for the country, the Ministry of Health said in a statement on Sunday.

    The new measures, which will be implemented from January 15, will “provide another layer of protection for New Zealand from Covid-19,” the ministry said.

  2. Cayman Hype says:

    Why can’t Alden and his UK cohorts answer a simple question? are UK passengers on this vaccine flight in light of what is happening in Jamaica re their positive test for this variant Covid 19 or are we to assume it is already here from previous flights and Dr lee fondling of words on 15 th October 2020 where he mentions a unusual high load factor in certain UK passengers is and indication of this variant.You and this governor seem to think the Caymanian people are all stupid.My next question why don’t we have testing ability for this new variant or are we to assume that may also be a lie too. You and others unfortunately seem to think you protecting the Cayman people by hiding the truth but this virus has a nasty way revealing it and causing alarm and embarrassment to everyone with deadly consequences! This silence indicates and portrays just the type of political lowlife you are and I hope your Red Bay friends remember it when they go to the polls in May !

  3. Anonymous says:

    I thought some people might like to know that 90 minute testing has been available for months at Heathrow and some of us coming home to Cayman are using. It costs about $100 but it is worth it to those of us who value what Cayman now has.

    Airports in the US are now starting to offer the same service.

  4. Anonymous says:

    As a reminder to those few that still advocate following the Bermuda model and reducing our 14 day quarantine, Bermuda’s schools are still closed as a result of their failure to stop the virus getting in with their lax protocols:

    • Anonymous says:

      6:15 pm: yes, Bermuda’s schools may still be closed but the 14-day period of isolation is no longer standard across the board. The period of isolation depends on severity of illness, and the point of reference for the isolation period for severe cases is the day at which oxygen supplementation is no longer required. See this article on the latest:

      It is important we inform ourselves on this as Cayman may eventually conform to these new standards.

      Bermuda may have other issues. Also, if I recall correctly, Bermuda does require testing of visitors within a maximum of 72 hours prior to arrival, which Cayman does not currently require.

      So I believe that the virus upsurge In Bermuda may be due to community-based spread that caught them unawares and possibly isolation management issues and not necessarily to the period of isolation per se.

  5. Anonymous says:

    It cannot be right to allow untested people who might infect others onto flights to Cayman. Why would we be that stupid and callous?

    • Anonymous says:

      If you have to ask. Being empathetic(do unto others?)is not a Caymanian trait. Unless you are punishing the “others”.

    • Anonymous says:

      4:15 pm: I think the govt made a risk assessment and decided that on balance a negative test prior to arrival did not give a lot of assurance. A negative test prior to arrival only means that at the time of testing the person was negative and thus could provide a false sense of security.

      Also, visitors need to make arrangements for travel —ticket purchase and accommodations—well before 72 hours prior to arrival, which is a reasonable pre-testing period, all factors considered.

      • Anonymous says:

        I doubt that any proper risk assessment was done. It is beyond doubt that airport based day of departure testing minimises the probability that incoming infected people will infect others passengers on the aircraft, flight crew, ground handling staff, CBC personnel, drivers and others get infected. Convenience of visitors should not outweigh the cost to the entire island if the virus gets in. Most other developed countries recognise that now.

  6. Anonymous says:

    No matter what you do or say now I’m not voting for you.
    As a father of three girls I am absolutely disgusted in you.
    I don’t know how your sisters or niece even speak to you.
    Maybe you were buying at GOH.
    Red Bay Voter

  7. Anonymous says:

    Does Cayman have the proper freezers for maintaining the vaccine? I know that it can be packed in dry ice for shipping but that is not practical over days and weeks. Is there even a facility for making dry ice in the required volumes in Cayman?

    • Anonymous says:

      Announced that Health City had a suitable freezer & our government had ordered another. The vaccine won’t need to be kept for weeks either with insufficient being made available for our population.

    • Anonymous says:

      12:31 pm: Yes, the HSA does have the required freezers for storing the Pfizer vaccine. Going forward, however, based on the latest government release, government may opt for the cheaper but just as effective AstraZeneca version that does not require the level of refrigeration and the meticulous handling required by Pfizer’s.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone know when the protocol for allocating the vaccine to specific risk/age groups will be made public? Similarly when and where will vaccinations be made available? A little transparency would be nice.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Common sense says that we should be preventing infected people from getting onto flights to Cayman. So why is not airport day of departure testing not required on flights between now and March?????

    • Anonymous says:

      Because various places cannot get you tested and reliably give you results in the window available, and because the fact you do not have Covid 3 days before getting on a plane is irrelevant.

      • Anonymous says:

        The only places planes come here from both have testing available. And if you don’t have Covid 3 days before you fly it doesn’t mean you might not catch it in the 3 days or even in the flight, but it significantly reduces the chances that you have Covid pre arrival by eliminating all those people that do have it. And in the course making the flight safer for everyone as well.

        • Anonymous says:

          3:49 pm: when you weight up all the facts, it may not be very meaningful to test at airports even if the logistics of that were not so nightmarish:

          1. You could have contracted the virus and still test negative. It takes three to five days from contagion for the virus to be detected in a test.

          2. You could contract it after testing—at the departure airport, on the flight or in period from arrival during processing and journey to isolation quarters.

          3. People, like the Mack young lady, who protested that she had tested negative twice — before arrival and at the airport—derive a false sense of security that they are virus-free and so should not be quarantined. That is actually playing a game of Russian roulette.

      • Anonymous says:

        Silly response. Why should the convenience of getting tested outweigh risks to people on flights to Cayman and the people of Cayman?

        Further, the original post specified day of departure testing not testing days before the flight.

