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 Health, Tourism

Comments (223)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    It pains me to say this, but after 18 years of visiting and 2,100 dives, my family and I have found a new island to call home-away-from-home. Your island just does not make anything easy… We adore Cayman and the culture. We have many Caymanian friends too, but the cost of coming, both indirect and direct, just doesn’t make sense anymore.

  2. Anonymous says:

    CNS – Do you know of a list of healthcare providers offering the service to returning residents? I have looked both on TravelCayman and CI Gov and can’t see this. I have completed the travel authorisation form and was expecting a list of providers to be made available when this was completed.
    Am returning to Cayman this week and would like to book my LFT tests to make sure I am in compliance.

    CNS: I don’t, sorry. But maybe other readers know this.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I certainly hope that when the CIG starts reporting the number of positives from these supervised LFT tests they separate the figures from the returning residents and the bona fide tourists.

    It will make for some very “interesting” analysis.

    That is – if returning residents bother to do them at all….

  4. Anonymous says:

    LFT’s will now be supervised at the large hotels so tourists staying there won’t have far to go.

    • Anonymous says:

      By medical professionals or the “I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night” people?

      • Anonymous says:

        Does it matter? It’s not rocket science. All they want to do is ensure people take the test – doesn’t take a medical qualification to ID someone , ensure they swab and watch the swab go into a sealed vial with their name on it.

        • Anonymous says:

          I could have assured them that I took the test. I am not a liar or a cheater. Someone thinking I am, annoys me. I could have taken the test in the comfort of my hotel room and then gone and taken a shower while waiting for the results. Now, I need to waste time queuing up , waiting amongst the rest of the people and having someone else watch me because for some reason, I am not trusted. Sad, really.

          • Anonymous says:

            It’s not that you aren’t trusted, but rules have to apply to/for everyone. Unfortunately some still break them regardless, so enforcement has to be across the board for equality, transparency and to avoid discrimination.

    • Anonymous says:

      Do you not understand that nonresident property owners are not hotel tourists?

  5. Anon says:

    Did anyone notice the list of providers on the PDF file has just shrunk to almost nobody? All the major providers have pulled out of this nonsense. Health City and Doctors Hospital Camana Bay are no longer available? Where are 700+ people going to line up on Tuesday??? What if they are staying in Rum Point?
    What kind of last minute BS was this?
    Give up your ridiculous attempts at looking competent. No plan.

  6. Fed up with Covid profits says:

    We will not return to Cayman until the LFT is lifted. Cayman, we will not allow you to profit and disrupt our expense Cayman vacation on days 2,5 and 10 because we are fully vaccinated and would come in with a negative PCR. That in itself should be enough. Hmm, where else in the Caribbean can we go? See ya Cayman…

    • Anonymous says:

      The Coronavirus apologizes for your inconvenience

      • Anonymous says:

        It’s only bothering 0.04% of people.

      • Anonymous says:

        Testing isn’t the problem. You don’t hear complaints on coming in with a negative PCR. You do hear complaints about interrupting your expensive holiday to test 3 x. That is the problem.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hey! I totally understand! Almost everywhere else is a negative PCR and vaccinated for all travelers. Even Caymanians traveling to the UK and U.S. only have to be vaccinated and have a negative PCR; not this b*** LFT on 2, 5, and 10 while visiting. Tourism here is dead and will remain so until the LFT is lifted.

    • Anonymous says:

      Who cares?

  7. Anonymous says:

    The results of this should be comical to watch. What happens to a tourist that tests positive and is here for a week with their family?

    • Anonymous says:

      They’ll all end up being here for a 3 week holiday.

    • Anonymous says:

      No different than any other place that has these requirements. The US requires a negative test to fly back. Which they have to prove before they are allowed to board. So you can travel wherever you want in the world but returning to the US means you need to be negative or stay where you are and quarantine.

      • Anonymous says:

        4:43, Nonsense. It is very different. To get into the U.S. you must be fully vaccinated and have a negative test 72 hours before you board to get back into the country.

        You are not required to have a test on day 2, 5 and 10 of your vacation.

        What other place in the world has this stupid requirement?

        Who came up with this model? We obviously learn from no one.

    • diver says:

      Exactly. So stupid@

      • Anonymous says:

        Do you need to make an appointment? I don’t even make dinner reservations on holiday. I like to relax and not be on a time schedule. This holiday is going to s*** , but it is all paid for, so have no choice but go now.

  8. Anonymous says:

    This testing plan needs revision and NOW! It is a waste of resources and doesn’t make sense with widespread community infection.

    • Anonymous says:

      The key word being community.
      If anything the community needs to have LFT day 2,5 & 10.
      This has nothing to do with the tourists. They will be sitting in their own bubble on the beach.

      • Anonymous says:

        So no restaurant,bar, grocery stores, or other retail visits? Got it

        • Anonymous says:

          And will you be in the face of the tourist within 3 ft for over 15 minutes? That is when it is considered close contact.
          Tables at restaurants are spread apart 6 ft. Grocery stores and retail stores you would not be in close contact unless you and said tourist are discussing an item together for over 15 minutes. Bars would be the only issue and personally, I would not be sitting at a bar when there is so much community spread going on.

