Quarantine to be reduced to 10 days

| 10/03/2021 | 152 Comments
Alden McLaughlin at Wednesday’s press briefing

(CNS): Government has announced that over 91% of the over 60s have now been vaccinated and as a result the COVID-19 regulations will be changed later this month to reduce the mandatory quarantine period to ten days for travellers who have been vaccinated and produce the necessary negative test result. Premier Alden McLaughlin said the government was continuing to take a very cautious approach to keep the community COVID-free. Despite the increasingly positive news about the effectiveness of the vaccine, he said the uncertainty over transmission, the spread of variants and the fact that not everyone is or can be vaccinated means the phased approach would continue.

At a press briefing Wednesday, McLaughlin said that the Cayman Islands remains in an enviable position but officials would continue to watch what was happening around the world and with the data relating to the vaccine’s efficacy and ability to prevent transmission to enable the quarantine to be reduced further.

He said he was still hopeful that once the vaccination level here reached around 80% of the population, the quarantine requirement would be lifted completely. But he said there was “a ways to go” before that happened because at present just over 31% of the population has received a first shot.

For the first time the premier noted that children would have to be counted in that figure. But since the vaccine will not be available for kids before the summer, which Medical Officer of Health Dr Samuel Williams-Rodriguez said would be for those over 12, the complete removal of quarantine could now be much further away than the previous May target date.

The premier confirmed that no other changes were being made to the current lingering restrictions, which remain largely confined to a prohibition on hookah pipes and a 1,000 limit on crowd sizes, regardless of the election campaign. The change in quarantine requirements is also relatively minor, as anyone who arrives in Cayman without being able to demonstrate that they have had an authentic course of vaccines will still need to quarantine for 14 days. In addition, all members of a party that will be quarantining together need to be vaccinated, so families with unvaccinated children will still need to isolate for two weeks. And all parties will still need to have negative tests before arrival, on arrival and a final one before they can leave isolation.

Government is also changing the regulations to extend the potential sanctions for COVID-19 breaches ($10,000 fine or two years in jail) to people who try to enter Cayman with a false or forged vaccine certificate.

Meanwhile, Governor Martyn Roper confirmed that Cayman would receive three more batches of the Pfizer vaccine from the UK over the next few weeks. When the last shipment arrives at the beginning of April, the country will have had over 100,000 doses. He said that he is speaking with officials in the UK about securing a small number of the AstraZeneca vaccines for those who are unable for health reasons to take the Pfizer shot.

As Cayman approaches almost one year since the first positive test and the lockdown began, McLaughlin said he was “overwhelmed by the success” of how the country managed the pandemic and now the vaccine rollout.

While the reduction in isolation is unlikely to have any real impact on the tourism sector, the premier confirmed that the Global Citizenship Programme is still attracting applicants. So far, 267 wealthy people have applied for the special visa and140 of them have been approved or are already here.

With the border opening still some way off, Health Minister Dwayne Seymour confirmed that 984 people will have their health insurance premiums paid for March, April and May and that local musicians still impacted by the tourism shutdown are being invited to apply for another $1,000 stipend. Anyone who received the first payout need not re-apply but new applicants should contact the ministry before 19 March.

Finance Minister Roy McTaggart gave a rundown of the government’s unaudited figures for 2020 and revealed that the final deficit for central government was around $38 million, which is far less than the $168 million that his ministry had warned of in the early days of the pandemic last year.

Check back to CNS later for more on the government’s financial results.

See Wednesday’s press briefing on CIGTV below:

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Category: Health, health and safety

Comments (152)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Not Afraid of my shadow says:

    Out of a abundance of caution I think that quarantine should be extended to at least 60 days and should be served in a sealed isolation chamber. Who knows there may be a variant that no one knows about that could expose itself for the first time in Cayman. What if it has a incubation period of 75 days. Let’s change and quarantine for 120 days.

  2. Anonymous says:

    A care home in UK just had three members of staff test postive after opening up to one member of family vistor, one had received one jab, other two had their 2 jabs. Cosed a

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

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