        • Anonymous says:

          On what planet can you get tested and get a result on the same day before check-in?

          • Anonymous says:


          • Anonymous says:

            It is now available in many countries. For flights from the UK to Cayman here is how it is booked. Some people are getting tested voluntarily but we need everyone tested.


          • Anonymous says:

            There are definitely airports are offering in-airport testing. Just one example is United passengers going to Hawaii from San Francisco. They can test in the airport and, if negative, do not have to quarantine:

          • Anonymous says:

            In the US, there are LOTS of options for rapid results. Some are are as quick as 15 minutes. Many of these places don’t even charge for the service!

            • Anonymous says:

              That’s true – I live in Florida – but I don’t think many of those places offer such rapid PCR tests. They offer decent but less reliable tests in 15 mins/an hour. Usually the quickest a PCR test seems to be guaranteed – outside of airports – is 24 hours. Cayman would likely require PCR testing (private schools require those for covid-exposed kids coming back to school post-quarantine, for example).

          • Anonymous says:

            Panama. 45 minutes test turnaround. Required upon entry or else quarantine. Theyve been using since August.

          • Anonymous says:

            Those of us who’ve had one or more, would tell you: PCR test results are returned in 6-8hrs in most places, even in Cayman.

          • Anonymous says:

            Fort Lauderdale, Seattle, Miami, Cleveland Just to name a few I have done it at in the past month.

    • Anonymous says:

      We can give you the information but we can’t understand it for you.

    • Anonymous says:

      12:23 pm: in addition to the fact that testing and reporting at airports is a major operation, some already infected people may test negative.

      According to epidemiologists, a person can test negative “for at least three to five days after exposure.” Look it up on the Internet.

      That is another reason that the govt does not currently insist on pre-testing for arriving visitors.

      • Anonymous says:

        The issue is not exposure it is the capacity to infect others on the aircraft or on arrival in Cayman. Less than 1% of people who test positive on PCR testing are infectious. Most of the people now testing positive on arrival after exposing others to the virus would not be on the flights if proper day of departure testing was implemented.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Who is benefiting from the plan to delay LAMP/PCR testing of inbound passengers until after March?

    If no one is benefiting then why is such a significant risk being taken with people’s lives? Most other countries are now requiring day of departure or at least testing within 72 hours of flying. The countries that are serious are simply banning flights from highly infected countries.

  11. Anonymous says:

    The new highly contagious form of the virus is on the rampage in the UK and now elsewhere and our government is planning delay preflight testing starting in March. Did they reach a deal with the virus to ensure that the virus will not infect those flying in for the next 3 months. If not they are taking an unjustifiable risk with the lives of passengers, flight crew, airport staff and taxi drivers.

  12. Gentle Reminder says:

    What do alden’s government and travel Cayman have in common both are Stupid as they can be! and they putting our lives and our children’s future at grave risk!

    • Anonymous says:

      Gentle Reminder – are you aware that the survival rate of covid 19 for people under 30 years is 99.9997%

      • Anonymous says:

        OK then. Lets all make up random numbers to fool folks. Lets ignore the actual numbers in the hope that Covid deniers spread of the disease. Look how well that is working out north of us.

      • Anonymous says:

        YMMV, and “survival” is the wrong benchmark. For example, there are a lot of “survivable” STDs too, like Herpes, but it doesn’t mean you should go out and start licking public toilet seats, to expand your immune system task list. Science has learned that COVID-19 doesn’t necessarily go away entirely in some, so much as it can recede to undetectable levels…possibly resurging again when the body is run down.

  13. Anonymous says:

    The vaccine was achieved at break neck speed. The gamble paid off for Cayman. It was a pure gamble though, let’s be honest about it. It could have easily taken years. And let’s not pretend we avoided the pandemic. Thousands of destroyed futures paid for this.

    In any case, thank god we have a sensible plan in front of us at long last. Finally.

    • Zombie Jesus says:

      Every country took a gamble to some extent based on the information available to them at the time and on what categories and aspects of their society that they felt were most important. In the same vein, every country’s economy and way of life was negatively impacted by this pandemic in some way and for different periods of time. So I’m really struggling to follow your train of thought, I would also be interested in knowing how you would have handled this situation?

      • Anonymous says:

        If Jesus hadn’t wanted this disease to kill people, he wouldn’t have allowed it….. would he?

  14. DB says:

    Before everyone panics, think this plan through.

    1) Regardless of if travelers are vaccinated or not vaccinated they will be required to wear a mask while traveling.

    2) Testing before arrival will prevent those with a positive result from traveling.

    3) Testing upon arrival will catch those that became positive from the time of the pre-travel test to the arrival

    4) A large percentage of visitors to our islands travel with their children; since the Moderna and Pfiser vaccines are not approved for use in children (under 16) that eliminates a large number of people from the US from considering traveling until children can be vaccinated. Families will not travel and risk a child testing positive then being put in quarantine.

    5) “…along with any other public health requirements.” This can mean anything from shorter quarantine to more testing, etc.

    As for the new variant – it is new but it is not more deadly. Scientists believe it spreads more rapidly but it does not cause more acute symptoms. Scientists also believe the vaccine will be effective against this new variant as well as future mutations of the virus. Mutations happen, this is the normal progression of a virus.

    CIG has finally come up with some sort of plan to reopen the border. The bottom line is regardless of the plan they will not make everyone happy. It is not possible for them to please everyone. Is this plan perfect? NO. Will any plan be perfect? NO.

    For some people, the only option that will make them feel safe is to continue to keep the border closed until the rest of the world is vaccinated This approach will take many, many years, in truth, it will likely never happen. Cayman can’t exist for multiple years without tourism. Some will poo-poo this opinion, so be it, the truth is a large number of people depend on tourism for their livelihood. CIG can’t support these people indefinitely.

