Target shifts to 10-day isolation

| 04/02/2021 | 175 Comments
Cayman News Service
Premier Alden McLaughlin at Thursday’s press briefing

(CNS): Premier Alden McLaughlin has said he wants to see 90% of the over 60s vaccinated before any changes are made to the quarantine regime and the phased re-opening of the border. McLaughlin said the target had been revised and when most of the elderly have had both shots, the isolation time will be reduced to 10 days for travellers who are vaccinated and test negative on arrival.

Plans to allow travellers and visitors to come to Cayman without needing to isolate at all, provided they had received both shots of an approved vaccine and had a pre- and on-arrival negative test, have been scrapped, the premier revealed at Thursday’s press briefing.

Instead, once the remaining 2,300 or so of the resident over 60s have been given both shots, people living here who need to travel and visitors who are given permission to come to Cayman will be able to cut the quarantine stay by four days.

McLaughlin accepted that this was not going to be much help to the tourism sector but he said the uncertainty over the more infectious variants of COVID-19, especially in the USA and UK, were fueling a constantly “moving landscape”, with things changing daily.

Stressing the need to be safe, McLaughlin said that, in the same way Cayman had gradually emerged from lockdown, it would make changes to the quarantine regime and the opening of the borders. He said that he expected the vaccination target for the elderly to be hit by the end of this month, which was when he hoped that the quarantine period would be reduced for those who qualify. However, people who have not been vaccinated or who are traveling with children will still need to isolate for the full two weeks.

He said that further changes would now depend on the data that emerges relating to the virus variants, the efficacy of the vaccines against them and a significant drop in the levels of infection and spread, especially in the countries where most of Cayman’s visitors come from.

With tourism now expected to be largely dormant until the high season, the government has confirmed the anticipated increase in the tourism stipend to $1,500 per month, and has now said it will extend small business grants to those who applied and were denied. The health minister also confirmed that those in the sector in need of health insurance would have their premiums covered from March until the end of June.

The press briefing covered a wide range of issues. It included the finance minister’s report that the deficit for last year was far smaller than had been anticipated and that government has money in the bank to cover it and these new payments without yet resorting to the $350 million line of credit.

Among other issues, the premier confirmed that government is not planning another meeting of Parliament and it will not call a special meeting to deal with the motion against Speaker McKeeva Bush.

For more on all of these stories check back to CNS Friday.

See the full briefing on CIGTV below, set to start with questions from CNS to the premier and ministers about the speaker’s position.


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Comments (175)

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  1. anonymous says:

    People have been desparately looking for a light at the end of this covid tunnel. The government has dangled the vaccine as that light for several months. Now the vaccine is here, that light has been snuffed out. The motivational benefit of the vaccine, dismissal of quarantine and opening of borders, has been taken away.
    Pure genius Alden.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The premier told us closed borders is unsustainable and I agree. So what does he do, he hits the pause button after some concerning news comes out regarding virus variants. So let’s take the worse case scenario and assume that the variants are vaccine resistant. Is the plan to then keep the *unsustainable* border closing and quarantine in place until a new vaccine is produced? And when the virus mutates again and becomes resistant to a new vaccine we continue with the *unsustainable* border closure. And let’s face it, a 14 day quarantine is effectively a border closure for all intents and purposes where sustainability is concerned.
    We got lucky having a vaccine available in less than a year. We were seriously tempting fate relying on the first vaccine before opening. I could have taken years. I don’t know how to characterize the latest game plan. I doesn’t make any sense to me. I guess we hope and pray for another miracle before we run out of road financially. I really feel for those that have already lost so much. This travesty just keeps getting darker and darker.

    • Anonymous says:

      So what are you saying ? Let’s open the borders, remove the quarantine requirement and kill off all the elders? Think before you type!! Lives are worth more than money

      • TruthShaper says:

        2 deaths and the entire country shuts down indefinitely. What unequivocal brilliance in leadership! There will be more deaths from the vaccine than from this flu variant.

        • Anonymous says:

          One death is unacceptable! Suppose it was your family that died ? Would you still feel the same way?

  3. Anonymous says:

    I am amazed the Premier and all the pseudo-scientists who advise him and those who post here, have no knowledge of the recent medical studies. The quarantine should be 7 days not 10 or 14.

  4. Not afraid of my shadow says:

    Perhaps the the interest of public safety government should start publishing another set of statistics.
    It would be nice for the public to know the comparisons in crime month to month over the last six months I have a feeling we would find the crime is up substantially. Hungry people with little or no income that cannot see any change in their circumstances in the foreseeable future will do anything to feed their families. I am sure that the Government would not want the world to see these statistics however I do not see what harm could come from them considering the fact that Cayman has told the world that visitors are not welcome or wanted. One of the major draws for Cayman has been the fact that it is a very safe and secure place to live and visit.

  5. Anonymous says:

    The new requirements and the timing of those requirements represent a reasonable position given the available options. Nothing will please everyone. There are however 2 suggestions that I would make. First, government should use the time between now and the new protocol to test all incoming arrivals at 10 days and then at 14 as a way of determining how many cases the new protocol will miss. The available (prevaccination) information suggests that ending testing at 10 days may allow 5 – 15% of positives to slip into the country undetected. The other suggestion is to publish a set of criteria for what will be accepted as evidence of vaccination. There is currently no international standard and it is too easy to get a fake proof of vaccination.

  6. Anonymous LC says:

    Here’s what I don’t understand: CIG says ‘follow the science’, so you lock down for months. Then, once what few infections you’ve had fall, you drop the lockdown. But then you start to quarantine – what – three days, then five days, then to ten, or at least talked about it, and then to fourteen. Ok, following the science here – the vaccine comes out! Yay! We can reopen!
    But no we can’t because you don’t trust the vaccine. This is not following the science, people. The response to probably the world’s mildest outbreak has been wildly out of proportion. Ten day quarantine WITH the vaccine? So the vaccine is worth four days? Really? 2022 now? They are playing with you. It makes no sense.

