Chamber pushes vaccine so borders can open

| 12/01/2021 | 60 Comments
Cayman News Service
Health Minister Dwayne Seymour gets the COVID-19 vaccine

(CNS): Chamber of Commerce President Woody Foster is the latest voice pressing for people across the community to be vaccinated so Cayman can open its boarders. More than 40,000 adults must receive both doses of the vaccine for the community to acquire protection through herd immunity, and Foster is urging government to firm up a time line to open the doors as soon as possible.

Premier Alden McLaughlin is targetting the end of March as the border opening date but government has not yet fully outlined the criteria for visitors. Chief Medical Officer Dr John Lee suggested at last week’s press conference that a negative test result and a full vaccine course would be the minimum requirements before people would be allowed in without needing to quarantine.

It is not clear whether government will still open the borders in late March if the number of people vaccinated in Cayman falls short of the 70% target. But Foster said that the success of the vaccination rollout was crucial to the borders reopening.

The vaccine is not mandatory and the health minister said last week that employers should not force employees to take the shots or fear for their jobs if they choose not to. However, the Chamber has urged all its member employers and their employees to be vaccinated as soon as possible. The Chamber Council said its members will be vaccinated as soon as it’s their turn.

Foster, who is also a major employer of front-line staff, also urged member businesses that interact with the public to do the same. He commended government for getting the vaccine and getting it out quickly, but unless a significant number of the local population gets the vaccine, it will be difficult to reopen the borders safely, he said.

“Vaccination is one of the main ways to protect our residents and businesses to reduce the possibility of community spread once our borders are reopened,” Foster said. “The Chamber supports government’s cautious approach to date, but it is now time to implement a plan and firm up a timeline to reopen to stay-over visitors since many member businesses associated with the tourism sector are struggling to survive.”

A recent Chamber survey showed that 69% of respondents supported reopening the borders to overnight visitors under strict protocols, including testing and quarantine and administering a vaccine when it was approved by Public Health agencies for distribution.

“The Chamber urges all residents who have no underlying medical conditions to take the vaccine so we can get our economy back on track,” Foster added.

The vaccine is currently being administered at the Flu Clinic in George Town and other district health centres to the priority groups of those over 70 years of age, healthcare providers, residents of institutions and those with serious health conditions.

See the vaccination schedule, the consent form and the Vaccination Plan Brochure in the CNS Library here.

For more details on the vaccination programme visit the HSA website here.

For more information on COVID-19 in the Cayman Islands, visit the CIG site here.


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Category: Business, Health, health and safety, Tourism

Comments (60)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I didn’t realize Woody Foster, of Foster’s Food Fair, also worked at the CDC. Chairing our provincial business Chamber for a full year still does not confer medical expertise on acceptable “herd immunity” numbers. The Chamber of Commerce, CITA, or any other motive-corrupted pro-business agency can’t be taken seriously as developers of public health policy. That chair is occupied already by the CMO.

  2. Anonymous says:

    We own a second home on the North Side of the island and live in the States. Unfortunately, with the restrictive guidelines that the government has set, I don’t see us being able to return to the island until maybe at the end of the year or 2022. Until this past March, we have been coming to the island for over 20 years, we would come at least 6 or 7 times a year staying a couple weeks at a time. Very few people in the world are in a position that they can come down and quarantine for 14 days, even as an owner. The concept of being able to get 2 doses of the vaccine in the US, when you can’t even get one is unheard of. My heart goes out to all the people in Cayman, opening the boarders in March under these guidelines will do nothing for you. You can’t get a vaccine in the US unless you are a healthcare worker and there is no discussion of ever getting a second dose. My children can’t even take the vaccine because it’s not approved for children yet. I truly hope your government reconsiders, everyone that works around the service industry is sadly going to be destitute, if they aren’t already are by the end of this year. I miss the island terribly!

    • Anonymous says:

      I am in the same boat but don’t agree with your description. I have my first dose, with second scheduled on 1/31. It’s not that hard to do, and the availability is going up. I plan to be there in March if I can be sure I can get a Cayman test 72 hours before return to US.

      • Anonymous says:

        I am in phase 1B in the US and have not had the vaccine yet. They are still on first responders in my state. They are saying my phase will be Feb-March. I am still in the essential worker groups. I’m guessing the general public will be more in April- May. My other concern for travel to GC would be receiving Covid test results in 3 days. They are currently running 4-5 days for results.
        I do not believe GC will open to tourists in March anyway. Their opening dates just keep getting extended.