    The plan to reopen will likely change multiple times between now and March. Look at the history, up to this point of “reopening” the border and we can be relatively sure there will be changes in the required protocol and quite likely the date will change entirely. We can also be sure most US citizens that typically spend spring break in Grand Cayman won’t be attempting to do so for two reasons; vaccine will not be widely available to all US citizens by March/April and kids (under 16) won’t have vaccine available to them until late summer.

    If I had any say-so would add the following to the reopening plan:

    Proof of vaccination
    Negative PCR test no more than 5 days before departure
    Negative PCR test upon arrival.
    Testing on day 5 and day 10 (if still on-island). This approach covers a 20-day span, thus providing confidence in the covid-free status of the traveler.

    • Anonymous says:

      Some people who test negative 0-10 days after exposure/develop symptoms/reach high enough viral loads to spread the virus/test up to 14 days after exposure. Testing only up to 10 days after possible exposure is not adequate.

    • Anonymous says:

      The government does not have to support people indefinitely. There are (for now) plenty of non tourism related jobs available, and many more presently filled by unskilled or semi-skilled expatriates.

    • Anonymous says:

      DB at 1:16 pm: I do agree that based on our track record, Cayman will likely adjust protocols before March. That is not surprising in a developing situation. No one has a crystal ball but the govt at least has a plan.

      Analyzing all the facts, I do agree that requiring pre-testing now is not very meaningful but that requiring a negative test with a vaccination certificate in March is different.

      A negative test in March accompanied by a vaccine is definitely more reliable than a negative test now without a vaccine. In the March situation a negative test serves as reliable supporting evidence.

  15. Tobin Frost says:

    Dearest Alden protege of Mckeeva our greatest political virus can you tell the Cayman citizenry why you and moses our worshipful Drone master are letting in passengers on the BA flight on the 5th january 2 thousand and 21 in year of our lord knowing that almost the entire world has blocked UK citizens from entering their borders because of a very highly contagious variant of this Covid 19 virus that we don’t even have the ability to test for? What plan do you and your colonial minions have in mind to protect Cayman?

    • Anonymous says:

      Because of protocols in place that quarantine new arrivals. The new variant will still yield a positive test.

      • Andy Cornbeef says:

        The words highly “infectious” or “contagious” mean anything to you?? Subjecting crew airport & CBC staff baggage handlers transportation staff quarantine facilities and not to mention this home isolation Farce that no one obeys!

    • Anonymous says:

      Lol. You have offended the spin masters.

    • McCarron McLaughlin says:

      Pure hype Tobin Frost, you’re another chicken little! The one statistic nobody in the Media, Political world, or Health/Medical fields
      can fudge or lie about, is the number of deaths in the United States.

      In 2019, there was NO Covid-19: The number of USA deaths: 2,854,838

      At December 15, 2020, and a
      supposedly catastrophic virus pandemic raging the past 10 months, the number
      of 2020 USA deaths stood at:2,835,533, what the hell is going on did people stop dying from other non COVID-19 causes?

      CNS: If you are going to quote CDC figures, you cannot take them out of context. Either they are a reliable source or they aren’t. Right now the CDC’s running total of reported covid deaths in the US is 346,925. You have to be careful with statistics that you are comparing like with like (such as all reported deaths v. the preliminary official death count, bearing in mind there is a lag time between the two) and not just pulling figures out to suit your narrative or because you simply don’t understand them.

      If you are really interested in learning about the CDC mortality figures for covid, here is an explanation for the figures up to mid-October. This was before the current spike, so the final figures will be much worse. These are US government figures compiled by government statisticians during the Trump administration.

      The problem is that Trump decided early on to treat the pandemic as a big nothing because he didn’t want to upset his re-election campaign, which will go down in history as one of the most diabolically selfish acts by any US president. But as the hospital fill up and the death rate rises, clinging to that lie is sounding increasingly delusional.

      • Anon says:

        To CNS
        Also please remember that initially both CDC and Dr. Faucci played down the effects that COVI-19 would have, but it is easier to target Trump because that fits a narrative. I notice you did not mention that Trump was vilified when he promised a vaccine before then end of 2020, Please try to be more unbiased in your reporting!
        We are continually told to follow the science. Is this the science as put forward by the likes of Flip-flop Faucci? Or the science as put forward but Dr. Neil Ferguson (a Physicist not a medical practitioner) who has been totally wrong about every other disease he has pontificated about! The final death toll for Spanish Flu (which did not originate in Spain by the way) world wide was 50 million.
        Whilst I believe that Covid-19 is a highly contagious pandemic I also abhor the sensationalism of ALL the media in the reporting! Note that the headlines always start with the number of new cases, continually feature stories of “healthy” people dying of Covid. Where in 2019 did you read of the large number of deaths of “healthy” young people who die every year of other diseases? And please note in a lot of the reported cases the cause of death is from Covid related reasons, no mention of the underlying health problems.

        CNS: First off, yes, Trump was ridiculed about the timeline for the vaccine because one has never been produced so fast, and Operation Warp Speed is widely acknowledged as a success of the administration even by his critics. However, this is a man who consistently ridicules science and scientists and to a large extent he got lucky. Research into coronavirus vaccines was well advanced, scientists around the world shared expertise, and governments around the world and private sector entities poured money into it.