    • Anonymous says:

      Agreed 110% ……Its a Joke!

    • Anonymous says:

      Same issue with 14 days (actually its 15) staying exactly the same even with a pre travel PCR test. Not saying that the quarantine period should come down with the pre test, as you could catch the disease in the 72 hour window or on the plane, but if you are quarantining beyond the incubation period why do you need the pre test? Makes no sense. Get a pre test then test positive on arrival? answer – quarantine for 15 days and you don’t get out until you test clear. Don’t have a pre test – guess what, exactly the same quarantine period. Not following logic or the science.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Life is a gift. Use it to thank the Giver.
    Love to everyone.

  8. MakeIt Stop says:

    This comment applies to many places struggling to make sense of the lockdown exit not just Cayman. My view is that “the vaccine doesn’t change anything” approach is a huge mistake.

    In the context of Cayman we know that many who live on the island are highly mobile back and forth to the US and UK for schools, health care etc. Now mobility is hampered by the quarantine requirement. Once vaccinated? No change (14-10 days is not a meaningful change).

    —still need to quarantine
    —still need to PCR test

    It’s a mistaken approach. One who is vaccinated within a society where many of the vulnerable have been vaccinated (or chosen not to be) should not need to isolate or PCR test. It’s not simply about tourism. It’s about the ease of mobility that those living on cayman require to live their lives.

    But yes, given the number of “vaccines don’t change anything” countries out there, Cayman’s decision won’t decide the issue for all.

    The “vaccine changes nothing” policy will not survive long in most of the world. People won’t stand for it and economies won’t survive.

    • Anonymous says:

      Except with the notable exception of the tourism industry, Cayman is booming and the more we can be a sanctuary for those that seek it, the better.

      • Anonymous says:

        Booming? It’s a false economy, based on ongoing Govt borrowing and pension fund injection. The financial industry may soon start to feel the effects of the continuation of the current policy as well and then we will be in serious trouble.

  9. Anonymous says:

    In my state as of yesterday, people over 60 have had 90,736 cases and 7878 died. That’s a death rate of 8.7%. People under 30 have had 134,053 cases and 37 died. That’s a death rate of 0.03%. 87% of our deaths have been people over 60. 450,000 vaccine doses have been given so far, mostly to people over 60. We don’t distinguish between citizens and others because the virus doesn’t.

    • Anonymous says:

      Your death rates are using cases as denominator instead of population. Thats how you get some impressive, scare mongering statistics! The highest death rate per population that I last saw on a reputable site was 0.15%. If you had 8%,you’d be the main story on mainstream media for weeks!

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, that’s how many people die of those who have caught it. I was very clear. The point being made is that the old are at risk, and the young are relatively safe. The total deaths (about 10,000) as a percent of the state’s population is 0.21%. These are the health department’s figures. Yours are apparently wrong.

  10. Anonymous says:

    90% of those over 60 once fully-vaccinated will have perhaps 50% immune response to the widespread, and game-changing, “20H/501Y.V2” variant. It’s not changing daily, the data has been published. Does that mean we should be happy only 350 of Cayman’s seniors will die (from CMO’s last year 700+ estimate)? Should Cayman’s future grieving families take some patriotic comfort in the handful of West Bay Stingray Tour Operators that might be let back into their game? That discomforting familiar smell in the air, and we all know it, is the aroma of the PPM pre-election bad idea machine sputtering back to life, only this time, there may be caskets involved. We don’t need to tailor our mostly-effective working health policy, to meet deficient policies elsewhere, and Cayman should recognize and note when these “populist” suggestions are being made leading into an election.

  11. Anonymous says:

    We shouldn’t open until the UK/EU and US have a reliable worldwide vaccine passport system and Cayman ave the IT infrastructure to verify vaccinated tourists, and also until over 90% of the entire Cayman residents and Caymanian population of all ages have had both jabs. Anyone is at risk of serious illness, especially with the new variants.

    • Anonymous says:

      #1 Vaccine requirements for travel would be discrimination

      #2 Too many people have had various allergies before inoculations and from inoculations, making them high risk for the first or second shot.

      #3 Nobody knows yet how long your boosted immune system would remain on a high alert after the second shot

      • Jotnar says:

        Of course vaccine requirements are discrimination. By definition saying one class or group of people can travel and others cant is discrimination. Question is whether its justifiable. Stopping people with communicable diseases from travelling is also discrimination, as is stopping those with criminal records or involvement with terrorism. Its about the wide issue of public safety.

        You need to show that the vaccination requirement is somehow unreasonable or oppressive – think you may struggle there.

        • Anonymous says:

          It IS unreasonable if the vaccine DOES NOT stop the transmission of the virus then why would vaccinated people be allowed benefits that non vaccinated people aren’t?

      • Anonymous says:

        12:19 pm: “discrimination” is not necessarily a bad thing. We associate it with some negative issues such as racism, sexism, ageism, etc., but discrimination is also essential in some cases: differentiating between good and and bad food choices, between which school or college we attend, among choices in way we dress, etc., etc.

        As for vaccination as a travel document— I had to apply for a visa to travel to Nigeria in 2012 and the yellow fever vaccination was required. No vaccine, no visa.

        What is your evidence for “too many people have had various allergic reactions before inoculations and after inoculations.” Facts and figures that support this generalization?

    • Say it like it is says:

      11.21am There will be nothing left to open if we have to wait to meet your parameters, as we will be waiting for ever.

