Governor backs work permit vaccine mandate

| 06/10/2021 | 90 Comments
Cayman News Service
Governor Martyn Roper gets his first COVID-19 vaccine shot in January 2021

(CNS): Governor Martyn Roper has offered his support for the bills that will see work permit holders required to get a COVID-19 vaccination if they want to keep working in Cayman or take up a new position here. In a statement released by his office Wednesday, Roper said he was aware that the issue was emotive and he had received several letters “from a number of people about it”, but the laws were “reasonable, rational and proportionate”.

Responding to the correspondence, he said that government was dealing with a public health emergency and doing everything it could to protect the community and reduce pressures on the health services.

“Pushing vaccination rates even higher is an important tool in our armoury,” he said. “If individuals wish to enjoy privileges under the Immigration law and apply for a work permit or renewal of a work permit, one of the conditions they have to meet is to demonstrate that they are vaccinated or can’t take the vaccine due to medical reasons or another exemption permitted under the law,” Roper said. 

“There is no right under the law to a work permit and there is no legitimate expectation for renewal,” he added, echoing comments made by the attorney general in the House of Parliament this week.

“Government’s policy is that if you wish to be employed in the Cayman Islands and you require a work permit, then you are obliged to demonstrate a number of things. This will now include that you are vaccinated against COVID-19,” the governor said.

However, he noted that Cayman has an independent judicial system that allows the public to air their grievances in court. 

“The ability to challenge compatibility of legislation through the courts exists for all,” he said. “If there is a legal challenge, the government will have to justify the legislation and the judiciary will determine its compatibility with our Constitution and Bill of Rights.”

Roper added, “The government’s concern, which I share, is to do everything to support the health and well-being of everyone on Island so we can safely reopen the border. We all have to live with COVID in the future. These bills will support that outcome and my hope is that the community can come together to help achieve it.”

See the vaccine schedule on the HSA website here.

For more information on vaccines contact the HSA Communications team at

See here for more information on securely verifiable vaccination records.

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Comments (90)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    An Absolutely discriminatory Law that has no common sense reasoning behind it. People are absolutely blind to the fact that the vaccinated are infected and can spread the virus with the same viral load as the unvaccinated, however the currently required test for HIV Aids for WP holders is accepted for a virus which once you are infected you will have it for life. Covid is unlike HIV and we can recover from the virus, and Govt will not accept a Covid test before coming to Cayman like they do for HIV. There is NO consistency or common sense reasoning and simple logic used in these ridiculous laws past by Govt. Governor, surely you have more sense than our politicians.

    • Anonymous says:

      Vaccinated people are less likely to catch covid in the first place and so they are less likely to spread it. Unvaccinated people are also more likely to end up in hospital and become a burden on the healthcare system.

      WP holders still have a choice to get vaccinated or return to their home country. It might not be a choice that they want to make but it’s still there. Caymanians would not have any choice since this is their home country and they have no country to return to.

  2. Ananymous says:

    I didnt realize that Caymanians had immunity to COVID. So, id I have lived here for 14 years and my neighbour who is Caymanian has lived beside for those years, somehow it’s OK to requrie me to get vaccinated, but not the Caymanian? I am vaccinated by the way but that’s not the point. This is pure discrimation based on race/ethnicity. It is shocking that this law was passed. On to the courts! When the government loses, I trust that the AG will resign.

    • Anonymous says:

      So.what government is saying Covid only attacks expats and not caymanians????? Ignorance and stupidity at its all time high. Who is spreading Covid????CAYMANIANS who broke quarantine

    • Anonymous says:

      Jesus will kick Covid’s ass.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I didnt realize that Caymanians had immunity to COVID. So, id I have lived here for 14 years and my neighbour who is Caymanian has lived beside for those years, somehow it’s OK to requrie me to get vaccinated, but not the Caymanian? I am vaccinated by the way but that’s not the point. This is pure discrimation based on race/ethnicity. It is shocking that this law was passed. On to the courts! When the government loses, I trust that the AG will resign.

  4. Mikey says:

    Some people want to take it and some don’t and I can speak for myself I just don’t care to have anything else in my body. Why does that make you mad? I have never seen people so concerned about my safety like this before.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s not your safety its ours and our children’s who can’t be vaccinated. I just don’t understand how you can’t get it?

    • Anonymous says:

      They are not concerned at all about YOUR safety. Only their own. Right now everyone is a potential killer to them and not a human being and will be treated as such unless you drink from the same cup(vaccinate). Be careful around them.