  9. STX says:

    Does the CIG have anyone to bounce their ideas off of before they trot them out in public? This is so stupid, inane, and so cringeworthy I actually feel sorry for them (CIG).
    The only thing that will save them is the fact that anyone reading the protocols to visit will simply cancel their reservations. The scant few that do so up won’t have to wait in line too long to get tested – as there should not be enough people visiting CI to even make a dominos game.

    • Robert Mugabe IV says:

      Sabrina asked Jon Jon Jackass and he said it was a fantastic idea, but he stipulated exemptions for personal trainers once sessions are carried out in gardens.

  10. Concerned says:

    An absolute joke. Stop treating people like children and trust us to get on with it. Trust people to do their own LFTs. Stop with all the exit testing requirements. Who in their right mind would come here on holiday only with the chance of being locked up on their own dime? Total and utter joke.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well the tourists are probably more trustworthy than residents. Who exactly is going to follow up with returning residents about their tests?
      And I’m not sure having potentially Covid infected people visiting medical establishments to get tested is a great idea, given that people who are already suffering from some sort of sickness are going there to see their doctors or perhaps I’m missing something.

    • Anonymous says:

      You must not drive here. Try trusting drivers to obey speed limits, overtaking properly, or using a roundabout correctly and then you will understand why people cannot be trusted

    • Anonymous says:

      Tourists and locals should not be allowed to do their own LFT. No one should be trusted. It’s already proven with the massive number of cases. People are obviously not quarantining.

      • Anonymous says:

        The problem is not the tourists but the many unvaccinated Caymanians who have COVID. The tourists are all fully vaccinated.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like a pile of crap! We just need to
    open with a better plan and start trusting the ppl. The red tape needs to stop. It would be good if the announce a list of providers doing these test.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I have been a regular seasonal visitor to Cayman for around 25 years, a long-term property owner and a totally fed up loyal supporter of a jurisdiction that has no respect for me nor my cohort. I have spent millions in Cayman. Now, I am done.

    • Anonymous says:

      Enjoy BVI

      • Anonymous says:

        Remember tourists are coming in vaccinated w/ a negative PCR. Takes a few days for covid to show up. Let the tourists enjoy their vacation. Drop the LFT scheduled testing all together for those with boosters or let them test on their own. If they are honest and report the results- perfect. If they are not honest, but know they are positive, they will most likely lay low. Schedule back in the PCR testing on departure. That way those who are only here 5-7 days will be tested with a PCR on day 4,5 or 6 which is not too far off the day 2 or 5.

        This way, tourists go home without having their complete holiday screwed up with
        testing and it will be less expensive with the additional tests. Secondly, if they go home happy, they are more likely to recommend other folks return. Third and most importantly, less staff, time and money involved in testing tourists who are not the big issue with community spread.

    • Anonymous says:

      Imagine thinking regular people have sympathy for a millionaire in this day and age

      • Anonymous says:

        Not all tourists are millionaires and once you get that out of your head, you may have sympathy for these measures, especially since there is already community spread.

    • Concerned says:

      Don’t blame you! Very sorry.

  13. Anonymous says:

    This policy is utterly unworkable and complete gibberish. The LFT at registered healthcare provider stuff is probably one of the most dumb as rocks sh*t idea this (or any other) government has done. And that is a very low bar.

    It’s also highly likely to be illegal given its discriminatory application and effect.

  14. Anonymous says:

    All this extra testing will only serve one purpose and that’s to piss people off. Please stop this nonsense before it gets out of hand.

  15. Anonymous says:

    This is what happens when the idiots take over the asylum. Think I’ll go into my cryogenic chamber for 3 years and hope there’s something left for the new government to pick the pieces up on

  16. Anonymous says:

    the difference is that Cayman requires a clean PCR exit test from quarantine. Most other places just 10 days isolation. Could be in iso for a month.

  17. Anonymous says:

    This is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. How about you just deal with it and move on. Good god these cig plans are about as confusing and worthless as any of our local civil service departments.

    • Anonymous says:

      Simply a joke!

    • Anonymous says:

      I have travel plans for Christmas and if these measures are still in place in two weeks, I will be traveling to another destination. The price of the LFT alone just annoys me let alone having to uproot my day to find a testing spot on a very short holiday. If there wasn’t the article saying the government was trying to lower LFT prices a day or two before maybe my blood wouldn’t be as boiling

  18. Anonymous says:

    If this is still in place by next summer I will be taking my 3 week holiday on another island, with my free LFTs from the UK!

    • Anonymous says:

      You cannot use the NHS lateral flow tests for UK. You have to pay for and pre-book these tests. Somebody else that wants to screw the NHS and the Uk taxpayer.

      • Anonymous says:

        Read the post before venting numb nuts. They say they are going to another island, where they will use the UK tests. Which is in accordance with UK policy for UK holiday makers.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Accommodation providers must now provide certified medical professionals on their own dime if they want to welcome customers back and they are now the ones who will be held accountable for any breaches. Visitors must now test three times to prove they have not come in contact with any locals who follow no rules. Residents must pay for and go to the doctors three times and hope to not get Covid there as the Caymanian surge is just getting started. But hey welcome to Cayman Islands and remember if you catch it here you must stay here until you test clean on your own dime. Caymanians are entitled to do as they will infected or not as we have all seen. This is the best Cayman can do. Plan accordingly.