    • Anonymous says:

      so you’re vaccine should be mandatory?
      no, thanks

    • Anonymous says:

      IATA’s Travel Pass launches next month, there is CommonPass, IBM blockchain, and others coming. Digital key standards won’t arrest the 501.V2, E484K and K417N spike protein mutations you rightly point out are still spreading wildly on every continent. The 20H/501Y.V2 variant can infect 15% to 50% of those previously vaccinated, and reinfect those that previously survived and recovered from the initial versions of SARS-CoV-2 from last year. It’s a whole new dimension of international pandemic, lumped on top of an unresolved unrestrained previous calamity. Policy makers need to understand that the new variants don’t care if their new host was dutifully vaccinated against last year’s version, even if there is an election coming. That invested international narratives aren’t changing, even against conflicting data, is hard to watch. We in Cayman already understand that the Great Lockdown is still the shortest and cheapest way clear of all of this needless carnage.

    • Anonymous says:

      who are you to enforce vaccinations of anyone? for a flu-like seasonal illness that kills less than 0.03% of those it infects? go away

      • Anonymous says:

        Except it doesn’t. See https://ourworldindata.org/mortality-risk-covid

        Confirmed case fatality rates of between 1.1% and 4 %. Appreciate that’s confirmed cases rather than infections, but would love to see your statistical basis for asserting infection fatality rate is 0.03%. Because if no one has solid data on how many people have been infected, how the hell can you produce that stat?

    • Anonymous says:

      You will be coming to visit us. What proof do we have that you are vaccinated? Will you be wearing your vaccination card around your neck when you drive us around in the taxi or wait on us in the store, bar, restaurant, change the sheets? Give it a rest with us lying about Our vaccinations or documents.

  12. Anonymous says:

    It is very difficult to get an appt for PCR testing at HSA. And though easier at Doctors Hospital, they are closed on the weekends!
    At the same time, travel restrictions are growing tighter .. Compass reports several passengers were not allowed to board because their PCR test was a few hours too old.

    Doctors Hospital — can you open during the weekend please, even if its just for one hour on saturdays and sundays! Some of us have to apply for health visas before we leave, and have a very tight travel window!!!!

    • Vigilante says:

      HSA is easy to book online – appts are Monday to Friday mornings before work. 24 hr response with emailed lab report. What more do you need? https://hsa.ky/appointment/

      • Anonymous says:

        Cover on Friday afternoons or Saturdays so people can fly Monday?

        • Anonymous says:

          Exactly! I’m going to have to travel without getting my health visa for end destination (have to travel through US) because I don’t have the PCR test in time.

      • Anonymous says:

        HSA is booked up on certain days! And if you’re unlucky enough to have booked right after a weekend or have a public holiday near your date of travel, you’re stuck!
        Desperately need a review of these opening hours .. if I am on Cayman airways tuesday morning, and am tested early monday (being that sat/sun testing is unavailable), I risk getting my results when waiting to board (24 hours)!!

      • Anonymous says:

        Some of us work from 6am.
        And some of us are traveling early Tuesday .. if tested on monday, we won’t get the lab report until after we leave!

    • Anonymous says:

      If you’re traveling to the US, it doesn’t have to be a PCR test….just can’t be an antibodies test. Cayman should be providing the option for the quicker antigen test as it won’t bog down the PCR lab.

      Also, the US requires pre-test within 3 days of travel and not specifically 72 hours. Sounds the same but there’s more leeway in the days vs hours threshold. If Cayman is refusing boarding to the US based on hours, they’re not following the requirements established by the CDC.

      See the specifics for the US here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/testing-international-air-travelers.html

      • Anonymous says:

        Connecting through the US to another destination that requires a health visa (based on a PCR test that can max be 5 days old) requires applying well before one leaves Cayman and simultaneously travelling before the test ages out!
        A lot of juggling required, what with few flights available and having no access to tests over the weekend. I’m having to leave without having secured the health visa for arrival at my end destination and may get stranded in the US .. all because I couldn’t get a PCR test done on a Saturday/Sunday.

  13. Anonymous says:

    It is very difficult to get an appt for PCR testing at HSA. And Doctors Hospital is closed on the weekend!
    At the same time, travel restrictions are growing tighter .. Compass reports several passengers were not allowed to leave recently because of problems with their PCR test being a few hours too old.

    Doctors Hospital — can you open during the weekend please, even if its just for one hour on saturdays and sundays! Some of us have to apply for health visas before we leave, and have a very tight travel window!!!!

  14. Anonymous says:

    CNS, really .. i keep being told I’m posting too fast and when I go back, my entire comment has disappeared!!!!!!
    I got this message for my first comment!

    CNS: Sorry, it’s a technical glitch that rears its head on occasion.

    • Anonymous says:

      click “reply” again and your comments comes back. It is still there, just invisible until you click reply. No guarantee though it would appear under the comment you are replying to.
      The same goes for a separate comment.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ah, software. Usually after a skinful on Friday night.

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s what Travel Cayman said too, we didn’t believe them either.

    • Anonymous says:

      11:02 am: Scroll down to the end of all posts — it will be there. You then have to do a little tinkering with the text — slowly — to get it going.

  15. Anonymous says:

    With only 2 places that do PCR testing in Cayman, and the need to get the results quickly in order to apply for a health visa from the destination country, it is not helpful that Doctors Hospital closes for the weekend!

    Travel restrictions are growing tighter, and any delays would mean having to be re-tested, which involves yet further delays and costs! C’mon now, seriously!!

  16. Anonymous says:

    Vote. Them. Out.

  17. Anonymous says:

    I watched the press conference but quite a few on here seem to have either not paid attention or watched something different. Personally I am going to wait until I see the new regulations that set out the precise rule changes before I get excited one way of the other. It is the weekend. Everyone should just chill.

  18. Afraid of my shadow says:

    I am assuming that this decision was made by cabinet after consulting with our minister of health who of course was informed through his in depth research of the subject.
    I am assuming that all these economically illiterate place fillers understand what happens in a country where people are hungry and have no hope.
    When you give people power over others it is hard to give up your god syndrome.
    The mental health term for our government is “bat shit crazy””

  19. Anonymous says:

    Still not a word of care for people with cancer who are unable to travel, receive treatments and return. Doctors (and their patients) who can’t travel to Cayman to provide specialized expertise?

