Video COVID-19 LFTs OKed for visitors

| 13/01/2022 | 72 Comments

(CNS): The Department of Tourism has approved a video-based technology to enable visitors struggling to access COVID-19 tests prior to travel to take a lateral flow test via a confirmed video observation through AZOVA Inc, a certified video proctoring service, after downloading the app. The latest entry protocols require inbound travellers to have a negative COVID-19 test no older than 24 hours before departure, which is proving problematic, given the strains on testing services worldwide. The approval of the video service will make things easier for visitors and returning residents.

This new testing solution will make it easier for vaccinated travellers from around the globe to meet the one-day pre-arrival testing requirement for entry because it’s available worldwide, 24 hours a day and all year round.

“In this ever-changing travel environment, we remain committed to providing our global guests with the best experience possible. From pre-arrival to departure, we aim to offer exceptional hospitality and convenience,” said Tourism Director Rosa Harris in a press release

“By utilizing this cutting-edge technology from AZOVA, we can ensure that our travellers encounter minimal disruption to their travel experience and can enjoy a warm holiday in the Cayman Islands once again.”

The technology allows travellers to securely share their test results via pdf, QR code or with a unique credential ID. Cayman currently accepts rapid antigen test results, in addition to PCR test results, taken within the noted timeframe. This new policy will provide more current test results while ensuring more accessible testing options for visitors.

“We are excited to launch this program in the Cayman Islands. We have leveraged the power of the AZOVA platform to provide this much-needed service to travellers,” said Cheryl Lee Eberting, MD, CEO and founder of AZOVA.  

“This is digital health at its finest, but is really only scratching the surface with the potential benefits that can come from creating connected and efficient care delivery models such as this.”

See here for more information on travel to the Cayman Islands and entry requirements.

Protocol documents that reflect this change are available to view and download here


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Comments (72)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    At this point, every household should be administering a simple 5 minute LFT as a public courtesy, at least once a week, even when they feel fine, and reporting if positive. Doing the right thing shouldn’t have to be supervised by anyone, especially when we know that asymptomatic positives from both vaxxed and unvaxxed are driving this pandemic. It doesn’t matter if you feel fine. The pathway to normal is temporarily blitzing to screen almost all asymptomatic positives out of circulation.

  2. Michel says:

    I just returded from Canada last week. We had booked 1 week ahead for our antigen test 24 hres before our flight in a very reputable place. The day before they e-mailed me that they had run out. Called several other places all out. So had to take PCR test @ 9 am with the result expected by 9pm at the cost of 189 can each. It was nerve racking as we had to be airport by 6am. Many places that persons had theirs did not get their results by check in time. Our experience coming home at the airport was pleasant and very effective.kudos to all involved here. I do understand the 2- 5 and 10 days tests you have to take as the antigen test can take 5 or more days to actually show postive when at it’s highest. Hope this new system will work and fraudulant proof.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Meanwhile in cloud cuckoo land here in Cayman, 200+ motor vehicle accidents and one fatality IN ONE MONTH!!
    How many people have succumbed to terminal illness, how many have been diagnosed with diabetes through poor diet. How many people have submitted for mental health treatment, alcoholism and drug dependency?
    Yet the terminally stupid are still obsessed with testing for an illness that is almost exclusively asymptomatic and mild at worst. They hide from something no worse than the common cold whilst taking government handouts that the country can’t afford, hence a proposed $400 million dollar bond issuance.
    Who is doing more harm to this country, those trying to bankrupt the government, or those who have been vaccinated and tested prior to arrival?
    Omicron is here people, learn to live with it.

    • Anonymous says:

      If “Omicron” is so mild, why are hospitals overwhelmed in the U.S.???

      • Anonymous says:

        It’s mild for vaccinated people. But it’s so infectious that the numbers of unvaccinated that get more serious symptoms outweighs hospital capacity. Hospitalization rates of sa 6 in a thousand don’t sound too bad – until they all happen at the same time.

        • Anonymous says:

          I had a mild case, imo, but still needed to go to a clinic as I needed to be put on antibiotics as I could not breathe due to the congestion. Dr. Felt I also had a secondary sinus infection. I spent 3 hr. At clinic because it was so busy that day. As soon as the antibiotic kicked in…I started to feel better.

      • Anonymous says:

        Proof. Please provide.

    • Anonymous says:

      Speaking of bankrupting, why wouldn’t we spend a particle of the daily interruption costs ie.<£250k, to screen ALL asymptomatic positives out the entire population with 5 minute £2 LFTs we have on our shelves? We don’t have to live with COVID and the cost of interruptions, when we have the tool to go back to normal, and with added assurance and confidence that we are living WITHOUT COVID. Let’s finish this.

  4. Benjamin says:

    Vaccines are widely available for visiting children over the age of 5. There are no delays in the UK, US, Canada etc to access vaccines. Only Islanders who are 5-11 should be exempt as they cannot access the vaccine locally.

