Travellers not allowed to do own lateral flow tests

| 18/11/2021 | 223 Comments

(CNS): Fully vaccinated visitors and returning residents who want to avoid quarantine as the Cayman Islands transitions into Phase 4 of the border reopening plan will not be doing their own lateral flow tests for SARS-CoV-2. Instead travellers will be required to take the three rapid tests during their first ten days after arrival with a registered health professional, costing $25 each, at either a designated centre, a doctor’s surgery or an established location at the hotel where they are staying if its available.

On arrival, vaccinated travellers who qualify to avoid isolation will be given a rapid antigen testing card by the Customs Border Control (CBC), and each of the tests they take will be documented and certified by the healthcare professional who administered those tests.

Local residents will need to find a certified test centre to take the LFT and get their cards stamped. But it will be down to hotels and other accommodation providers to help tourists access testing locations, and private sector tourism stakeholders must make sure the visitors are following the rules and taking those LFTs on their designated days.

“It is within the best interest of each tourist accommodation provider to support tourist visitors’ compliance with the testing requirements, as part of a quality service for a positive visitor experience,” according to the protocols published on the department of tourism website.

“It is recommended that at a minimum, tourism accommodation providers promote awareness of the requirements for testing amongst their tourist visitors, provide timely reminders to their tourist visitors of their test days, support easy access to testing for their tourist visitors.

“Hotels and other hospitality providers may require guests, for example, to present this card demonstrating that they are in compliance with testing requirements before allowing entry to high traffic areas such as restaurants and pools,” the new protocols say.

Accommodation providers will be expected to play a significant role in supervising guest compliance and then dealing with their isolation if they become positive during the course of their stay under this new phase of the border reopening status.

The two key documents relating to protocols around testing and managing accommodation set out a catalogue of must do’s for accommodation providers large and small, placing much of the responsibility for keeping everyone safe from the virus on hotel staff.

Speaking at Thursday’s press briefing, Tourism Minister Kenneth Bryan said that hotels and other stakeholders in tourism are being asked to implement workplace rapid testing policies. “We are strongly recommending that all tourism related business implement twice weekly testing programmes for their employees and stakeholders,” Bryan said.

He explained that all cleared and vaccinated travellers need to take tests on day 2, 5 and 10, where arrival day is zero. The tests must be certified by the testing provider and around two dozen testing centres have been approved for people to take these regular tests.

Bryan said all travellers, locals and visitors alike will pay the $25, and while government is trying to push the costs down, he said the test work involves more than the cost of the test kit.

A new online portal has been launched to enable travellers to apply to enter Cayman where they can upload vaccination details and get a clearance certificate. All travellers still need a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken less than 72 hours before they leave the destination they are coming from.

Visitors must also prove they have travel insurance and agree to the various conditions of travel, including the need to isolate if they test positive at any point during their stay.

Government has so far cleared just over 4,100 people to enter the Cayman Islands under the new rules. The minister said that government is capping visitors to 20,000 per month but so far the monthly numbers are not even close to that. He explained that until the airlift increases next year, the expectations for guest arrivals remain relatively low.

See the two key documents relating to testing and hotel management of guests and link to Tourism Sanitization Guidelines in the CNS Library.

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Category: Business, Health, Medical, Tourism

Comments (223)

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  1. GoJoeB says:

    In this culture the innocent must always pay for the sins of the guilty.

    • Anonymous says:

      correct…we are in this mess because of the unvaxxed who are now putting our health service at risk.

  2. Truth says:

    As usual open for Caymanians but not really open for anyone else. We got it. Everyone not Caymanian will get it. Cayman does not want anyone but Caymanians here. Everyone else stay away.

  3. Anonymous says:

    This is pathetic. This is Cayman. Please send your kids off island for education. They have actually made it harder for everyone but the very people who are responsible for the mass of positive Covid on Islands.

  4. Birdman says:

    This is just plain Hogwash.

    PCR tests are free, but I have to pay someone 25 bucks to give me a LFT test??