    Is he sacrificing one group of people for another? Why Cancer society remains silent?

    • Anonymous says:

      Why can’t they travel?

    • Anonymous says:

      Except you are allowed to travel. You just have to do 15 days quarantine on return. Any specialist can come in provided they are prepare to do the same. They don’t want to – I understand. In which case, why dont you travel, get the specialist treatment, and return – again, you have 15 days quarantine but if you need the treatment there is nothing stopping you.

      • Anonymous says:

        You really think patients can miss 15 days of work to quarantine every time they have to go for treatment? Most patients use up more than their sick days and vacation just on the treatments. Then, they have to add the costs of unpaid leave to the cost of treatment.

        People have had to skip medical treatments due to the border closures and quarantine requirements. That is gambling with people’s health!

  20. Anonymous says:

    Why the hell would anyone want to take this vaccine when every single day the narrative changes. No thank you!!!

  21. Anonymous says:

    This is insane so if you have an approved Vaccination you still have to quarantine for 10 days what tourists are going to come to Cayman and quarantine for 10 days before they enjoy their vacation say goodbye to tourism Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      Obviously. The simple fact is we’re not ready for short term tourism yet and won’t be for many months; not until everyone who wants to be vaccinated has been for a start. Presumably you have not read the news from the UK today that many mostly black children are now being admitted to hospital for a debilitating post covid illness similar to kawasaki disease… rushing to open up too soon would be incredibly irresponsible when we have come so far!

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/feb/05/up-to-100-uk-children-a-week-hospitalised-with-rare-post-covid-disease

    • Anonymous says:

      Very few. Hopefully. You realise vaccination doesn’t stop you getting it right? It stops you getting seriously ill from it. You can still pass it on and make others seriously ill or worse.

      • Anonymous says:

        alas this is misunderstood by most everybody. Getting a vaccine is not the same as preventing yourself from getting covid. There is zero need for a vaccine if you’re not either very old (+65?) and/or suffer from illness/fat/etc…the rest of us shouldn’t go anywhere near the vaccine(s)

    • Anonymous says:

      8:20: fortunately the government is basing their decision making on the available science:

      1. The Covid vaccine, like all vaccines, is not 100% effective. A very small percentage of vaccinated persons can still get the virus.

      Data out of Israel, however, shows that even those persons who do contract the virus after vaccine are better off for having had the vaccine: not as sick, no hospitalizations, no deaths.

      2. Data is also showing much less shedding of the virus.

      3. As far as a negative PCR test prior to arrival that too has its issues: the bearer could have already contracted the virus at time of PCR test but so close to testing it remained undetected. Or, they could pick up the virus during travel after the negative PCR test.

      But it is still worthwhile in that testing prior to arrival means that persons testing positive are prohibited from travelling.

      It is complicated. Requires continued vigilance from a lot of angles to protect the whole population, including you.

  22. Pastor Alfredo says:

    Examine this strategy in its own merits and it fails the logic test. If I fly to Miami and come back to Cayman with a negative test and a vacine then I must “self isolate” at home for ten days whilst my wife who didn’t travel, but lives with me, is free to come and go from the house. I’m vacinated, she’s vacinated. But one of us is deemed riskier than the other. It makes no sense.

    The conclusion, then, is surely that it’s political posturing. No doubt the benevolent government will see fit to announce the border opening and “return to normal” just in time for the election.

    Pastor Alfredo

    • Anonymous says:

      Now I see that people don’t understand what isolation really means.

      You are supposed to really get isolated from your wife, no contact whatsoever for 14 days. She can leave food by you door, but you must not leave your room when she or anybody else is in the house.
      The jury is still out on a/c spreading the virus. Some say it is unlikely, some say it is possible. Also depends on hvac system, filters and ducts. The first thing that I did after buying a condo was to replace A/C ducts and install UV lights.

      • Anonymous says:

        NO!! That’s not isolation/quarantine! You are not to be in the same accommodation AT ALL!!

        How do you people not get this thing called common sense?????

        See other comments on this below yours…

        • Anonymous says:

          Ideally, yes. But practically, isolation in a separate room (with a separate bathroom) of your own home with your family living there is acceptable.

        • Anonymous says:

          Stop shouting

        • Anonymous says:

          I think 7:55 is referring to Alden stating yesterday that incoming vaccinated travelers can stay in a house with other vaccinated persons. The travelers must quarantine but not the others. Stupid AF.

    • Anonymous says:

      Logic fail. You can’t quarantine in the same house as someone who is not in isolation with you. In your example your wife can’t come and go she’d be stuck with you. Seriously this is pretty obvious; it’s worked like this for a year now; if she could come and go you’re not in isolation!

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s not how isolation works!

    • Anonymous says:

      Your assumptions are wrong, logic is flawed and your conclusion doesn’t even follow from that. Good effort though.

    • anonymous says:

      My understanding after having travelled back and forth to Miami for medical reason is home isolation means by yourself or if someone is with you perhaps your wife who didn’t go away must also isolate with you. they are not allowed to go out either. Government facility for Caymanians would be just yourself of course

    • Anonymous says:

      Pastor Alfredo: you and you wife are in violation of isolation rules. You are both therefore a danger to the whole population.

      You are the ones who are not using your logic and acting accordingly.

      • Anonymous says:

        cut it out, smart pants. That is what Dr.Lee and other experts for.

        If members of public still don’t know how to properly complete isolation in one’s own home, it is their fault. This is the first pandemic in everyone’s life, therefore Dr.Lee’ team must explain so even a child and 99 years old understand.

        Members of public still don’t that Pfizer vaccine was authorized under Emergency Authorization Order, and not APPROVED as many believe.

        So stop mocking people.

        • Anonymous says:

          When you come back in the isolation rules are clearly explained to you and you have to sign a document acknowledging them. Oh, and before you got permission to travel you would have to explain that you were sharing he home and then they would tell you that the rules apply to the family members as well At this stage you cant say its Dr Lees fault if someone doesn’t “understand” that the rule extend to everyone in the same household – that’s wilful ignorance/ deliberately ignoring the rules.