        I don’t want to get bogged down in the whataboutism here but there is a reason why we in the Cayman Islands have no community transmission and are able to go to parties and restaurants without a mask while the US is gearing up for a new wave in which many people will die: it’s is because here they took the virus very seriously, listened to the scientists, locked down mid-March, ignored the critics bellyaching about personal freedoms, and stuck to their guns. Meanwhile Trump, against all advice by public health experts and epidemiologists, was holding big super-spreader rallies right up to the November elections – and is still doing so. America is paying the price. Trying to blame anyone but Trump for that is being an apologist for stupidity.

        To get back to the main point of this thread, which is how many people are actually dying. it’s clear from the facts and figures in the CDC reports that many people are dying and my note was in response to someone who still does not believe that. One reason to continually stress the seriousness of this disease is because so many people just refuse to believe it. One of the reasons to highlight “healthy people” dying is because a truly sickening attitude has emerged that because most people who die are older or have pre-existing conditions that their deaths somehow don’t count. It is absolutely not true that the media is ignoring the effects of underlying conditions.

        The difference between covid and other diseases is that it is very contagious. That doesn’t mean that heart disease is not serious or that is it ignored in the media, but I am not going to give it to you. Covid can get, and in the US and the UK actually is getting, very much worse. Hence the reason to keep it in the news, to constantly remind people to take it seriously.

        • Anon says:

          Please give me a verifiable instance where Trump ridiculed the science.

          CNS: For any other president Sharpiegate would have defined them forever, a dangerously stupid act to protect a fragile ego: Trump’s “Sharpiegate” grudge may have cost NOAA’s acting chief scientist his job

          More on Trump v. science: How Trump damaged science — and why it could take decades to recover.
          Also: US Elections 2020: A history of Trump’s climate change denial
          Perhaps undermined or ignored would have been better words

          The so called experts like Dr. Fauci and Professor Ferguson yes. One because in the first instance Dr. Fauci has shown he does not know as much about the virus as he pretends and in the case of Professor Ferguson he has been wrong so many times that his record even defies random chance in the number of times he is wrong.

          CNS: Because he dared contradict Trump Dr Fauci has been the target of sustained attacks by the right wing media. He is an infectious disease specialist. This was a brand new infectious disease that all such experts had to learn about. Everyone was quite clear about that except Donald Trump who assured everyone it would just go away on its own. On Neil Ferguson, a lot of what he has written has been misunderstood or twisted. He models worst case scenarios and afterwards people call it predictions. It’s also a predictive science not a crystal ball. But this is still whataboutism to protect Trump’s bungling.

          Please also look at the countries (of a size bigger than our Islands) where the draconian measures have actually worked. Remember “flatten the curve” theory? Well a lot of countries have had repeated lockdowns and the curve is still not flat!

          CNS: The Countries Who’ve Handled Coronavirus the Best – and Worst
          If you were tuned into Fox News you may have missed it, but all public health experts were warning of a second or third wave if the virus was not brought under control.

          As to the mutation of Covid it is to be expected. It is normal for virus to mutate. It does not mean it is deadlier but as the virus is becoming more contagious and testing more widespread it follows there will be more cases. But what is the % of fatalities? That is the important figure, not the contagion rate. So why doesn’t the media headline that figure, is it because it is not sensational enough?

          CNS: I’m not exactly sure what point you’re making here but it seems to be a version of the Trump theory that there are more cases because there is better testing, therefore the virus is not really getting worse. The mutation is not more virulent but because more people will catch it, more people will die. This is why governments are stepping up efforts to contain it.

          The number of people who die = the % of fatalities x the number of people with covid

          However, although many more people are getting tested now, for a number of reasons the total number of people who are positive may never be known. That also makes the % figure problematic. The hard figure that can more easily be grasped is the death count toll, which is reported but not everyone believes it. Which is why the number to look at is the excess mortality figures, which have made it crystal clear that hundreds of thousands of people are dying above the expected number. It also debunks the constant claim that the deaths are not really higher than normal but are really just people dying normally.

        • Anon says:

          Latest figures from the UK show that the number of daily cases has increased by 80% while the number of deaths (although regrettable) has increased by just over 40%. So how does this make the Covid more deadly?

          CNS: There is a time lag between a rise in cases and a rise in deaths.

      • McCarron McLaughlin says:

        CNS stop pushing BS onhospitals filling up when 5 to 10 beds are dedicated to COVID-19 patients, check the CDC WEBSITE.

        CNS: Los Angeles Times: ‘They’re coming in younger and coming in sicker’: One hospital’s war with coronavirus

  16. Anonymous says:

    So approximately a third of us will have no protection. WhAT DOES THAT TELL YOU.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Open the border! This virus is nature just catching up for lost time with natural selection anyway.

    • Anonymous says:

      You first, bobo.

      These vaccines aren’t proven to stop transmission or neutralize the pathogen yet. (Not out of the woods, professor.)

      A little common sense for 2021, please. I burned everything that I had with 2020 on it, out of principle.

  18. Macho man says:

    Alden and Daggaro deputy prime minister did not tell you we are now Immune to Covid 19 or Wha?? We don’t even have testing ability for this new Variant strain but we are opening in March. Alden have you Mr Daggaro given Skylar her pardon she needs before she leaves bro!

    • Anonymous says:

      All of the information make it clear that anyone with the new strain will still test positive with our PCR testing. So we can detect if you have COVID-19 regardless of the strain.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Has anyone noticed that Cayman Airways has raised their airfares by $25 each way in the last few days? Those of us who must travel for medical care not available here are now forced to pay $403 to Miami and same return. This is obscene. So we don’t have to worry about people rushing to visit after the mythical March border reopening. These fares will discourage anyone but the most desperate from traveling. Shame on you, Cayman Airways!