    Children under the age of 5 should be exempt, there are no vaccines. They should follow status of parents.

    Terminating the post arrival testing regime is more important to restore visitor confidence. This policy is no longer relevant. It does harm to tourism and does not materially provide protection to community health.

    • Anonymous says:

      The scientifically based policies aren’t the drag on tourism you may think it is. Travelers with the resources to choose destinations are finding there are much better places to vacation, with many more activities and better beaches. Florida is even a much more desirable destination and is much more budget friendly. This destination is becoming nothing more than a home for wealthy expats and financial services.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Quite honestly as someone who is here as visitor if you intended coming for a Vacation you would be better off at the present staying away , where ever you venture on the island it is like living on a building site.

    • Anonymous says:

      Enjoy the beautiful vistas of construction projects that are everywhere here. Take in the lovely views along the once great Seven Mile Beach that was actually never seven miles in length and is being reclaimed by the sea or try one of the other public beaches littered with debris.

      Relish in the pure joy of daily traffic congestion with some of the worst drivers on the planet and dodge cyclists on both sides of the roadways. Fun times!

      And don’t forget to treat yourselves to a limited selection of average to just good dining out experiences at outrageous prices for the quality of the meals.

      • Anonymous says:

        Don’t forget the 15% surcharge added for a tip/service, I stood the the bar and ordered two beers and then carried them myself to our seat when then discovered the added service charge ” what service”.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m so sorry, Caymanian never used to be like this. You could drive forever and see the beach from the road. Now beach access roads from time immortal have been closed and locals have very few convenient access to the beaches. We have no one to blame but ourselves. But what are long time visitors used to come for, genuine Caymanians Hospitality and kindness, beautiful views for EVERYONE to access, interaction between locals and Caymanians is long gone.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Rosa Harris deserves an Oscar for being able to claim we’re offering “cutting edge technology” in order to provide the “best experience possible”, “minimal disruption” and “convenience” whilst actually keeping a straight face.

    Remember back in march 2020 when we closed our border in order to preserve our bubble and to ensure that the 800 caymanians and residents who had been extrapolated out of some Mickey mouse Chinese data by someone with an abacus at CIG didn’t die. Well, we’re two years along, 30% of the population has probably had covid in the past four months, an increasing number aren’t reporting in to public health when they’re positive and a grand total of 12 people have died out of the 20,000 odd people that have probably had it. I’m very sorry for the loss on an individual level but from a societal perspective it’s not significant enough to continue with these march 2020 type rules. Why force tourists to continue to be tested once they’re here? Why continue to insist that unvaccinated kids and their households isolate for 15 days on arrival? The unvaccinated aren’t “more positive” than the vaccinated. It’s binary. You either have it or you don’t. And 10% of Cayman probably has it right now. Putting whole families under house arrest “just in case” is like king Canute trying to hold back the tide with a hand fan. It achieves absolutely nothing at all. Covid is already here and isn’t going anywhere.

  7. Anonymous says:

    They cost about $125. But the real issue for tourism is allowing people that have tested negative into our virus riddled country that are required to test on three separate occasions and pick up the bug here! Now they are stuck.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Put the 24 hours back to 72 hours (or was it 48?). The 24 hours was put in place to slow the entry of Omicron. Omicron is here and comprises 99% of US cases. So that justification is gone now.

    Of course Panton is silent, again going weeks and weeks without a press conference.

    • Anonymous says:

      Panton needs to tell us if the rumour that he had the virus is true and, if so, when did it happen. I applaud Jay Ebanks for being transparent and announcing their testing positive. That, Mr. Premier, is leadership unlike your stance of keeping information from the public.

  9. Anonymous says:

    #freeourchildren

  10. Anonymous says:

    This should boost hotel capcity rates from 5% to 5.5%

    Great work PACT!

    • Anonymous says:

      Will someone please think of the hotels?!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Right now, a room at Westin, Kimpton, etc., is about US1,000 a night. That will keep occupancy low on its own. Madness to charge 2019 rates at this time.

      • Anonymous says:

        There are many many places in the Caribbean and world that are much less expensive with a lot more to do other than eat fried chicken on the beach and see construction projects everywhere.

        This is one of the most boring and least interesting islands in the world, but a great place to do financial services for some reason.

      • Anonymous says:

        Why in the hell would someone pay $1000 a night here?! The other island nations in the Caribbean have more to offer the tourists

      • Anonymous says:

        And the Holiday Inn, Hampton is close to $400 a night which is totally laughable. These are under $200 a night hotels in Cayman and any other destination.