    • Pastor Alfredo says:

      For all the folks accusing me of not understanding the rules, here is a direct quote from the Cayman compass article from Feb 4th:

      “Those arriving in Cayman, under new measures once the 90% target has been reached, must stay in a household where all residents have received a full course of vaccinations, the premier added.

      He said members of a household where a traveller is staying, who have not travelled themselves but who have been vaccinated, will not be required to quarantine.”

      Pastor Alfredo

  23. Anonymous says:

    The world health org, is now admitting there are over 4000 strains of covid. It’s not going away. Simply vaccinate the elderly and open the borders. There is not much else you can do. Gov just spend over 100 million on an airport. That they are not making profit on, right now. How many other industries are hurting? The elderly are the greatest at risk. Take care of them and open the borders. Things are going to happen in life. Do you hide in a bubble? Simply put. The countries that open up first, will be most resistant to the new strains. The countries that stay closed make their populations weaker. Because when the strains hit us, and they will. No one will have an immunity to it. Safety now, more death later. Or open the borders and allow it to creep in, giving us the ability to build up an immunity. Its really a no brainer here.

    • Anonymous says:

      The vaccine is still experimental. The elderly can make their own decision. Not everyone wants to live forever.

      • Anonymous says:

        9:20 am: no, the vaccine is not experimental. It had gone through trials and approved on the basis of the data from the trials.

        Don’t write if you are uninformed.

        • Anonymous says:

          On December 11, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued the first emergency use authorization (EUA) for a vaccine for the prevention of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in individuals 16 years of age and older. The emergency use authorization allows the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine to be distributed in the U.S.

          • Anonymous says:

            11:00 am: we are getting tied up in semantics. That may be so, but being issued under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) does not mean that the vaccine did not go through all the trials.

            Why the EUA was required is likely a legal provision for particular reasons , but it does not negate the requirement for the vaccine to go thorough the usual process of a proper sample size, control group, and peer reviewed data, etc.

            The point is that while everything may not be known, the vaccines are not properly defined as “experimental.”

          • anonymous says:

            Frankly, I think posts referencing the US FDA’s issue of an “Emergency Use Authorization” (EUA) is just confusing readers and may lead to conclusions about whether the vaccine was actually “approved” or whether it has gone through the proper trials to ensure it is safe.

            Here is a little explanation from an article on this (see link below) that may help us to understand what this terminology is all about:

            “During a public health emergency, it’s imperative to develop new medicines and vaccines as quickly as possible. But even when speed is of the essence, the FDA still takes the time to be sure patients aren’t subjected to untested therapies that do more harm than good.

            “So the agency uses an alternative evaluation process that’s designed to vet things more quickly than the usual FDA approval regimen. If a drug or vaccine passes muster, it’s granted an emergency use authorization, or EUA.

            “There are plenty of reasons why it passed muster.” Then there was a list of clinical trial data.

            See full text of article here:

            https://www.latimes.com/science/story/2020-12-12/why-fda-didnt-approve-pfizer-covid-19-vaccine-eua

            And, no, I am not a smarty pants know it all — I am educating myself on these issues as I go along. This is what judicious use of the Internet is all about. Hear something new? Check it out.

          • Anonymous says:

            11:28 am: I did click on your link. I do not think “emergency use authorization” applies to vaccines. Vaccines still have to go through the required trials and. approval procedures.

            See your referenced article that says:

            Are the COVID-19 vaccines rigorously tested?

            Yes. Clinical trials are evaluating investigational COVID-19 vaccines in tens of thousands of study participants to generate the scientific data and other information needed by FDA to determine safety and effectiveness. These clinical trials are being conducted according to the rigorous standards set forth by the FDA.”

            I have heard of emergency use authorization being give to some new therapies, especially when Trump was pressuring the CDC. Incidentally, some of those emergency use rulings were reversed when they were found to be of no use.

        • Anonymous says:

          What is the difference between EUA and FDA approval?
          The EUA process is different than an FDA approval or clearance. Under an EUA, in an emergency, the FDA makes a product available to the public based on the best available evidence, without waiting for all the evidence that would be needed for FDA approval or clearance.

          When evaluating an EUA, we carefully balance the potential risks and benefits of the products based on the data currently available.

          EUAs are effective until the emergency declaration ends. EUAs can also be revised or revoked by the FDA at any time as we continue to evaluate the available data

  24. JTB says:

    What a load of bollocks.

    Voters of Red Bay please take note

    • Anonymous says:

      7:35 am: when politicians make unpopular (among some or even many) in the interest of the common good it is called statesmanship.

      Voters of Red Bay will no doubt take note of that.

      • Anonymous says:

        Unpopular decisions like refusing to move against a convicted woman beater holding the office of Speaker on the basis it would cause an early election. Statesmanship? M<ore like self interest/desperately clinging to power/ realpolitik.

  25. Anonymous says:

    I will have my vaccination and my pre Covid test and will need a Covid test to return. I have 2 trips to plan before end of July, but I will absolutely not use my holiday time to quarantine. One trip is 6 days, the other 10. I eat out every meal. I rent a car. I snorkel and dive. I stay at a hotel or condo. I shop. I can’t travel to Cayman which used to be my top destination without quarantine so I am still unable to go.

    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly! What a stupid plan!

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah there’s a pandemic that’s infected over 100m people and killed 2m, you may have heard. Sorry if that has disrupted your dinner plans.

      • Anonymous says:

        I’ve been working thru the whole thing , taking precautions. Why not travel responsibly ( vaccinated, tested, mask, etc) ?

      • Anonymous says:

        09:40 am:

        Coronavirus Cases:
        105,666,378
        view by country
        Deaths:
        2,301,040
        Recovered:
        77,320,509

        I am sorry for the 2.3M people that lost their lives. Despite not all of these 2.3M caused by Covid, because we know how the system works.
        But 77M people recovered. This is the number you need to start the discussion with.
        Life MUST GO ON.