    • Say it like it is says:

      10.21am Just to cheer you up, the one way fare from Miami to London on American on Jan 9th is US$351.

    • Anonymous says:

      Just wait until everything opens up again…prices for any type of travel will be insane.

    • You got a deal says:

      Friend you got a discount. Stop complaining. I paid $691 usd for my child to return home on her Christmas break from Miami. CAL making a killing from $215 usd to $691usd. I wondering if this is the Caymanian rate i paid.

  20. Anonymous says:

    The Cayman Islands can’t start building a March Break reservations book before the rest of the world has had time and resources to deploy even their first tier of vaccination rollouts to over 70s (who aren’t our target market). That the Minister of Tourism and Premier don’t get that, even now, is acutely worrying.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Meanwhile, Japan and other nations, are nervous about the end of July target start date for the 2020 Olympics. Opening in 59 days is absolutely delusional.

  22. Sea Wood says:

    It is prudent to require vaccination proof, be tested 72 hrs prior to boarding a flight to Grand Cayman with negative results, and be tested again on arrival with negative results.

    I’m in.

    Problem is I had COVID so think I will be the last to receive the vaccination.

    Vaccination of the whole island population while ideal will not be resisted by some. It is however the best way forward.

    • Anonymous says:

      Forcing people to take an unproven vaccine (how long will the protection really last if it offers true protection at all) that has been rushed to completion is a breach of the most basic of human rights. If people wish to voluntarily accept the vaccine then they are making a choice but you cannot require people to be injected with something that has not been around long enough to guarantee no detrimental long term side effects.

      • Anonymous says:

        Stunningly stupid misinformation you are peddling there Dr. 1:50pm. These vaccines have been tested and shown to be effective. While the may have been “rushed” through the process, the process was still followed correctly. While it’s true that we don’t know how long the protection will last, we do know that 3 months after the vaccine was administered, antibody count was still very high in the participants.

        • Anonymous says:

          We also know they are only 70% effective so a third of us will have no protection.

          • Anonymous says:

            11:25 am: hmmmm 70% effective? Most of the vaccine companies have reported 90 to 95 % efficacy rates. Where does this 70% rate come from?

            However, it is being forecast by epidemiologist that if 70% of the population are vaccinated we will approach herd immunity.

            Warning: however, epidemiologists are saying we will still need precautions for a good period after that as the virus may linger on. Some scientists are even saying it may never fully disappear.

        • Anonymous says:

          Show us the documents that prove this and the peer reviewed research…you know, actual practicing doctors……not from CDC “scientists” on behalf of Pharma companies as thats conflict of intetest

    • IMHO says:

      Vaccinating the entire island is a non-starter with our current allocation of drugs coming from the UK. If we get 40-50k extra does early to give everyone here a shot that means 40-50k vulnerable people and front-line workers in the Mother Country go without. No one is going to allow that as the optics and frankly the ethics on it are terrible.

      Only way we get to that is with a purchase of vaccine privately straight from a manufacturer. maybe we get lucky and can say that 50k does was the minimum order size so it doesn’t look bad on us for jumping the queue, while older people and front-line workers die in other parts of the world.

  23. Anonymous says:

    No Weed, No Vote

  24. Anonymous says:

    As a Christian country I thought we would have put our trust in God and not the scientists and by this I mean we adopt a healthy lifestyle to boost our own immunities and let God do the rest to keep the virus at bay. The humans have chosen, oh well.

    • Anonymous says:

      Give me a break. We certainly are not a Christian country. Just look at our Speaker.

    • Anonymous says:

      I can’t tell if this is a serious comment or joke poking fun at the notion there are people who “put our trust in God and not the scientists”.

      • Anonymous says:

        So scientists that die know more than God who has existed for ever?
        What planet of arrogance do you come from?
        To know and love God is the most incredible gift I have ever experienced.

        • Anonymous says:

          One could argue that god gave man knowledge to create medicine and knowledge to see medicinal treatments when sick etc. Religious fanatics are mentally I’ll. Religion is fine but fanatics are not.

        • Anonymous says:

          It takes all kinds. I have never believed there are any gods anywhere….. and do not see how anyone else would think so. Fortunately, we still have freedom of religion.

  25. Anonymous says:

    encouraging news Mr Premier, I have to assume the new property set-backs will also have been built and put in place by then for tourism to reacquaint itself with a naturally replenished SMB

  26. Anonymous says:

    From the Guardian today – not clear to me why our government has its head somewhere dark

    Canada will require air travellers aged 5 and up to test negative for Covid-19 before arrival, starting 7 January, transport minister Marc Garneau said, as the country tightens travel restrictions amid soaring coronavirus cases.

    Passengers will need to have a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) Covid-19 test taken within 72 hours prior to their scheduled departure to Canada, after social media images of unmasked Canadian tourists abroad prompted calls for stricter measures to curb the virus.

    • Anonymous says:

      Canada also requires 14 days of quarantine with daily checks in addition to pretesting. That is a much more sound policy than what we are doing in relation to these new much more infectious virus strains.

      • Anonymous says:

        Canada also does not require any PCR negative test after the 14 day incubation quarantine…which is why their hospitals are full.

    • PCR tests are wildly inaccurate, lot’s of false positives. It’s hospitalisations and deaths you should be concerned about, not media hyped case numbers. 99.7% recovery rate, so calm down, and do some real research.

      • Anonymous says:

        Not true. A PCR test for Covid 19 provides confidence of over 99% that a positive test is a true positive. However a negative test done on someone asymptomatic yields a 30% false negative result.

      • Anonymous says:

        I’d think they’d be considering hospitalization rates too but they don’t. Only a handful of our positives have even had symptoms nevermind need hospitalization.