        • Anonymous says:

          The reason that they have kept pushing back the opening of the border is because some countries have refused to do anything to stop the spread of the virus but instead allowed it to run rampant through their population. They don’t want to risk people’s lives or having to lockdown again.

  3. Anonymous says:

    If you knew what life is like at present in the U.K. you’d be queuing up down the street for this vaccine. 86,000 deaths here from this Covid virus. Over 1,000 per day dying. Our hospitals are on their knees. Soon they will be turning away seriously ill patients for the lack of room and nursing staff to care for them. This virus will never be eradicated worldwide. We will all have to live with it. You clearly haven’t lost any loved ones through this virus. It’s killing the very young not just the elderly. You all need to look inside the hospital wards like we have here to see these poor unfortunate people wired up on machines laying on their bellies fighting for their lives. They are dying alone without their families being allowed to visit them in their last minutes of life……then say you don’t want this vaccine!

    • Anonymous says:

      complete BS. Your hospitals are not on their knees, and if they were, it’s because of the inefficient government run “health care” known as the NHS. Also, the average age of people who die of covid is over the average life expectancy, and the vast majority actually died of other pre-existing conditions but just happened to have covid at the time of death. You are very ignorant about the facts.

    • Anonymous says:

      How many are dying after they were “vaccinated”? That is THE question.

    • Anonymous says:

      Were you a patient or a hospital worker to have seen all you have claimed to have seen? Please confirm if this is eye witnessed or mainstream media?

  4. Anonymous says:

    If you want to sit in your car, in your garage, all day long…would you wear your seatbelt?
    No
    So why are you rushing to get a vaccine in a country without community spread of this virus? It’s insanity in action.
    On top of that, the vaccine(s) are now being shown to be questionable (shock – imagine, rushed vaccines with no lengthy term of testing all of a sudden being questioned) all over the world…some are now 50% effective, others 30%, others causing major allergies, others not preventing contracting the virus later.
    this is not to say a vaccine isn’t the answer. It may well be. This year.
    But wait for the next strain of covid19, and the next (already 2 that are showing resistance to the current vaccines.)
    Its crazy rushing to take these UNLESS you are either:
    1 – about to travel to Wuhan or London or (you get my drift)
    2 – you’re mad
    3 – you’re vulnerable by way of age/preconditions….but even then, vulnerable to what exactly? If you’re not travelling, the borders here are NOT opening anytime soon in any way that will risk you any more than you are at risk now

    People are like sheep. And the farmer is not an educated wonder lord these days. He’s a fool. Just wait, you’ll see. vaccines every 6 months, not sure they really work, etc.

    For what? All you have to do is wear a mask, wash your hands, be sensible. UNTIL they can show years of efficacy, you’re in no need right now to take anything. Would you have an MLA or a Chamber person be incharge of your brain surgery? Why not? You’re letting them tell you to take this jab.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sick of wearing the damn mask. I’ll be taking the vaccine.

    • Anonymous says:

      No oversimplified analogy would change their minds. No vaccine related deaths would change their minds. It would be like counting covid deaths only in reverse: If I die of a heart attack it will go down as covid, but if I have the vaccine and die, then it will go down as heart attack hmmmm …..

      What makes me sad is that older people grew up in the world where science was The Science (for the most part) and doctors were really treating, HELPING, people, therefore THEY STILL TRUST scientists and doctors. But the way things are going today, the elderly, unwittingly, have become guinea pigs and many instead of getting protection from the virus, (which as 12:12 pm rightfully mentioned, doesn’t practically exist in Cayman) would succumb to the side effects, which would be classified as deaths from natural causes due to age.
      So who really cares for the elderly and the vulnerable? Certainly not those who convinced them to vaccinate.
      There is no community transmission in Cayman as 12:12 pm has pointed out.

      • Anonymous says:

        I’m halfway there and glad to have ithe vaccine at 71. Next dose 2 weeks away. Your fear is unfounded.

  5. Anonymous says:

    the big question:
    once vaccinated…how is this being recorded by government for ease of travel in leaving and returning to cayman?
    do we still need to be tested by other countries if visting them….how do we prove to them we have been vaccinated?

    • Anonymous says:

      Each person is being issued with a government issued vaccination card like the old yellow fever card.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Why is it closed Saturday and Sunday!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Are there even 40,000 adults in Cayman?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Herd immunity from a virus that keeps evolving?