      • Anonymous says:

        BTW- it won’t ruin my dinner plans or my vacation plans. They just will not include travel to your island at this time as your island is essentially closed (as I do not call a 10-14 day quarantine before a vacation a vacation and will not be participating in that “plan”).

        • Anonymous says:

          And that’s fine. It’s a perfectly rationale decision on your part and we hope to welcome you back at a later point in time when the state of the pandemic and public health restrictions are different.

    • Anonymous says:

      I like you do not want to use my holiday time visiting Cayman solely being in quarantine. I own a property there which I cannot visit as I am still working and can only take 2 weeks off at a time. I have wanted to travel to the island as there is always upkeep to be done on the property each visit. Like you I rent a car, eat out each evening and have previously stayed in hotels. I want to support Cayman but find it impossible to do so

  26. Anonymous says:

    Well done except the “McKeeva” part!

  27. Anonymous says:

    Keep Brac and Little Cayman closed to tourists for all of 2021.

    Plenty of money is being circulated in the Sister Islands without tourists.

    1. You got Agriculture Department giving away money for backyard farming.
    2. Home Repairs are being done by Government, many many houses.
    3. We got a pile of new contractors over here scurrying about to bid on jobs.
    4. People from Cayman are over here every weekend, renting cars, renting homes, buying up our bullahs and harddough bread.
    5. Absolutely no sign from either of our representatives that we are in an economic slowdown, let alone part of a world wide pandemic.
    6. Busiest Brac has been since the days of off-shore oil transfers.
    7.The magical money tree is still putting out the $100’s, 50’s. 25’s, 10’s, 5’s and 1’s.
    So keep up closed to the tourists – thanks.

    Signed,

    Resident of Lala Land

    • Anonymous says:

      🤯🙀
      If “that” woman is elected again, than Cayman is nothing but a $hithole.

      • Anonymous says:

        Well the sun will come up in the morning – that there is that degree of inevitability about it, so perhaps you have answered your own question. I would like to say that one constituency making a bad election choice doesn’t entitle you to brand the entire country as a $hithole, but then I look at all the choices we made constituency by constituency and simply sigh. “That woman” is not exactly an isolated example. Our electorate seem incapable of distinguishing between the honest and well meaning and the self serving, ignorant and populist. Truly, we get the politicians we deserve.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Honorable Premier, you have saved Cayman. Do not listen to all these haters and people who only want to destroy our way of life.

  29. Anonymous says:

    There should be another round of pension funds withdrawal if tourism isn’t coming back till late this year. I haven’t been this upset since I got ripped off on a car repair at GT Automotive! No Government stimulus cheques like every other country then need another pension fund withdrawal!

    • Anonymous says:

      Late this year? Ha! We’re going to be lucky to see tourism come back before next year. If ever. 😭

    • Anonymous says:

      You may have noticed but the countries that have given out “stimulus cheques” also pay tax…

    • Anonymous says:

      No government stimulus checks? Apart from the $1500 a month being handed to hospitality workers, even if they have got another job.

  30. Anonymous says:

    The Premier just announced the end of regular tourism. Nobody is going to come to isolate for 10 days – or 14 days with kids – when they can go to other islands with far fewer restrictions. It’s clear now that the endgame is replacing short-term visitors with HNW settlers.

    • Anonymous says:

      4:24am: right—right now it is very risky to you and me, especially with the new variants, to admit tourists.

      Like you and me, the Premier is only too well aware of how essential tourism is.

      But health and survival are higher order National and personal goals.

      And by the way, the tourists understand the predicament the world is in only too well. They are facing it majorly in the US, our major tourism market.

      I see too that the US government is scraping together to give Americans a little stipend
      and taking other measures to see them through the ravages of the pandemic. Many Americans are truly in survival mode.

      Consequently, travel is not the number one priority for most Americans right now.

      • Anonymous says:

        Many Americans are traveling now! Many have worked through this entire pandemic. You’re buying the “sob story” that Alden is selling.

        • Anonymous says:

          And in a month a great many Americans will be getting sick, and starting two weeks later, a great many will start dying. Traveling for fun is not just idiotic right now, it kills people.

          • Anonymous says:

            Not true. Just have to follow protocol and wear a mask, social distance and wash hands. Been working and traveling the whole pandemic safely.

  31. Anonymous says:

    If tourism stipend is to be 1,500 how are people only allowed to draw pension of 1,000 a month supposed to survive – without being a civil servant!?

    • Anonymous says:

      GREAT question!! This is the ONLY reason I withdrew every $ I was allowed. Wonder how much the MLA’s get?? Seeing that they get theirs even when still employed..

      Double Dipping at the Trough of Good Fortune. You too can join the popularity contest of getting elected. And live out your glory days at the Trough of Good Fortune.

      Then of course there’s the very generously allocated ‘redundancy package’ you get when you piss everyone off so bad you don’t get reelected. (or you didn’t kiss the right A$$, or, errr, donkey)

  32. Anon says:

    Following science, i think not. What science supported the change from the earlier plan of 5 day quarantine with vaccination to now 10 days? What science supports a vaccinated traveller has to quarantine but the vaccinated household members do not? I fully support a cautious approach to opening the borders, but these random, scientifically unsupported regulations are unacceptable. The government states opening wont occur until 90% of residents over 60 are vaccinated. It is a voluntary program, what if that 90% is not reached? I suppose another random, pull out of my a… idea will be brought forth.
    Last tbought, truly despicable Alden condones convicted women beaters

  33. Anonymous says:

    ok…so you think the tourism sector will survive with the rest of 2021 after being written off by the ppm???
    cayman is in for a rude awkening economically.