        It seems the powers that be are operating under the mindset that any positive in the community will equal death despite the evidence to the contrary with the positives in quarantine.

      • Anonymous says:

        Right let me guess – PCR testing is part of a huge conspiracy that is only known to you and the select few that subscribe to Alt-Right news sources.

      • Anonymous says:

        You must be a troll. Your post is what is wildly inaccurate.

      • Anonymous says:

        Do you realise that based on the “false positive” numbers, the death rate is still around 4%? It’s only from extrapolating a greater number of “assumed” untested exposures that you could hope to proclaim a higher recovery rate.

        Also, when PCR samples are amplified to 40x viral RNA load, it is only amplifying what is already present in the originating sample: a positive result.

        Still no vaccine for stupid.

  27. Anonymous says:

    AND what happens if they do test positive upon arrival? Where do they go or stay? And who pays for that?

  28. Anonymous says:

    The vaccine arrives Tuesday, I guess that means the plan for distribution of the vaccine should arrive next August.

    • Anonymous says:

      “Our first shipment of vaccines will arrive in early January and we will then roll out our national vaccination plan”

      I think he forgot tomorrow is January. So it will be here in 5 days….but…there is NO rollout plan. Love it!

      • Anonymous says:

        umm, I heard they were already here…

      • Anonymous says:

        The roll out plan for a 2 dose vaccine is considerably more sophisticated and complicated than a single dose arrangement and will require government to have a complete CRM database of all people in cayman including full name, date of birth and contact information. If we don’t track recipients properly we won’t know who needs the vaccine, who got the vaccine and when to administer the second dose. I can see this going terribly wrong and the UK saying “no more vaccine until you get your house in order”. It would be nice to hear from government whether our house is in order!

  29. Anonymous says:

    So does anyone know if government even has the freezers that are necessary to keep the Pfizer vaccine at -80C? If so how many freezers are there and where are they? Are they on all 3 islands? Are they in the district health clinics? Will we all have to form a giant queue at the GT Hospital to get the vaccine? Reminds me of the song frequently played on Radio Cayman – There are more questions than answers

    • Anonymous says:

      Its called dry ice

    • Anonymous says:

      try to keep up, yes we do, which is why Cayman was selected as one of the few territories who would receive the the Pfizer one. Not sure how many or where, but it’s not like its first come first serve so I’m sure there won’t be a huge queue.

    • Anonymous says:

      Dry ice is all you need.

  30. Anonymous says:

    March… 2022
    Nowhere does the article mention March 2021.

    • D.S says:

      Mr Alden McLaughlin, I’m sure as the country’s premier you’ve been notified that civilized COUNTRIES are testing travelers before leaving that country of embarkation, those travelers have proof of vaccination card to present up in destination arrival.

      Mr McLaughlin, stop incurring expenses to burden the public purse.Caymans economy has suffered enough as a tourist destination.You haven’t a clue.
      FIRST IN LINE REQUIRED MUST BE PREMIER ALDEN MCLAUGHLIN setting the example.Lets see how well you do before following suit.

    • Anonymous says:

      Should be 2022, but everything rotates around election seasons and the words from their sponsors.

      “Free” microwaves, toasters, fridges, contracts and VIP treatment to PR made early Christmas rounds this time and not finished yet.

      Fresh roads, paywall hotels and corporate highrises are not stopping the bank from foreclosing on my house and selling to the highest bidders as a vacation retreat.

      DisneyWorld has nothing on the magical adventure that awaits in Absurdistan.

      Season passes available for every plush bank account that steps on the tarmac, regardless of intent or danger to others or their livelihoods.

      I am left to believe that locals are expected to disappear like side pieces except when elections happen. Only then, we are good enough for one night on the town of wine and dine.

  31. Anonymous says:

    I think this plan relies on Cayman being well-vaccinated before significant numbers of persons who would come here without quarantining will have been vaccinated. We don’t attract a lot of ‘vulnerable’ tourists, mainly healthy wealthy middle class people, who will be among the last to get vaccinated in their countries. By that time our population will be vaccinated, so let them come (proving they are negative). It is also a smart plan because it takes account of local and regional problems around the world. If you can’t get a test result back in time for a flight here or you haven’t received a vaccine yet because your country doesn’t have its act together, you won’t be able to come until it does and you get those things. I would like to see the timeline for the test pre flight and possibly a test a few days into a trip, which I don’t think overloads the obligations on visitors – it’s just one appointment while they’re here, assuming their test is negative.

    • D.S says:

      4:14 you’re a biggot!
      No! Not good enough to allow tourists to come proving they’re negative while this NWO puppet premier forces Caymanians to take a vaccine that may be deadly, causing death.
      Makes more sense to ask visitors incoming for proof of covid 19 testing negtive before leaving their country.Test them again on arrival after 14 days makes sense. If they test positive, then they should be quarantined for 10 days the new REQUIRED no. OF days.

  32. Anonymous says:

    I am not in favor of this until EVERYONE on Cayman who wants the vaccine has received both doses. Not just who Alden thinks is vulnerable, or the politicians and their families are protected. I don’t want germ-ridden tourists here until I’ve had my vaccine too. I simply cannot face being imprisoned in my home again with the virus raging outside.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Why would we put Caymanians and residents at risk by allowing potentially infected tourists the option to fly to Cayman without vaccination or pre-testing? That makes no sense. Why would we not simply have a rule that says that tourists cannot come if they don’t want to be vaccinated and also comply with pretesting that would decrease the risk for our population?

    • anonymous says:

      Please read the article before posting.