  5. Anonymous says:

    “. . .must mandate for CIG workers.” Obviously, not. No must about it. Right or wrong it going to be want to continue to work here? Get vaccinated.

  6. Anonymous says:

    bad sign…when a man of reason and common sense is backing cig laws discrimination.
    I’m pro-vax btw…but if you mandate for wp holders you must mandate for cig workers.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree, but it’s alot easier to do it to wp holders, so they took the easier route.

    • Anonymous says:

      Check out what Canada is doing, not singling out immigrants or any particular group. They are going after everybody. Not making this vaccine mandatory for the largest segment of ANY countries population is a mistake, and yes that would include your “world class” civil service.

      • Anonymous says:

        Expats are the largest segment of the population though.

        • Anonymous says:

          I believe the point is that people should not be forced to do something solely based on their place of birth.
          It would make more sense from a human rights perspective for employers to ask ALL employees to receive the vaccine. This is what other countries do and it makes more sense.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Dear Governor and Premier, don’t overlook what is coming. And it is not Covid.

    America Is Running Out of Everything.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is now a massive problem in major countries with a global transport workers shortage like Ships Crew.
      Countries like Cayman are not allowing maritime crew shore leave or freedom to travel without isolation that is leading to crew members not staying aboard ships.
      This situation will get worse over the coming months as more crew members don’t renew contract as they have already missed 18 months with families.

      Hope we all remember how we get food!

  8. Anonymous says:

    💥Cayman, pay attention, you are nearly 100% export dependent. Covid is so yesterday, yet entirely occupies minds of the Cayman population.

    ‘Containergeddon’: Supply crisis drives Walmart and rivals to hire their own ships.

  9. Anonymous says:

    This is good news, now he can be named in the lawsuits.

    • Anonymous says:

      Get back to the USA with your lawsuits.

      • Anonymous says:

        Okay, but then
        Cayman has to decide if it wants to maintain its image as one of the World’s financial centers, where Law and Order rule, where International laws, set of rules, norms, and standards generally recognized as binding between nations or precipitate to the Mom&Pop shop level where immediate family interests come first, right to equality and freedom from discrimination is not recognized and arbitrary decisions are customarily made.

        • Anonymous says:

          Geesh, give me a break and go find something in your shithole country to sue..join the Patriots and live in Florida or Texas where the governors decide what freedoms you will have..

  10. anon says:

    racial discrimination in its best form. why should permit holders protect the locals when they are to stubborn to take the vaccine and listen to false info or the church !!!

    pathetic discrimination. see you in court
    after all why did i bother to get the vaccine if I am under island house arrest and having to Quarantine for 8 days as well
    They are not following science they are following the Beano !

    • Anonymous says:

      The churches are not telling anyone not to get it if they so choose.

    • Anonymous says:

      All I can do is laugh. When I think of all of these anti-vaccine idiots getting charged up to the eyeballs and booked with conspiracy to commit bio-terrorism and their “lowsuits” getting ex·pe·di·tious·ly dismissed as a waste of judicial resources and time!!!

      Even the Nazis wept poverty and claimed victim. Crocodile tears people. If you love something, set it free….

    • GT East says:

      What nonsense many many work permit holders have been vaccinated at there own will and common sense people are talking as if everyone on a WP have not been and don’t want to get vaccinated.
      Wake up and let’s all work together the few that don’t want the vac head home

    • Anonymous says:

      Court for what? If you are vaccinated you are not outside of the law..

      Seriously, you got the vaccine for that reason? I took mine to keep me and my family and friends safe..

  11. Anonymous says:

    Bad decision and bad that he is supporting this. Will have little material effect. If you want the vaccination rate up, start by convincing Caymanians in North Side instead.

    • Anonymous says:

      In Northside? Lol you are a joker. I am from Northside and many in my district have taken it. Convince your expat friends in their big houses up here to take it. Its the majority of them who have not.

      • Anonymous says:

        No, those expats in the big houses want and need to travel to the US so have been vaxxed and if they haven’t then they should think about not being able to access emergency care in the US should the need arise!

  12. Anonymous says:

    For gods sake, set aside boosters for the vulnerable and begin administering the rest to those who took the jab in early 2021, before this rash of cases turns into a major outbreak!

    • Anonymous says:

      It already has, the numbers that are rolling in daily is ridiculous.

    • anonymous says:

      A New York Times analysis found that the average vaccinated American’s odds of experiencing a breakthrough infection are roughly 1-in-5,000 a day and 1-in-10,000 in highly vaccinated states. Equal to .0002 or.02%. Nothing the same as unvaccinted rates of infection

      A recent CDC report contains data showing that the odds of a breakthrough might be even lower than that, around 1-in-5,000 a week.