    Why can’t I just then get 3 PCR tests done and use those results? Come on Cayman this some stupidity at its finest!
    25 bucks total for the tests (that are handed to me on arrival) and let me do them at home and send in the results to you via a website. It works in the UK!

    • Anonymous says:

      Perhaps given their experience to date they don’t entirely trust people to be honest about positive results 😉

      • Anonymous says:

        As emphasized by Health Minister, not the tourists – it is ‘our own people’, local that are breaking all rules/laws.

      • Anonymous says:

        Then do something about the locals – but they won’t upset their Caymanian voters now will they

  5. Anonymous says:

    Supervised LFTs was about the only evidence of putting people before profits mentioned in the press conference. Otherwise it was “increase cash flow for the business community at the expense of hospitalizations and deaths”.

  6. Anonymous says:

    When visiting an ailing mother in the US over the summer, I had difficulty finding a testing center that could guarantee PCR results within 72 hours. I contacted Travel Cayman who said actually, it is within 72 hours of the day AFTER you do the test, making it 96. Is this information correct? Also, if you are travelling from a place other than Miami, does this 72 (or 96) hours start upon checking in at first place of departure or Miami?

  7. Guido Marsupio says:

    How and where are they expecting to implement these witnessed tests on the Sister Islands? Faith Hospital? Rental owners/managers? Resorts?

  8. Anonymous says:

    So for some who took the vaccine purely because they wanted to be able to travel without interruption/inconvenience………

  9. Sea Wood says:

    So it seems I booked a fishing charter on my day 2.

    Guess I’ll be late.

    Smelling like bait and beer.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Govt cleared 4000 plus visitors. 75 dollors for each.
    300000 dollors in dust bin

    • Anonymous says:

      75 is what you pay the service provider. You cab bet your boots the service providers are getting topped up by CIG. Since when can you get anything certified in cayman for 425 a pop?

    • Anonymous says:

      Not visitors, travellers. The vast majority will be shoppers, returning students, and the rest of us that just need a break.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Good business to some doctors with links to hotels.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Some difficult protocols to adher and to monitor.
    We have surpassed the daily rate of positives compared to USA or UK.
    When we go to USA they r not doing all these.
    Then why should the visitor to do all this.
    4 family members so much testing .cost and fear of problems for vacation
    Getting gpod advice.
    Best of luck.

  13. Returning Caymanian says:

    What a load of sh*t

    Cayman is a sh*t hole

  14. Anonymous says:

    All set to come 12/1-12/15 and check out our house without quarantine. Now we still have to get a 72 hour PCR, a 2, 5 and 10 day LFT and a 72 hour exit LFT (online for the US). That’s $125 per head and four two-hour drives to town. The real problem is what happens if we test positive on day 10. So far no one can tell us how long we would have to isolate before we can go home or what tests we would have to pass to be allowed to leave. We have plans for Christmas that don’t include being trapped in Cayman so we’re seriously considering forfeiting our tickets to Miami and forgetting the whole thing. Thanks, Cayman. I know you don’t care, but this is ridiculous.

    • Anonymous says:

      There is nowhere on the island that it takes 2 hours to drive into town. Don’t be so dramatic. If you are on East End or North Side there are options to get your testing done locally so going into town is not necessary. If you test positive at the end of your stay, then you have to stay at home until you test negative to get your flight. That’s OK. you said you have a house here, so just enjoy a stay at your lovely Cayman home a little longer. If you really feel that would be so terrible to be ‘trapped’ in Cayman, then perhaps it’s not the right place for you after all.
      But I agree that you should postpone your trip. Unless you plan to just stay at home when you get here, you will most likely catch covid because its everywhere here now.

      • Anonymous says:

        Problem is that you need 11 days + a sensitive PCR test to exist cayman quarantine and not just the antigen test required to get back to the US. People here in quarantine for months as cant get a negative exit test. No one wants to be locked up in their homes that long because they decided to go on holiday! Big risk

    • Anonymous says:

      If you can afford a second home in Cayman you can afford the LFT, so quit whinging.