    • Anonymous says:

      Did you read the article? 🤦🏻‍♀️ It clearly states that both vaccination and testing is required or must quarantine like is required now.

      “We will require that arriving travellers have also been vaccinated and received both a negative COVID-19 test before arriving and a second negative test on arrival, along with any other public health requirements. Travellers not meeting these requirements will have to quarantine,” he added.

      • Anonymous says:

        Perhaps the article and what was attributed to the premier was too nuanced for some.

        The relevant point is that particularly with the high levels of infection around the world and the new strains of virus, allowing infected people onto planes puts other passengers, crew and the people who work at the airport and drive the taxis and the entire population at unreasonable risk. That is why quarantine on its own is no longer sufficient and that is why testing and vaccination should not be optional for tourists.

    • D.S says:

      Compliance should be optional.This ain’t Nazi Germany.

    • Anonymous says:

      Did you read fhe article or watch the Hon Premier’s speech? The Premier clearly stated that tourists would be required to be vacinated and test negative before traveling to the Cayman Islands and test negative again on arrival.

      • Anonymous says:

        Actually it says that tourists will not be required to be vaccinated or tested. Tourists, whether infected or not, will have the option of getting on planes flying to Cayman without testing, infecting other people on those planes and then infecting everyone else they come in contact with – provided that they go into quarantine.

  34. Anonymous says:

    What about protecting our children? There is no vaccine for children. It is not yet approved. So we care able the old people, but not our young ones? Remember Alden when you spoke about one person dying is too many. Well what if a child dies of COVID? Is that ok because they were not old and wise, and couldn’t vote yet??

  35. Anonymous says:

    Perfectly timed out for what will cause another lockdown and justify postponing elections so that those who secured 400M in loans can be direct guaranteed salary recipients of such. How predictable.

  36. Joe Imparato says:

    So what about the murder rate ? We have had two people stabbed to death in the last three months. This has taken place at the Strand parking lot right in the middle of the tourist district. Notwithstanding the human tragedy of another murder, the
    U.S. media will eat us alive and effectively put a knife in the heart of our already shakey tourism sector.

    • Anonymous says:

      Nice to finally see a Tourism Stakeholder speaking up and not just trying to go balls out to fill a pocket. Cayman has real and serious problems, the last anyone needs right now is another negative headline.

      Thank you, Mr Imparato, hopefully the powers at be note your concern. All the best to you and yours in 2021.

    • Anonymous says:

      Look at the thumbs down. This is an excellent comment that idiots think is wrong? WTF are you geniuses high on?

      • BeaumontZodecloun says:

        I gave his comment a thumbs down because it doesn’t belong in this discussion. Also, anyone can rant about problems and an unmeasurable “murder rate”. It takes stable people to arrive at solutions. Additionally, what the U.S. media decides to stroke itself with shouldn’t be our concern; they work from market shares and ratings and appear to be less concerned with truth and facts and people.

        Now see what I’ve done? My comment doesn’t belong in this discussion either.

      • Anonymous says:

        Perhaps they interpreted the post as being concerned about where the murders occurred, near to his business, rather than any concern for the victims of violent crime.

        • Anonymous says:

          Oh c’mon. Sad state of affairs in Cayman when one is brazen enough to make such a horrid comment.

          More people have died in Cayman during the COVID pandemic from murder than the virus!!!

          Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Bobo.

    • Anonymous says:

      Joe. 2 murders per year is unheard of anywhere in the world.

  37. Anonymous says:

    How much is sufficiently large? How many people are to be put at risk of illness or death with this plan?

    • Anonymous says:

      All the politicians their families and friends. This is just another vote buying exercise.

  38. Anonymous says:

    Having taken the time to watch the Premier’s yearend message after reading this article I have to say that the March date sounded more aspirational than fixed. What I would like to know is what is actually meant by the vague words used? What is ‘sufficient’ vaccination coverage for local residents before the borders are opened up. Is it acceptable to government to put 1000 unvaccinated resident’s lives at risk or 2000 or 3000? The devil is in the details and so far it sounds like there is not even a vaccination plan.

    • Anonymous says:

      A plan you ask? Our leaders and wannabe experts don’t have the mental capacity nor the dedication to plan much anything but choose silly names for impotent boards, panels and committees.

    • Anonymous says:

      Aspirational? 😂 His “plan” is a pipe-dream! Cayman can’t have the necessary amount of vaccinations done once by March (forget about 2 doses) and most visitors won’t even be eligible for vaccines until way after March.

      If you’re in the tourist industry, please know you’re still in for a LONG wait for any business. Hang in there, if you can, and hopefully my timeline will be way off. 🤞

  39. Anonymous says:

    Great news….until you read the details. 😏

    Requiring travelers to be vaccinated is stupid as it has been constantly reported that the vaccine prevents catching Covid but does not necessarily prevent transmitting it.

    If all of our vulnerable are protected, it is irrelevant if those coming in have been vaccinated. They definitely should have to do the pre-test AND test on arrival though! That is smart!

    Most people can’t even get vaccine until late-summer or fall so we’re a long ways away from our tourist industry rebounding. Ugh.

    • Anonymous says:

      Vaccine prevents them from getting ill and overwhelming our hospitals.

      • Anonymous says:

        I agree! However, his intent is obviously about not spreading it vs not burdening the hospital or it wouldn’t be optional. Allowing quarantine as on option shows it’s about keeping it out of the community not off the island.

      • Anonymous says:

        60% of them hopefully,

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m thinking Mar 2022 is sadly more a realistic date.

  40. Anonymous says:

    We need a lot more detail. The ‘plan’ outlined in the article makes no sense. Why would we re-open with only when only a tiny portion of the population had been offered the possibility of vaccination?

