Travellers need to justify journeys

| 20/07/2021 | 339 Comments
Cayman News Service
Cayman Airways staff arrive wearing face-masks (Photo by Paul Tibbetts)

(CNS): Anyone travelling overseas and returning to Cayman will now need to justify their reasons for travel, Tourism Minister Kenneth Bryan said during Finance Committee Monday, after reminding the community that the borders remain closed until at least 9 September. Flights coming in and out of the country are still for essential journeys only and not to enable people to take a vacation.

Bryan said that anyone who needs to travel over the summer should contact Cayman Airways so that the demand can be properly assessed and decisions made about adding flights. But he asked people to outline and demonstrate the reasons for travel, noting that these are still repatriation flights to get students to and from school or for people to get medical treatment.

As he sought the approval of MPs for budgetary changes in his ministry, including a request for an additional $27.5 million to cover the tourism stipends that had not been allocated by the previous government, he asked for another CI$7 million for Cayman Airways to cover their losses during the border closure.

Bryan said that there were long waiting lists for flights because people were not detailing why they needed to travel and because the government had not previously required proof of their circumstances, hoping they would be adhering to the rules.

But given the number of people wanting to fly now, it could no longer be a matter of trust. He said the airline now needed to confirm that the current significant demand is from those who meet the criteria of essential travel so that those who do meet the rules don’t lose out to people going on vacation.

“We have a long list of persons requesting flights,” he said, pointing to a recent waiting list of 800 people. “Because we haven’t asked people to prove their circumstances… they have taken up all the seats… We are trying our best to manage the need or the want from many people who want to travel for vacation purposes against those who need to travel for medical or educational reasons.”

Bryan also confirmed that currently the flights are all determined as repatriation flights and none were set aside for business travel either. Going forward, he explained, the policy would be adhered to more strictly and travellers will be required to demonstrate the reason for their travel. While the option of business travel could be added, at this point it is reserved for education and medical reasons only. But Bryan spoke about the pressure on the Cayman Airways team and the need to juggle the reasons why people want to travel.

But he said that “we are almost there”, regarding the opening of the borders, and in the meantime Cayman Airways and the Travel Cayman teams would do their best to ensure that everyone who needs to travel can get a flight.

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Category: Local News, Travel

Comments (339)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Introduce new laws whereby in order to work in any employment sector whether its on a work permit or not you need to have proof of vaccination or if your in receipt of any government assistance and do the same with schools. Problem solved.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Wow, over 300 accepted comments. People in Cayman are largely respectful and compliant, but clearly people have had enough of restrictions. Almost highest vaccination rate in the world, and almost everyone willing to do quarantine on return, but these continued travel restrictions are becoming too much.

    (Ps, fully vaxxed since March. Just want to see my elderly Mom in Canada for first time in two years. With lockdowns and losing Dad, she has had a rough couple years. I just need to get to Miami and I can then find my way home 😀. Please, please put on some more flights. I am on waiting list after waiting list. Very discouraged but am trying each day).

  3. Anonymous says:

    87 first doses in latest update. We need about 1,800 first doses per week over next four weeks to have a chance at 80% double doses by Sept 9th.

    That also assumes everyone that received the first dose shows up for second. We need 56,880 people to get both jabs by Sept 9th. We are at 46,928. Almost 10,000 need the the second jab over next 7 weeks (and 7,477 need to start with first jab ).

  4. Annie says:

    So glad FBoy Island was essential, whilst my actual need for business travelers is forbidden by the PACT Stalins .

    • Anonymous says:

      FBoy was approved by the PPM not PACT.

      • Anonymous says:

        PACT could have cancelled it or made the people in that program have a lower priority than our own people requiring medical treatment – but no our useless politicians getting to meet the pretty people in the cast means that they get priority.

    • Anonymous says:

      FBoy Island before family.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Talk about blowing things out of the water.
    K.B had to make that statement!
    Cayman Airways are only doing ‘repatriation flights’. If they were to conduct business as normal then CIG would be forced too allow all carriers to fly into the island…that is international law.
    Remember our borders are still closed.
    CIG has put a plan in place to reopen, try soo respect it!!! I for one think if you haven’t got the vaccine by October tah rass with you, we need to open!!!!!!!

  6. Anonymous says:

    I’m beginning to think Cayman is going to get a 4 year course of the “Dunning-Kruger effect” from our PACT government.

    • Anonymous says:

      OMG. 300 plus comments and this one takes the prize. Still laughing. Thanks

    • Anonymous says:

      I had to look up Dunning- Kruger: and for other readers who are similarly unfamiliar, it basically means that inept people do not realize that they are inept. They believe they are superior whilst being incompetent. So, basically all white supremacists and most politicians.

  7. Anomymous says:

    Minister Bryan bit late to come up with this now all the people here with plenty money been on there shopping lots of times even to Uk on BA to not just Miami mybe Open up sooner so we can all go away on other airlines

    • ann says:

      if you can go anywhere else because our HSA cert wont be acceptable on any airline other than BA or KX!!!!
      they need to get heir act together

      • Slacker says:

        Wrong. I flew to Canada a few days ago and both Sunwing and ArriveCAN (Travel Cayman) accepted my HSA vax records and exempted me from the 14 day quarantine.