  15. Anonymous says:

    nov 20th was always a white elephant…..
    coivid-cayman-islands still closed.
    cayman like everywhere else is still 6-9 months away from returning to normal.

  16. Anonymous says:

    So applying the 20000 visitors per month mentioned in the briefing someone is making $1.5million per month on LFTs? Assuming the test purchase is zero? I mean it was outside procurement rules so who knows. $18 million per year? Wow – who moved Boris Johnson here?

  17. Anonymous says:

    What a stupid set of “plans”. First off, they admitted in the press conference they themselves still weren’t exactly sure how the LFT would be required to happen but would be figuring it out soon! 🤦🏻‍♀️

    Tourists will not subject themselves to this stupidity when other places aren’t requiring anything close to it. Nobody is giving up part of THREE days to take a test…..not to mention an extra $75 per person.

    I feel for tourism providers because times are still gonna be TOUGH until government comes up with a better plan.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m traveling to GC over Christmas. My friend, her husband and her 2 children are traveling to Cancun. My trip is costing $3200 (air, hotel, rental car and NOT including medical insurance or the testing). I haven’t added in those costs and I haven’t had anything to drink or eat. Her trip is costing ($4200- airfare, hotel, food and drink) for all.

      I need departure PCR, 2 lateral flow tests and a PCR test to return.
      Her family needs to have a negative PCR test to return to the states. That’s it.

      Hmmmmm…..something tells me I need to change my plans. Getting to the point where a beach is a beach. Hot weather is hot weather.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Coincidently, one of the sitting MLAs (I will mention no names) brokered his own deal, separate from government, to bring in LFTs (which is why government mysteriously and illegally backed out of the deal with Bluewater). If that isn’t a conflict of interest, I don’t know what is.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Freeeeeee the children of vaccinated parents. what a debacle.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Very risky coming here on vacation, especially with high community cases. If you or anyone in your travel party tests positive (even asymptomatic), you are locked in your hotel room for ten days.

    Would be too stressful for me.

  21. Anonymous says:

    I did laugh when minister Turner said when talking about reporting a positive test or not that “ we are smarter than you” give me a break.
    Firstly I can find high school kids smarter than you.
    Secondly, you will never ever find anyone who tested positive and wanted to hide that fact.
    Minister Bryan, wow. Just wow. You have a writer to make you sound decent when speaking,
    Please have the intelligence to read it before you go on air. You are just hurting yourselves showing this sort of incompetence.
    The people see through this facade. But we expected this so nothing new here.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Wayne and Kenneth you have both just single handily ruin tourism for Cayman…congrats!! Both of you needs a wake up call, meaning get off this island and understand the real world before you come out with such a knuckle head plan. Why on earth are we going to have tourist pay and take multiple LFT tests when they have to take a PCR test to return home, that should be enough. I personally have left the island and visited several places including other islands and I was not required to have to take a LFT every two or three days at my cost. All that was required was a negative PCR test for entry that’s it. Had a great time and return home with no issues and negative at that, so when you say we must learn to live with the virus obviously you have no clue. Not only do I feel bad to all our tourism sector who have suffered immensely but our investors who seek to take a chance on our islands and invest. Call it what you want (greed, whatever) but at the end of the day all of us living here have had a good life because of our tourism. Much better than if no one ever invested here or visited we would still be sending our Men out to sea. The virus is no joke and it will spread no matter if we have tourist or not it is up to each person to do what they can just like the flu season to stay healthy etc. It’s very disappointing to see how this is being handled. Let’s see what happens but at this rate why bother opening no one is coming.

  23. Anonymous says:

    2 days before reopening they tell us that LFTs must be done by one of a dozen approved testing facilites. Very bad timing. Where can we find the list of approved facilities or will this list come out next week when those arriving on Saturday will have to get their first test. Very disappointing to have this late curve ball.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Let’s take the healthy visitor’s and send them into covid testing centers for their LFT tests and send them home with covid.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Sadly I do not think there will be many tourists willing to come here with this system. It’s way too much hassle and there are lots of places to go where they won’t have to deal with anything similar. There may be visitors over Christmas but that will mostly be family members of residents.