  9. Anonymous says:

    I’ll bet that John John is beside himself wondering if he has taken the Mark of the Beast?
    CNS, it would be interesting to get a public statement from him on this.
    Personally, I would prefer to die on the national guillotine in Heroes’ Square rather than take this concoction.
    I do not understand how people still lean to the lying left when they have a very poor outlook for eternity.
    Perhaps they are waiting for their hero, Obama to return?

  10. Anonymous says:

    It would appear that there are a lot of keyboard warriors who either disagree or are paid to disagree.
    I happen to agree with you and wish you all the best.
    It is strange how so many are willing to become so aggressive over this? It is almost like a religious cult.
    Personally, I don’t give a toss what you inject into your own body. It is your body and your choice.
    When it comes to me, mind your own business.
    For students of history, just look up the Inquisition. We are close to another one.
    Do you believe in vaccines?
    Do you worship your (corrupt) government?
    Is freedom of speech dangerous?
    Is God responsible for all of this?
    Do we need a different God?

    This situation was foretold many years ago. There are no surprises.

    Watch for the lame excuses to make the vaccine mandatory. It has already been decided a long time ago. The darkness are just going by their playbook.

    Be the Light.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Instead of trying to convince anti-vaxxers, why not focus on vaccinating those that want the vaccine. I’m sure that there are 40000 people who want to be vaccinated right now. The more likely scenario is that the borders will open before many people in the 3rd phase who wish to be vaccinated actually are.

    • Anonymous says:

      Anti vaxxers are against useless vaccines such as Hepatitis B (a sexually transmitted disease) for newborns for example.

      They are against the abcense of regulations (and studies) on safe levels of aluminum in children’s vaccines. Don’t even start with the aluminum in diets and nature. Injected aluminum vs. dietary aluminum eliminated differently and “dietary” aluminum doesn’t cross blood-brain barrier. Research”How injected aluminum leave the body?”

      Covid shot is not a vaccine, but an immune booster.
      So “anti-vaxx” doesn’t apply here.

    • Anonymous says:

      In a population of 65,000-ish…..doesn’t seem likely that 40,000 would be over age 16 and eligible for the vaccine. Has the CIG even looked at this demographic before coming up with their number for “herd immunity”?

    • Anonymous says:

      Can you please call us anti Covid vaxxers? Ive had over 20 other “actual” and proven vaccines throughout my 47 years and yes, half of them by choice. I just have my reluctance on this one. Im fine with you taking it but please refrain from saying its my “moral obligation” to take it too.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I am very happy that the vaccine is now available but no one should assume that the vaccine alone is some sort of magic bullet. The virus is a moving target and basic public health precautions and restrictions are going to be required for many months and quite possibly years.

    From CNN today – new 3rd variant possibly from Brazil but first identified in Japan.

    “The coronavirus mutation first found in Britain has now spread to 50 territories, according to the World Health Organization, while a similar South African-identified strain has now been found in 20.

    The UN body also noted a third new coronavirus “variant of concern” found in Japan may impact upon immune response and needs further investigation.

    “The more the SARS-CoV-2 virus spreads, the more opportunities it has to change. High levels of transmission mean that we should expect more variants to emerge,” said the WHO.”:

  13. Anonymous says:

    Yesterday the US announced that all persons flying into the US from overseas will be required to show a negative Covid-19 test result obtained within 72 hours of travel.

    Will the people of Cayman pay for those tests for people returning to the US after vacationing in Cayman? Will we pay for those tests for people who want to go shopping/partying in Miami and then come back to Cayman?

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s the way of the world.
      Some governments pay some don’t. Some times its included in the airport fee’s or tickets.

      Who cares as long as it done!

  14. Anonymous says:

    With the new requirement of negative COVID test within 72 hours prior to re-enter USA, how is Cayman going to handle this? Is HSA going to be overwhelmed with this new demand on testing and fast results?

    And will tourists really be willing to go through all this testing and other regulations unless very wealthy and planning a long stay?
    Magical thinking in the current situation I’m afraid

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, the labs can handle this. They may have to rethink the free availability of the test, but the HSA lab on Island is one of the most efficient in the world in turnaround on results. UK labs take at least 48 hours, and some Us labs would struggle to make the 72 hour mark.