    • Anonymous says:

      Most families in the US do not take long vacations. Many families only have 2 weeks off. Some are lucky to have more, but usually use some weeks in the summer and some in the winter. Spending their holiday weeks in a quarantine facility is NOT something most US families will do. Too expensive to be holed up, waste of precious time, other places to go instead.

      • Anonymous says:

        10:15: most families in the US are not looking to travel right now. Many are experiencing income constraints in a country with a raging pandemic.

        Further, they do understand the concept of quarantining ON BOTH ENDS.

        Calm down and focus on cooperating with the Programme.

        The government is accessing available data and solid advice. Let them do their job and you do your part in getting vaccinated and taking and supporting the precautions they recommend.

        Now is not the time to be political or to panic.

        • Anonymous says:

          A lot of families in the US are booking trips and have been since last November. Yes, there are some who can not afford to travel, but there are quite a few who are booking trips like crazy as there are great travel deals out there. Here comes school vacation weeks, college break, Easter vacation and then the summer roll out.

    • Anonymous says:

      This plan assumes that the financial industry will continue to carry the economy and not be affected by the continuation of the travel restrictions for the rest of the year or even longer (will we ever get to 90% vaccination of 60 plus year olds?) I’m not sure it will over a longer period of time

    • Anonymous says:

      10:11 pm: actuality, yes, I do think tourism will survive and again thrive. If a new strategy evolves, rethinking what we did in the past, it will probably be for the best in the long-term as well.

  34. Anonymous says:

    classic stuff from do-nothing-ppm who are now sleepwalking until election day.
    alden don’t care…he has never had the guts to make hard decisions and he certianly won’t start now.

  35. Anonymous says:

    wow…look at alden try and dig himself out the hole he dug at the chamber event….
    no-plan-alden’s new plan is no plan.

  36. Anonymous says:

    so what if stubborn/ignorant locals refuse to take the vaccine???
    does cayman become a prison state for its residents and tourists?
    you need a better plan alden.

  37. Anonymous says:

    if the risk to the population is reduced to the same as that of normal seasonal flu….why should you restrictions?

    • Anonymous says:

      nobody is answering this question.
      the whole issue with covid is stopping your health service getting overrun.
      so if you vaccinate at risk groups this can’t happen…hence you can re-open.

  38. Anonymous says:

    wtf, so let me understand this, as long as 90% of the population of 60 and over gets vaccine he will consider opening the borders?? and don’t you think people in their 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s can get covid 19???

    This doesn’t make any kind of sense.

    • Anonymous says:

      It does (not that I agree with his “plan”).

      People of all ages can get COVID, but there is an assumption (or scientific conclusion based on limited trails) that people over 60 would die if they get COVID.

      All vaccinated people of any age can still get and transmit COVID, but it is concluded that they won’t die or end up in ICUs.

      So his logic is (I assume): if risk of death from COVID for people over 60 is reduced by vaccinations, then the territory can move to the next phase, whatever it is.

    • Anonymous says:

      The age part of his plan makes perfect sense! It’s the only part that makes sense.

      Folks over 60 are more likely to be ill with Covid and need hospitalization than younger folks. Most younger folks do just fine with Covid.

  39. anonymous says:

    Yes, you still have to quarantine because you could still have been infected with the virus despite being vaccinated. There is no vaccine that is 100% effective.

    You should also understand that this is a fluid, developing situation, the outcomes for which cannot be predicted with any certainty.

    Carry on, Premier. You are doing fine. Thank you for the leadership you have shown throughout this trying time for the whole world.

    • Anonymous says:

      You just reinforced what was stated. The plan is half in, half out.

      The question was: how does it make sense for the vaccinated traveler to have to quarantine yet allow vaccinated persons in the same home as that traveler to move around freely.

      Either the vaccinated traveler doesn’t need to quarantine or the vaccinated residents of the home should also quarantine.

      Either the vaccines are the science or they’re not.

  40. Anonymous says:

    I watched the press conference so much good news.
    I am impressed with the budget performance. Locked down for 10 months and because of prudent financial management CIG reduces the expected budget deficit by 100million. That’s right. The core government deficit is expected to be $50m.

    This is a staggering achievement. Who is going to get blamed for this beyond world class performance.

    • Anonymous says:

      I guess the real question is why haven’t they been doing this all along….

    • Anonymous says:

      Sure, because business owners and their employees paid for the government imposed lockdown. If the government rightfully paid for the restrictions they imposed the budget would look far different.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not because of prudent financial management. Rather because of booming financial services, development and real estate sectors.

  41. Anonymous says:

    Is there any evidence that any new strain is resistant to current vaccines or are we simply operating purely on fear?

    If the vaccine has been offered and available and is effective against all strains, there is no justifiable reason to force anyone to quarantine. The submission to tyranny is absolutely astounding. Is this even legal?

    • Anonymous says:

      Well said! We either need to actually follow the science (rely on vaccines) or admit we’re just in fear (vaccines plus endless testing plus some people have to quarantine).

    • Anonymous says:

      9:17 pm: your first question wasn’t quite clear: I assume you meant if is there any evidence that the available vaccines are effective against the new variants. The answer is Yes. A study in Israel showed that Pfizer’s is effective against the new UK variant. You can research that.

      On your second point — you can actually still contract the virus if you are fully vaccinated, as no vaccine is 100 percent foolproof. So you still have up take ALL available precautions.

      That is why even though I am now fully vaccinated I still have to wear a mask when I enter a health care facility. I go not get an out by showing my vaccination card.

      On your final point, while everyone is encouraged to get vaccinated, NO ONE IS BEING FORCED.

  42. Anonymous says:

    Slow but steady wins the race

  43. Anonymous says:

    Idiot decision. It will reintroduce the virus and cost lives. Prepare for rolling lockdowns.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why would it 10 days and they have to be vaccinated.

      The only idiot decision is not letting vaccinated people be exempt from isolation.