  13. Anonymous says:

    They can’t legislate it for the whole country. This is the only measure the government could take that would help protect the population as a whole. They know they will only lose a handful of people and very few (if any) will be essential staff to their respective companies or the government.

    If you think this is the first time in your life you’ve been heavily influenced to do something by a government you haven’t been paying attention.

    If it makes you feel better, you can think of it this way: the Cayman Islands values you and needs (wants) you to be healthy.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Lol. The vaccinated carry higher rates of replicating virus. They also have delayed symptoms. People could be feeling ok and walking around as super spreaders. PACT did the dumbest thing lowering the quarantine rate to 5 days. All these stupid governments giving vaccine passes and travel freedoms to aid in covid spreading.

    • anonymous says:

      There is no evidence that vaccinated carry higher rates of the virus. For break through infections it is shown that it may be similiar to unvaccinated but the the key is breakthough infection since the vaccinated are less likely to get it. And the delayed sympton. Please provide the scientific accepted study indicating this.

      • Anonymous says:

        The CDC director herself spoke on the fact that the vaccinated carry the same viral load if not higher than the unvaxed.

        CNS: But only if they are infected and they are less likely to get infected. See The Atlantic – No, Vaccinated People Are Not ‘Just as Likely’ to Spread the Coronavirus as Unvaccinated People

        • Anonymous says:

          I’ll take word of mouth from the CDC director over some article.

          CNS: I’m really glad that you have faith in the CDC, the department she oversees. This is what it says on the CDC website (updated 15 Sept) – “The risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection in fully vaccinated people cannot be completely eliminated as long as there is continued community transmission of the virus. Early data suggest infections in fully vaccinated persons are more commonly observed with the Delta variant than with other SARS-CoV-2 variants. However, data show fully vaccinated persons are less likely than unvaccinated persons to acquire SARS-CoV-2, and infections with the Delta variant in fully vaccinated persons are associated with less severe clinical outcomes. Infections with the Delta variant in vaccinated persons potentially have reduced transmissibility than infections in unvaccinated persons, although additional studies are needed.

          Now that you understand the CDC position, read what she actually said, “High viral loads suggest an increased risk of transmission and raised concern that, unlike with other variants, vaccinated people infected with Delta can transmit the virus.” The context was after the Massachusetts outbreak and she was trying to get people to wear masks even if they are vaccinated. See the full statement here.

        • Anonymous says:

          did you also inject yourself with bleach, like the last US President told people to do

    • anonymous says:

      A New York Times analysis found that the average vaccinated American’s odds of experiencing a breakthrough infection are roughly 1-in-5,000 a day and 1-in-10,000 in highly vaccinated states.

      A recent CDC report contains data showing that the odds of a breakthrough might be even lower than that, around 1-in-5,000 a week.

    • Anonymous says:

      Stop watching Fox News or whatever YouTube channel you watch.

      • Anonymous says:

        Why don’t you try letting your one brain cell get off of CNN long enough, so it can find your other brain cell.

  15. Anonymous says:

    By only requiring WP holders it retains an element of CHOICE! Work permit holders can choose to get vaccinated and remain/arrive in Cayman OR choose to skip vaccine and leave.

    Caymanians don’t have the luxury of choosing to just leave to live elsewhere. They have to then be able to choose to be vaccinated or not.

    Honestly, many many many work permit holders have no issue with vaccination and have had it done. These are the white-collar workers. There’s a big group of blue-collar permit holders that have held out.

    • Yes you do ,the majority of Caymanians hold or are eligible for British passports.

      • Anonymous says:

        I was born here and have my British passport and fully vaccinated but do I want to leave? No. This my home. I never made the choice to move to a different country.

        If WP holder wants to stay here and is asked to take a vaccine to stay, it is extremely fair because it comes down to their choice as the original commenter said.

  16. Anonymous says:

    The division in society is growing exponentially. Xenophobia, in any form, creates fear, hatred and loathing.
    Such is the state of the world these days, and it’s no coincidence.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m not xenophobic – I just can’t stand people who think differently than me, look differently than me, have a different national than me or believe in a different creator/deity than me. You smug, libtard elitists should really stop using big words to call people names.

  17. Anonymous says:

    We care for expats so much that in order to protect them we are mandating that they get vaccinated.

    Or. We can’t force our people to do something they don’t want to do, so we are protecting ourselves by mandating that every expat is vaccinated to protect us.