    • Anonymous says:

      I wouldn’t worry about the effect of this on our lab. It will be a LONG time before there is any significant tourism travel into Cayman, especially from the US, because of our requirement to be vaccinated or quarantine….regardless of negative test. People in the US aren’t going to be able to get vaccines for a long time and they’re not going to want to waste vacation days sitting in quarantine. Tourists will be heading to places that might require negative entry test but then no vaccine/quarantine.

      Once we get to the stage of tourists coming back, if these exit tests are still needed, CIG should implement a reasonable cost for passengers to pay for their own rapid exit tests. No need to be PCR tests as US government will accept antigen test for entry.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Getting the required number of persons in Cayman vaccinated is the easy part!! If government is waiting for visitors to be vaccinated, it’s still a long time before borders can open. Most people that would be travelers to Cayman aren’t even eligible to sign up for the vaccine before late Summer or Fall.

    • Anonymous says:

      If you’re under 16 or have certain medical conditions you can’t have the vaccine. Airlines aren’t going to fly with the tiny passenger loads of people who do actually fit the criteria. The tourism industry isn’t going to recover under these conditions.

  16. Anonymous says:

    no travel for those who don’t take it…the will sooneget the message…

  17. Nelz says:

    It seems we will still be vaccinatingvthe “over 70’s” by March, at the rate and schedule we are going. Would be nice if they could get it moving…

    • Anonymous says:

      That will be down to the individuals rather than the vaccine program. Vaccines are available NOW to everyone over 70 who wants it. Just get organised.

    • Anonymous says:

      Got mine. Moving along.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Back to greed, ladies and gentlemen.

    All you need to hear.

    Get your #2 pencils ready. Pink slips will be flying in 4 months!!

  19. Anonymous says:

    this virus will not disappear, get used to it.

  20. Anonymous says:

    cdc states vaccine isn’t magic bullet. Bear in mind even with vaccine you can be a carrier and pass it on. no one know data yet how long vaccine works for. yes it will help but necessary precautions need to be taken still. 5000 shots to distribute 45000 more to go. dont see realistically by march

    • Anonymous says:

      They said they don’t know what happens past 21 days after the first shot. How much money spent worldwide to boost your immune system for 21 DAYS!!!! ???Nobody knows what happens after the second shot.
      I call it getting a shot, not getting a vaccine. Because vaccines protect from getting sick. these shots just rev up your immune system in anticipation of being infected with covid.

  21. Anonymous says:

    The border should never have been shut. 99.997% survival rate. WHO already stated up to 10% of global population has already had covid-19, and that was actually months ago, so now it’s clear basically everyone has already had it. People in cayman are delusional about the dangers of covid, it’s not dangerous to anyone even remotely healthy.

    • Anonymous says:

      great comment, unfortunately the called safe bubble does not exist
      fake idea, fake ideal world, fake reality

    • Anonymous says:

      If you are brave enough to contract it and give to your family, then you can talk about how dangerous it is.

      Money is the real motive here. We all see it, but we all aren’t getting any millions coming from this.

      • Anonymous says:

        Said the person whose money grows on trees.

      • Anonymous says:

        OK So I was ” Brave enough ” as you put it to travel throughout this pandemic.
        I looked at the risks 9 months ago and did not hesitate. I had Covid but only knew when traveling and via pre testing. I had a cold a few weeks ago that was way worse than Covid.

        If you are scared of it or have health problems than by all means lock your self away, but for the most of us it is nothing and does not justify a 12 month closer of the border.

    • Anonymous says:

      The virus does not exist. The earth is flat and the moon is green cheese. Those delusions probably appeal to you as well.

      BTW – did you make up the 99.997% survival rate or did you pick it up from some other person’s delusional rant?

    • Anonymous says:

      I call total denier BS. Show us your calculations and assumptions.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s all fun, games and lies – until your mama dies.

    • Anonymous says:

      Your figures are way off. Its about health systems capability to deal without busting, and you make no reference to those suffering long covid. Survived but very real long time effects. So what were your medical qualifications again?

    • Anonymous says:

      What planet are you on? Here in the UK we have over 1000 deaths per day just now, we have lost more than the entire population of Cayman to Covid. People in their 20s, 30s and 40s. We still can’t do the things you can like hanging out with friends and family, browsing the shops, going pretty much anywhere without a mask, eating in restaurants, sitting on the beach, and the list goes on!

      • Anonymous says:

        20s 30s and 40s?

        No the average age of death “with” covid is still over the average UK life expectancy.

        Yes the occasional younger person will die but even in those rare events the underlying cause is the main issue.

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