    • Anonymous says:

      What are you even talking about – fear mongering has no place here and it isn’t needed. This is for people who have received the vaccine and test negative and will only be done once 90% of the elderly population have received the vaccine here. We can’t wall ourselves off from this for eternity. COVID will be around for years to come and we need to find a way to live with it. Ie protect those that need protecting first (elderly and underlying conditions) and then slowly open the borders up as you vaccinate the rest of the population.

      • Anonymous says:

        We need more people to be vaccinated before anything like this can be attempted. It is not only over 60’s that get the virus and spread it.

        90% of what elderly population? Now that snowbirds and visiting parents and grandparents are not allowed to be vaccinated, are we just going to let them get sick and (some) die? Please explain that?

  44. Anonymous says:

    So far the government has done a great job, but you can’t eliminate all risk. While vaccines may not be as effective against variants, its likely that the severity of the disease is reduced even if you get Covid. Once there is enough vaccines for everyone to have 2 jabs, you can’t make it so difficult for people to come and go as they please. Its time to have a realistic plan to return normality.

  45. Anonymous says:

    The Compass has a whole lot of other details about quarantining with children/without children, etc. Is the govt still deciding on that and it was just speculation or are these rules already in place?

  46. Anonymous says:

    This is the biggest pile of bullshit since this whole thing started. The general poupulation is to be held hostage by an elderly population of government funded people with no inventive to take a vaccine being being forced on them? Gross violation of human rights which must be challenged immediately. Where is Dale Crowley?

    • Say it like it is says:

      Well, we are never going to see a change to the quarantine regime if we have to get 90% of the over 60’s vaccinated first. Is the Premier out of touch with his own countrymen?. A large number, particularly of the elderly, do not trust the vaccine and will never accept it.The problem is these dictates come from a man supported by his Civil Service colleagues all of whom will never be out of a job and do not have to suffer all the pains of prolonged unemployment.

    • Anonymous says:

      *incentive

    • Anonymous says:

      8:23 pm: I have been trying to understand exactly what you are trying to say. Exactly how is the rest of the population is being held “hostage” by the elderly?

      Are you suggesting that the flood gates be opened? That would be a disaster for Cayman. And the elderly sector is not the tipping point for whether the borders are opened or not.

      It is just good common sense and judicious policy decision making for the safety of the entire population in the wake of the horrible situation that is happening out there in the US, which is our prime tourism market, and the UK and elsewhere.

      And I don’t think the elderly are any more subsidized than any other sector of the population — in fact, perhaps less so. Subsidies are not necessarily a factor of age.

      And exactly what human rights violation are you referring to? No one is being forced to take the vaccine. The Government has made that absolutely clear.

      However, if you think that Covid is not a threat to life among all sectors of the population, including you, you only need to look a the deaths occurring minutely in other parts of the world. Vaccines save lives and have always done so throughout history.

      • Anonymous says:

        The Premier just stated categorically that the elderly are the tipping point for any change in the quarantine policy – are you deaf or just wilfully ignoring what he said?

      • Anonymous says:

        What you have is zero understanding of exactly what Alden told you yesterday.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wow, so disappointed by his decisions. Dear leader at it again. We don’t need a nanny state or dictator. Give us back our freedom to make it own health choices and follow through with your promises to reopen. The fearmongering is so insane. Elections can’t come soon enough.

  47. Anonymous says:

    WOW…..So with a vaccine you still have to quarantine for 10 days…..Way to go Cayman no tourism for us.
    I guess our tourist people will go to all the other islands that want them and will welcome them with a vaccine?

    Did the PM not say 6 months ago all we need is a vaccine to open.
    Now he wants a new vaccine or is it he wants the pandemic to be over before opening?

    MAKE A PLAN YOU FOOL!

    • Anonymous says:

      His thinking is so flawed!!!!!!

      Visitors with the vaccine have to quarantine but vaccinated residents in the house where they’re quarantining don’t have to quarantine!?! WTF! So the vaccine provides protection from transmission for residents but not visitors? Is Cayman giving some super-power vaccine that’s better than the rest of the world is getting?

    • Anonymous says:

      Tourism is toast! 🥲 Were about to see MANY more businesses fold up. Hotels, restaurants, tour companies will close down and this will trickle down to affect grocery stores and other businesses. I’m so sad thinking about the livelihoods and lives that are being sacrificed.

    • Oh, now come on! Yes, there has been a certain amount of dithering, but what has changed in recent times is the discovery of new strains. In my opinion – not a medical one, but a man-in-the-street one – it makes zero sense to *require* a vaccine shot when every week brings news of a new variation.

      Whether this virus is or isn’t just a more infectious flu than we’re used to (world opinion is divided on that), it is mutating in the same way that happens each year with the flu. That’s why annual flu shots aren’t fully reliable. By the time the each year’s flu vaccine hits the streets, the flu virus has mutated, right?

      It doesn’t matter whether Alden is your favourite politician or not, he’s dead right about this.

    • Anonymous says:

      A vaccine largely prevents symptomatic Covid disease, but only partially limits transmission. With a vaccine you still can get infected and shed virus.

      • Anonymous says:

        So you’re saying if people are vaccinated, they should be asymptomatic. Therefore they are no risk of burdening the health and transmission isn’t relevant.

        Once all phases of the vaccine program have been run in Cayman, everyone that wants protection will have had the opportunity to get. If a person doesn’t want the vaccine they don’t get an opinion on keeping others restricted.

        • Sini says:

          Exactly right. We were in lockdown to protect the vulnerable, now they have approved vaccine that has safely been given to millions and millions to protect them if they do not want it why should we suffer the consequences with illogical quarantine requirements? We risked a lots of things; mental health, schooling for our children, chance to see our family even when they were ill etc by locking ourselves in our houses. HSA has announced that vaccine is now available for all as they don’t have enough elderly ppl to give jabs to. If you as vulnerable person choose not to protect yourself its up to you.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes but they will spreading it to other people who have been vaccinated, and so on. So then it becomes more like a flu: you can still get it but it won’t be as dangerous to as many people as it can be now.

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