  41. Anonymous says:

    With these new highly contagious strains infecting people in the UK and now the US no tourist should be allowed to come without proof of vaccination, preflight testing, arrival testing and quarantine. Giving tourists a choice between preflight testing and quarantine is ridiculous. Why should tourists be given the choice over whether we get exposed to the virus?

    • BeaumontZodecloun says:

      That would be sound, if the “vaccine” actually conferred immunity to the recipient, as a conventional vaccine does. Pfizer states that it will lessen the severity of the symptoms, which means a person can still catch Covid-19, and quite possibly transmit it.

      Doesn’t really fit the definition of a vaccine, does it? More like Tamiflu for Coronavirus.

      I appreciate the hopeful tone of the Premier’s speech. I am hopeful, but very wary also.

      • Anonymous says:

        Actually after the second dose, the Pfizer vaccine was 95% effective in preventing cases of Covid-19 in those receiving the vaccine. In the few people who still got Covid 19 despite being vaccinated, their symptoms were less severe that those who received the placebo dose. 95% efficacy will decimate Covid 19 in populations receiving the vaccine.

  42. Anonymous says:

    1. Still hasn’t learned it’s better not to overpromise only to walk back those statements. We are back to the playbook Caymanian electioneering. The whole world is heading deeper and deeper into crisis and he wants to appease some Stingray boat operators. This is getting worse, not better. There will be a second wave of the second wave in early January.

    2. The Governor, with input from CMO and Premier, is responsible for enacting the provision of the Public Health Law that closed our borders. He’ll have to reopen them as well by suspending the Amendments he put in force. It’s improper for the Premier to pretend he in isolation, gets to change these laws in force unilaterally. Where are the Governor and CMO statements on border reopening timing?

    3. If Cayman are only receiving 1st dose Pfizer vaccines in January, with 2nd doses spaced a month or more later, how does Alden assume the island will be “sufficiently protected” by March? No traveller market will be “sufficiently protected” by that date either! Maybe June?

    4. What evidence will Cayman rely on to verify that inbound travelers are telling the truth about their claims of having been vaccinated? Will we insist that they carry a yellow WHO vaccine booklet with proof of two vaccinations? The paper vax cards they are giving out a CVS, or the IATA travel pass?

    • Anonymous says:

      With the UK now looking at 12 weeks between first and second doses, I can’t see how the UK provide more tests to Cayman to provide 2nd doses at the 3 week stage. I also can’t see that there will be any UK tourists given the prioritised age groups that they are working through. Additionally there is a shortage of vaccines in the UK so everything should be assessed against this backdrop.

      • Anonymous says:

        Agree with you. I also can’t imagine that it is the UK’s priority to send much-needed vaccines to Cayman, which is essentially covid-free, when there is a public health crisis in the UK itself. That’s not to say there is not a type of crisis in Cayman, of the tourist sector/future economic/travel complexity variety, but it’s not a public health emergency. If they carry on and do so, that’s great for Cayman, but I wonder if it will actually happen.

        I spoke to family in a crown dependency over the weekend. They are also being supplied their vaccines by the UK, through a similar agreement to Cayman’s. They are expecting their vaccines to be spaced out over the 12 week timeframe rather than the 3 week timeframe, in line with the latest proposed UK approach.

  43. Anonymous says:

    Why doesn’t Alden and the Governor call a press conference so that everyone can hear it from the horse’s mouth and be able to answer questions?

  44. Anonymous says:

    So if INFECTED tourists do not want to be vaccinated or tested they will be allowed onto planes with everyone else. That is idiotic. There should be no exceptions. No vaccine and no pretesting should mean that they do not get on a plane to Cayman.

  45. Anonymous says:

    How can he claim to be keeping Cayman safe if he still has not required arriving travelers to have preflight tests before getting on flights to Cayman?

  46. Anonymous says:

    We will have nowhere near the required 70% vaccination rate to achieve herd immunity, by March. Vaccinations will not prevent tourists from being carriers. The consequence will be a reintroduction of the virus. Prepare for another lockdown.

    • Anonymous says:

      How can you reintroduce something that wasn’t here?

    • Anonymous says:

      Agree with your first two sentences:

      We will have nowhere near the required 70% vaccination rate to achieve herd immunity, by March. Vaccinations will not prevent tourists from being carriers.

  47. Anonymous says:

    The developers of the Oxford/Astra-Zeneca vaccine partnered with the Russian developers of the Sputnik V vaccine (see BBC story last week). The intent and result is a combined vaccine, a “mix-and-match” cocktail of the two.

    Not sure if I would take anything with the Russian vaccine as part of it, as their trials were shit!

  48. Anonymous says:

    Gonna lie to us right to his end….what a disgusting and greedy man.

    • Anonymous says:

      If you live in the Cayman Islands you know darn well that Alden Mclaughlin, the present Hon. Premier made tough decisions and took the heat along with his PPM led Unity Coalition that kept us all safe. How quick we take good things for granted.

      • Anonymous says:

        I do live here and saw Alden run this last term like a pirate that knows it’s his last chance to pillage…he formed an alliance with his previous rival who Alden had previously called out as corrupt. He gave away the future of Caymanians to whomever would pay. He used public money to fight the same public for the controversial, conflicted but lucrative for some port contract. This is a disgusting excuse of a man and as much just as morally revolting as his comrade in corruption…woman abuser Mac. Alden has embarrassed and shamed Cayman…we deserve the banana republic reputation.

  49. Anonymous says:

    Hey Alden. How’s the dump coming along?

  50. Anonymous says:

    Can I have the Oxford one? I don’t want to be a Guinea Pig.

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