    All they’ve done is make it easier for residents to come and go without bringing in any significant tourists dollars. Good for those of us who’d like to travel without the need to quarantine but not great for anyone relying on the tourism industry. PACT would have been better off to deal with the community spread than this. Their focus is off.

  26. Anonymous says:

    This is a rare sensible step. It does not make up for allowing Covid to spread with no attempt to slow spread but it is still a sensible step.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Recognizing that no LFTs or self-administered LFTs are useless from a public health perspective is the first sound decision that PACT has made in weeks. Maybe there is hope.

  28. Anonymous says:

    A registered health professional (RHP) won’t supervise the testing for free. Add whatever they will charge to the cost of the actual tests x 3. By the way you will need an army of RHPs to do that.

  29. Anonymous says:

    OK…. SO in 36 hour approximately I am arriving in Grand Cayman and do not need to isolate. On Monday I must do a LFT at an approved place…..Where is this? On Saturday I must do it again…Where?
    On Sunday ( Day 8 ) I am doing a at home verifiable FDA / CDC approved EMed video antigen Test to go back to the USA on Monday that test only costs $18 USD and can be done at home

    At least the USA has a system in place to do entry tests when a country has NO Clue how they are managing people that travel frequently.

  30. Anonymous says:

    What a joke. These requirements won’t last long.

    • Anonymous says:

      Let’s hope not. They make absolutely no sense, are ridiculously expensive for tourists, time consuming on a short holiday, and do nothing to say relax, enjoy your holiday in the beautiful Cayman Island.

  31. Beaumont Zodecloun says:

    “It is within the best interest of each tourist accommodation provider to support tourist visitors’ compliance with the testing requirements, as part of a quality service for a positive visitor experience,” according to the protocols published on the department of tourism website.”

    This doesn’t in any way resonate as a law, a rule or even a guideline. This is pure weakness, and a pretend compliance to a sketchy standard.

    Might as well just say, “Do what you want; we’re doing our best.”

    Disappointing. Pragmatic me says to myself, “This is what it is. Avoid everyone, and take an LFT before doing any work for any of my customers. It’s all I can do. It is well beyond most of us to do otherwise. This is really screwed up, and I hope visitors wanting to come here can see clearly how things are here and belay their visit.

    • Anonymous says:

      OK. I can maybe understand the hotel being able to support the tourist visitor comply with the testing when tourist numbers are low, but what about in the larger hotels or when occupancy is higher? How is that going to work? How will they be able to keep track of everyone’s testing day and time?

      • famiky says:

        Why should it be their or any person with an airbnb or rental property responsibility, they could be working and have family to deal with besides ‘babysitting’ travellers – do they get hauled up if the traveller doesn’t do the tests? Aren’t these travellers adults. Aren’t the returning locals the problem as emphasized by Health Minister – who checking up on them?

  32. Anonymous says:

    Tourism Minister: “Accommodation providers will be expected to play a significant role in supervising guest compliance and then dealing with their isolation if they become positive during the course of their stay under this new phase of the border reopening status.”

    Total BS. There is no way hotels, condos and Airbnb property owners can comply with what the government is proposing. Who will pay for quarantine should a guest test positive? I can’t see Any tourist in their right mind, coming here on vacation under these terms with the risk that they may be forced to quarantine (get trapped here) and at their expense! Can’t make this stuff up. SMH

    • Anonymous says:

      So if they test positive what should they do? If I go to the United States and Catch covid, I would have to quarantine. There is no way the US Government would pay for quarantine for me neither would any airline allow me to get on a flight while I’m positive..

      When you fill out the Travel Declaration form you have to attest that you have travel and health insurance. Anyone travelling now should have both. There is no guarantee that you cannot catch it when you are travelling, that is the risk you take when travelling in these times.

  33. Anonymous says:

    I see what you’re doing PACT, this is part of a bigger scheme to take down CNS through pure exhaustion.