  8. Facts says:

    So I just arrived back to Cayman from Miami after having gone through a medical emergency.

    I can say that whilst majority were in fact mainly medical essential travelers there are a few Caymanian Elitist who were on the flight.

    One such individual was overheard on a conversation stating that he had gotten one of his Govt Friends in parliment to demand he be allowed to travel because he needs to attend a conference. He said his “Friend” took care of everything and suggested to the other person that he call this “Friend” to sort out any travel needs.

    This individual then began to brag about how this restriction on traveling only really applies to “poor ass Caymanians” because “us rich people” know how to do things. He also discussed the fact that he got through with his bussiness goods order and it would be on its way and how he was gonna make so much money because people cant travel so they have to buy from him.

    I sat there dying to rip this individuals head off the whoke time.

    This travel restriction and quaratining crap is only to allow the rich elit to get richer and suppress the poorer people. Its all a money making thing.

    • Anonymous says:

      The more things change the more they stay the same. They go into politics because they are opportunists. They’re friends vote them in to share the wealth.

    • Anonymous says:

      Customs Duty

      Can the government please clarify why they charge duty on the cost of goods purchased overseas and not the actual amount you paid for the goods.

      For example if I order an item that originally costs $50.00 but the company has a sale of 50% off so I pay $25.00 for the item. According to customs they only give 20% discount in total therefore instead of me paying duty on $25.00 which is what I bought the item for, I have to pay duty on $40.00.

      My understanding is that we pay duty on the amount spent for the item less taxes. How can they collect duty on what you did not spend?

      When we could travel, as a Caymanian were we not allowed $350.00 duty free? Why isnt that allowance still awarded to us on the stuff that we import? Yet the little discounts that merchants are giving to us they want to collect duty on.

      They try to encourage us to buy local when we are suffering at the hands of the businesses and when you order online to save we suffer at the hands of the government. We cannot win and everything going up except salaries.

    • Anonymous says:

      Complete hearsay made up BS.

      I believed your first 2 lines.
      The rest of your drivel is complete bullsh!it an I do not believe you overheard all of that.
      That’s just the sh!t that is flowing through your brain.

    • Joe says:

      “Us rich people”?.
      I’m calling BS on that whole story. Little too convenient you just happened to overhear a story that so nicely fit your obvious beliefs

    • "Facts" says:

      and today in “things that definitely happened…”

  9. Anonymous says:

    Ah there it is. Invariably spouted by those who wouldn’t last 2 minutes anywhere else without their protected status.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Stop blaming this government. If PPM was still in, the situation WOULD BE THE SAME!!

    Stop blaming the closed borders on those that have yet to be vaccinated. Someone said earlier, those that wanted the vaccine got it and those that did not have made their decision not to get it.

    Give plenty of notice on the opening date to give any of those still on the fence a chance to get the vaccine and OPEN UP!

    There is NO reason not to have extra flights when it is obvious they will be full!!

    This is all about fearmongering at its finest.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Just now got a call that my aged dad has been put into hospital in Florida. How am I meant to travel in case it may be the last time I will see him again? If I want to hug him for the last time? How?

    • Anonymous says:

      That is essential travel. I can only hope some vacationer has not taken the limited seat you need.

      • Anonymous says:

        Technically not essential according to this Government. They are turning people against one another, and this is despicable. They just need to add some flights to accommodate all those return students instead of creating anger and frustration among our people. Panton is off to a terrible start.

    • Anonymous says:

      Kirk Marine

    • Anonymous says:

      Our government doesn’t care!

    • Anonymous says:

      Flights are all taken by government employees and reality TV stars. Essential is only essential for those in power. You are not in power so they absolutely do not care about you, your plight, or even what is fair or reasonable. Welcome to North Korea.

      • Anonymous says:

        If you could get several overseas news networks to chime in on the story PACT would be red faced and tap dancing at the next news conference.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I know these are hard decisions, but PACT needs to step up.

    No one expects you to have perfect answers. But get in front of the people and give your thoughts. What are you thinking?

    I voted for a PACT member, but I reluctantly say I am very disappointed.

    My final thoughts. Mr. Panton, you wanted to be a leader, so act like a leader of a country. People may or may not disagree with you, but step up and have the discussion.

  13. Anonymous says:

    800 people back log? that’s what 4 flights?

    how hard is that?

    • Can count past two says:

      I know it is so simple! Duh, put four more flights on Elon. My cat figured this out weeks ago. Then KB hacked up a fur ball of foolishness, and got a huge cheque FROM OUR MONEY for being dumber than a sack of hair.

  14. Anonymous says:

    I am in the US visiting my seriously ill parent – I cam Caymanian so I cannot return on 4 Aug flight then?

    • Anonymous says:

      If you haven’t already planned your return you might be in for a surprise.

    • Annoyed says:

      Not unless you are rich or a politician, then you can do whatever you want. These regulations are only for ordinary people.

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