    • Anonymous says:

      True – tourists are probably more likely to get covid here while interacting with unvaccinated CBC staff than arrive with it. Or some unvaccinated local in a restaurant. I doubt many of the planned flights will actually go through once residents are finished flying over the Christmas season. Pretty sad for anyone waiting to regain their living. Especially since tourists are such a low threat in comparison to the covid cases already here.

  20. A nonny mouse says:


    Can someone post a link to the online portal for incoming travelers to upload their vax information and get clearance to come in?

    Thanks in Advance.

    CNS: I think all the info you need is here

  21. Annonymous says:

    So we are trusted to do LFT at home currently, but tourists and returning residents (who have already completed a negative PCR before departure) have to be supervised? LFT aren’t even completely accurate.

    Tourists, residents and family members combined want to enjoy their time here over the holidays with loved ones, not queue up for hours at hotels and spend their Christmas money.

    • Anonymous says:

      A local company won’t accept a PCR test result (negative) but wants the person to do LTF two days after getting PCR results – and the LTF results are considered valid for an entire week!

  22. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like a complete farce. Also sounds like a scam.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, another CIG money grab, targeting tourists and expat residents. What does anyone think will happen to returning Caymanian residents who fail to go get the required three LFTs? That’s right – nothing. Pitiful and it shows exactly how PACT thinks.

    • Anonymous says:

      BioButton in disguise

    • Anonymous says:

      Sounds like someone figured it to be a way to make money off the tourists, but not screw the locals.

    • Anonymous says:

      Just purchased the medical insurance for the trip (can be canceled and reimbursed if I cancel). It cost me $99. For what I thought would be adequate coverage. Now, I need to account for the 3 LFT tests at $30 a piece which is an extra $90. Two hundred + dollars thrown at me last minute. Not especially happy. This should have been in the reopening plans when booking last month. Glad I do not have children to pay all these extras for.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Why would any vaccinated tourists even consider going on vacation to Cayman with all this red tape and expense. There’s also a a very high possibility that you may end up contracting COVID because of the out of control transmission within the community which would result in more expense having to isolate in a hotel before your return back home.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think most tourists will understand that they’ll have to stay longer and quarantine if they test positive. I’ve travelled and knew that was possibility.

      I doubt, however, many tourists will be willing to give up part of their holiday to take 3 LFTs. So all PACTs done is increase the risk by dropping the quarantine for very little financial gain. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy about it but I don’t see the benefit they are getting, especially since actual tourists pose a lot less risk than the residents here. There are a lot of other restrictions that make more sense. I think their desire to keep their voters happy at all cost is causing them to make bad decisions.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, pretty sure anyone who is traveling these days must be aware that they could get Covid and won’t be able to return until negative. That’s why I’m not taking a chance to leave as if I get it overseas and I have to pay for a hotel for the weeks until recovered I’ll go broke, way too much of a risk monetarily for me sadly.

  24. Anonymous says:

    The other Cayman newspaper is reporting that The Marriott has three bookings and the Westin 10 a large condo operator of 150 condos has ten bookings for the night of the 20th.
    So where are all these 700 passengers going that Bryan talks about.
    Maybe just maybe they are nearly all ex pats on work permits returning to the hospitality trade.
    Kenneth you speak with such a forked tongue in no work permits and jobs for Caymanians only in hospitality.

    • Anonymous says:

      That is what I thought too.

    • Anonymous says:

      Paying for medical personnel services on top of the LFT.

      • Anonymous says:


        • Anonymous says:

          And where do you test on Christmas Day or Boxing Day?

          • Anonymous says:

            Why the thumbs down on that question? My brother’s family day 2 would be Christmas and my family’s day 2 is on Boxing Day. Need to know and there is no answer to be found.

            • Anonymous says:

              Yep. Our family day 10 is New Year’s Day. Not a squeak from CIG on holiday cover, given that the tests are being provided by the private sector. Could t be they simply forgot that the private sector doesn’t work public holidays and Sunday’s?

          • Hubert says:

            You cannot test on Boxing Day, Xmas and New Years Day so make your plans accordingly or face stiff fines and possible jail sentences.

            Caymankind at its best.

  25. Anonymous says:

    and all this time I’ve had the big tourism enchiladas pinned as the kabel, not the health professionals, who would have thought.

    • Anonymous says:

      $25 for the test plus their time is actually waaaaay cheaper than any other test you will every get done at a doctors office!!

      • Anonymous says:

        Still cheaper than what I had to pay to get a PCR test and the results back – guaranteed – in the time frame needed to travel home to Cayman. I just hope the process is smooth so that my kids are not in line and waiting to do a 5-minute LFT for hours.

      • Anonymous says:

        Nope. All of my rapid tests have been FREE!

    • Anonymous says:

      There is no cabal. That would be way too organized. What it is is a complete and utter directionless mess.

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