  34. Anonymous says:

    bring on the giraffes 🦒

  35. Anonymous says:

    Starting to get a real grasp of this ‘signature Caymankind’ about now 👎

  36. Anonymous says:

    Is it $25CI for all or for each test?
    Is there a specific brand of insurance needed or is that up to the individual traveler? Just has to have covid coverage, I’m guessing. If there could be some clarification it would be extremely helpful.

  37. Anonymous says:

    PACT has lost their f&@*#i g marbles 😵‍💫

  38. Anonymous says:

    Hahaha. Madness. Tourists are not the risk here, yet are being subjected to having to interrupt their vacations three different days. Meanwhile, residents who are living with COVID positive individuals can (rightfully!) test themselves at home.

    • Big Bobo In West Bay says:

      The tourists are not the risk here. The ones to fear and are the risk are the thousands of unvaccinated Caymanians especially in the CIG.

      What a joke we are here.

  39. Anon says:

    Why would you come here? For the life of me I cannot understand why no one in the press will ask them why we insist on exit test from quarrantine/isolation yet CDC and every other major health organisation ends isolation on day 11. No negative PCR required.

    You would have to be nuts to travel here and risk being locked in a hotel room for a month.

    • Anonymous says:

      We have 3 families booked to come. We are reading this and shaking our heads. The added cost of insurance (we were counting on our own medical insurance) and the extra cost of the LFT tests ( we thought it wouldn’t be as high and just possible the PCR is making us questioning canceling the entire 3 family trip. We will debate over this weekend. We do not mind testing, we understand, but one family has 4 members, two families have 3. Do the math. This wasn’t in the plan when we made our booking last month. $25CI=$30 US x 10 x 2 different sets of tests….plus medical insurance for all, The airfare was expensive, hotel pricey, car rentals, transfer to airport from home and we haven’t even landed and enjoyed the restaurants yet. We are all triple vaxxed.

      • Anonymous says:

        Trust me, the sensible people of Cayman apologize for your pain. Sadly, the country is always run by the people who have no other job prospects so this is the kind of decision making you get. Unless you are rich I would suggest going to another location…Cayman is overrated…take it from a local.

      • Scott says:

        One additional concern you should consider. If any of your family test positive during your stay everyone will be forced into quarantine. Then..
        Good luck flying out.

        Nice that your whole family is vaxed but those injections are 50/50. Perfect example…sister islands… 106 infected with Covid. 55 are fully vaccinated, 6 partially vaccinated, 45 not vaccinated.

        • Anonymous says:

          To help you with your 50/50 math.

          Take 1000 people. 10% of whom get sick.

          It turns out half of the sick people were vaccinated, and half were not. Yes that is 50/50

          However 900 of the 1000 people were vaccinated, 100 were not. So 50% of the unvaccinated people got sick and a little over 5% of the vaccinated people got sick.

          Thats rounded up to help folks understand. I think 50/50 is more like unvaccinated folks are eight-ten times more likely to get sick than unvaccinated.

      • Anonymous says:

        I would be worried about the consequences of testing positive. 11 days isolation plus a negative super sensitive PCR test to exit

      • Anonymous says:

        CI 25 each test X 3 tests (day 2,day 5 and day 10) per person.

      • Anonymous says:

        Do what I did and reroute to Jamaica,
        The beaches here are excellent and the rum is even better mon.

    • Hubert says:

      No tourist in their right mind would want to come here with all this nonsense.

    • anonymous says:

      This is the end of tourism in the Cayman Islands.

      Turks and Caicos will be cleaning up while we struggle with the ineptness of Government after Government.

  40. Anonymous says:

    Will be interesting to see which businesses are approved. They are going to reap in the profits

  41. Anonymous says:

    What moron came up with this?

  42. Anonymous says:

    What happens when the LFT and the PCR for departure are on the same day?

  43. Anonymous says:

    $25. For a LFT. Pretty steep, Cayman.

  44. Anonymous says:

    What about when the LFT falls on a holiday?

  45. Anonymous says:

    This is interesting. When I contacted my airline on Wednesday to ask about this I was told (after the agent checked with a supervisor) that test kits would not be given out upon arrival at the Owen Roberts airport and that travelers would need to purchase and carry their own LF test kits. I went out today and purchased those. Now it seems that the info I was given has changed. It is very stressful for those who need to travel.