    Assumption. Expats and Caymanians mix socially to a great extent.

    Reality. We blame the expats for bringing covid to the island because of their “need” to travel, see family, send their children to schools abroad. As if we don’t do the same. But the reality, which no one will acknowledge, is that it’s the public schools that are spreading the virus. Why is this Cayman? Could it be that our own broke quarantine laws? I guess not as none of us have gone to jail. And don’t tell me Ramjeet is a Caymanian who went to jail. It was impossible to separate the two. It was probably tried, but simply impossible as Skyler was here because of him and his connections and to see him and him only.

    At what point does shame kick in? When will we be responsible for our own short comings? If we don’t start facing the truth, how are we going to move forward? All our government is doing is creating an even greater divide between us and those who have played a significant role in creating the high standard of living we have. Mr. Panton publicly acknowledged the LBGT community for their contributions to Cayman. I’ve never heard this said of the attorneys, accountants, gardeners, construction workers, helpers, etc.

    • Anonymous says:

      Everyone knows how the virus got to NS. We all know the North Side and GTP case are almost certainly linked (pure coincidence after 18 months nah?) and why no one is going to admit to the NS connection. And we all know GTP parents broke quarantine like it simply didn’t exist, which I don’t blame them given that blatant breaches like Seymour’s were not prosecuted. It’s only a matter of time before this gets into the expat community but let’s not forget where we are right now before we start pointing fingers at them!

      • Caymanian says:

        The expat community? Way to segregate. We are ONE community and the virus is spreading among us all. Stop with the us versus them foolishness. We may not all agree or get along, but we are one people.

  18. No surprise there !! Which ever way the wind blows , he will be right on board.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Caymanians are the majority of those not wanting to be vaccinated so…..

  20. Anon says:

    Think we are shutting the gate after the horses are out. They’ve had plenty of time to come up with a plan, which is apparently nonexistent. But I guess it gives Pact and reason to pat themselves on the back, whilst hobbling an entire country. This is a day late and a million dollars short.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Well of course he would. Who do you think is behind it in the first place?

  22. Anonymous says:

    6.22pm Try to keep up. The boosters are at Public Health . Get the info at

  23. Robert Mugabe IV says:

    Roper hasn’t a clue either. A few weeks back he blamed canoes for bringing Covid ‘back’ to Cayman.
    Now he states….. “The government’s concern, which I share, is to do everything to support the health and well-being of everyone on Island”
    If that was the case you would insist that all Caymanians should be vaccinated aswell as WPH’s, before you agreed with Pact’s nonsense.
    You could not make this **** up.

    Mandating vaccines for anyone is a big mistake.

    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly. This is a British territory not a country. The governor should be pushing for everyone to be equal

      • Anonymous says:

        we arent equal. get over it.
        if i left my HOME to go somewhere else i would have to abide by their laws and their goings so. tough.
        Go home if you dont wanna be here boo.

    • Anonymous says:

      What about toxic, cancer causing Dump? Is he concerned? What is he doing about it?

    • Anonymous says:

      Agree w/ everything except your last sentence 6:51.
      Sometimes you just have to mandate when it’s for the safety for all, but that means all & not just WPH’s – if there is going to be a mandate.

  24. Hypocrisy says:

    “Pushing vaccination rates even higher is an important tool in our armoury,”

    So back mandatory vaccination for Caymanian frontline workers!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Government and the HSA have an obligation to provide a safe environment for the public and patients (and their employees). Its completely reasonable to expect the Caymanian frontline worker who does my PCR test, for example, to be vaccinated and not to be spreading covid to me instead.

    • Anonymous says:

      6:48, I do agree with vaccine mandates for ALL healthcare workers (local and expat) even though I don’t really agree with them for other locals.

  25. Anon says:

    Where are the boosters? Those of us that are 1) most vulnerable and 2) most responsible are left holding the bag I an information desert. Just tell us!

    • Anonymous says:

      They have started. Go to the HSA Covid website for details. Those with serious medical issue (which are listed) started this week. Over 70s next week. It doesn’t say after that yet.

    • Anonymous says:

      Boosters are being given at the Lion’s Centre.
      This week is for the most vulnerable in the community, next week they start giving them by age. The Astra Zeneca vaccine is also available for those who need it, you need to contact HSA for scheduling. Schedule and information is at

    • Anonymous says:

      The dates for boosters were published. High risk group already started and 70+ can go as off Monday 11/10.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Yes, yes, and yes. A right decision for the safety of the population of the Cayman Islands as a whole.

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