    • Anonymous says:

      It would be cheaper if we brought our own.
      Also the fact that we have to go somewhere because they don’t trust us to be truthful in reporting is somewhat disturbing. We all need to be tested on the way out, so what is the point of lying. NONE. The locals who do not have to be witnessed while testing have more reason to lie about testing, but, they can be trusted, I guess.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yeah but they can’t charge you $10 to send you an e-mail! This is based on the price of the kits in pharmacy. If the Govt, who ignored their own procurement process, buy them for free then it’s $25 for an e-mail, for a test you could wait 15 mins for the result. Look in the dictionary for corruption, this will be given as an example. It’s $18 million a year😡

        • Anonymous says:

          IS the prison term if you don’t do the LFT or if you don’t go to the clinic to do the LFT? Asking for a friend.

  46. Anonymous says:

    This Is profoundly stupid and irrational. Covid is here, widespread in the community and will never be eradicatated. It is not going away.

    There is no additional risk presented by travelers to the community. The risk is already well established and irreversible.

    The LFTs serve no purpose whatsoever unless you apply twice weekly testing to the entire population. It is just making everyone’s life difficult, expensive, and frustrating for absolutely zero return..

    • Anonymous says:

      Are we coming on vacation or are we coming to visit clinics around the island? Testing that much on a short holiday we will be spending more time in a clinic than on the beach.

      • Anonymous says:

        If you don’t like the rules, don’t come. Our island doesn’t need the extra stress of even more covid people taking up our hospital beds.

        • Anonymous says:

          Absolutely don’t visit Cayman, spend your hard end $s somewhere you’ll be appreciated and not ripped off paying with time and money on the ridiculous testing requirements, on an island where the locals freely ignore isolation and quarantine rules resulting in exponential local spread of Covid. Stay away from corrupt Covid Islands.

          • Anonymous says:

            Also have the threat of being locked up indefinitely if you have a positive test… some people are in quarantine for months. cant wait till this happens to a tourist…

        • Anonymous says:

          Tell that to your own!

      • Anonymous says:

        Or locked in your hotel room if test positive.

      • Anonymous says:

        The new excursion = clinic hopping

      • Anonymous says:

        That’s the new Cayman vacation, just visit COVID testing facilities instead of the beach, stingrays and jerk shack.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ministers v civil servants v people. We are all just bricks in this wall. Every one of us. And we built it all by ourselves.

  47. Anonymous says:

    Can anybody confirm if the quarantine still exists for people arriving from certain countries?

  48. Anonymous says:

    In a past corporate life, there was an expectation that you would come prepared to a meeting. And if there was significant information to be presented at the meeting, we often talked of 8 hours of preparation for a one hour meeting.

    On two occasions as Minister Bryan was reading the script prepared for him I was embarrassed by the fact he had not read the notes before hand.

    First was his shock to learn of the $10,000 fine or two years in jail for non compliance of the LFT protocol and secondly after saying the demand was high was surprised to learn that only 4000 travelers were expected so far.

    Is it time for a cabinet shuffle yet?

    • Anonymous says:

      No he was joyous and jovial as he realised the Govt were making $18 per year on LFT test for visitors. So giddy he didn’t have time to read his brief.

    • Anonymous says:

      There is even a $10,000 fine and/or 2 year’s imprisonment (upon summary conviction) for carrying on a business or trade without a T & B licence (pursuant to s.17(2), Trade and Business Licensing Act). Fairly standard formula for non-compliance with legislation.

    • Frustrated says:

      No. It is time for a government reshuffle.

      • Anonymous says:

        Frustrated, As if that will solve the problems we face.

        Reluctantly must say we need direct rule here as we don’t have a clue what we are doing here.

  49. Anonymous says:

    Doe the 4100 people being cleared for entry include returning residents?

  50. Anonymous says:

    As usual, unsustainable bullshit from PACTHETIC.

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