  11. Anonymous says:

    It is extremely hard to get an antigen test or a PCR test 24 hours in advance. I flew down a couple weeks ago and almost had to cancel my entire trip due to this change in policy. Luckily for me, my employer has onsite testing and even though it is not used for travel, they made an exception. There were no test sites available with a 24 hr. Turnaround time. I live in an area where covid has been raging since 2020 so testing is and has always been high and even take home tests are basically impossible to get. I am not even sure if I could locate a test in advance to have a video be an option.

    I realize this is the CI government policy, but in some areas of the US, it is extremely hard to accomplish this especially since it is not for symptomatic, but for travel. Another main issue is flights are often extremely early in the morning (my flight was at 5:00 am) and the testing site at the airport was not open. My connecting flight was only an hour between flights with gate closing in 30 minutes. I would not have been able to test. I am not complaining, just stating some facts. Let’s just hope things settle down and protocols ease up in the near future. It was not hard to accomplish the testing in Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      So you live in an area where Covid is raging and you risk travel to here and back. Brilliant

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, I live in an area where it is raging and has been raging. I work an essential job. I’ve worked all throughout the pandemic and have been triple vaccinated and wear k95 masks and ppe gear all day at work. Kn95 masks in my down time. Do you? I have not had covid at any time. All tests have been negative. Why should I not get a vacation after 2 years?

      • Anonymous says:

        You do realize people still aren’t getting it because they are being safe and protected by vaccinations right?

    • Nicholas Johnson says:

      You can have these mailed to you in a few days. So next time you’re planning a trip order in advance.

    • Anonymous says:

      The US imposed 24 hour PCR test for entry on 6 December. Every country is deciding how best to protect their citizens as and when COVID changes, as Cayman is doing.

    • Anonymous says:

      Done three trips through the US in the last 3 months and got all mine through CVS; for free and results within 4 hours. You have to make a reservation a few days in advance but presumably your flights booked further ahead than that.

      • Anonymous says:

        In my area, CVS will only ( or I should say, was only) taking appointments and testing asymptomatic people as was Walgreens, Rite Aid and most of the clinics. The lines for just that were around the block. I would have had to drive almost 2 hours to get a test at a CVS before my flight and 2 hours on the return which was impossible as I was working the day before I flew. This was also before the holidays, so things may or may not have lightened up depending on now as Omicron is hitting the area quite heavy.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah it really depends on where you set off. My family has had good experiences with two sets of PCRs from parking lot at Dolphin Mall, $20 cab ride from MIA, testing cost borne by Miami-Dade county, and results in 6 hours. Got some Starbucks and enjoyed conversation with cabbie. Memorable hassles, and plans gone awry, are sometimes the best part of good travel stories or memory-making, so long as you can roll with it and retain your good humour. Nobody has chosen COVID and let’s hope it’s almost done.

  12. Beaumont Zodecloun says:

    It’s a good technology but for the wrong time. We shouldn’t be encouraging incoming visitors. Not now. Maybe later, if/when we actually get control of the virus. We were fools to open up with community spread.

    • Anonymous says:

      The only fool is you for thinking Cayman can “control” this virus. It’s like the common cold, it’s everywhere and will never go away. You are free to hide in your basement whilst the rest of us normal people live our lives.

      • Beaumont Zodecloun says:

        I hear your opinions loud and clear.

        We don’t have basements here, and I’m not hiding. Really tiring deflection, by the way. I am fully vaccinated. Instead of a productive discussion, you use insults and deflections. I imagine you are an absolute joy to be around.

        • Pastor Alfredo says:

          Here’s a productive discussion. The virus is already under control. With the overwhelming majority of people who catch it either not noticing or feeling a bit rough for a day or two the only statistics anyone should care about are hospitalisation and death.

          12 people unfortunately died. An unknown number of people (because public health don’t report it cumulatively like the do with vaccination or total cases) have been in the hospital. All but 12 of the unknown hospitalised recovered.

          At no point has the heath service been even close to being overwhelmed. If your definition of “control” is stopping people catching it then I agree it’s “out of control”. My definition of “control” is how much of an effect it’s having in the health service. Thus far it’s “not a lot”.

          It’s very sad that people are succumbing to the virus but these are people who will die from covid if they catch it. Unfortunately it’s not a question of “if” these people catch it but “when”. It’s endemic and except for closing the border to everyone again and the ensuing ruination of the economy, the only option one has it to never leave the “basement”.

          I, and a clear majority of people, prefer to live life on my feet rather than my knees. I understand the risks and I’m happy to bear them in order to not spend the rest of my life in a basement hiding from a virus.

          If you want a debate free of ad hominem then now is your chance. If love to hear your manifesto on why stopping tourists coming to an island where a third of the population is already riddled with an endemic virus improves anything at all.

          Pastor Alfredo

          • Beaumont Zodecloun says:

            Manifesto? LOLOL You appear to be the one with a cause Pasta Alfredo.

            In case you were wondering what kneejerk response of yours was precipitated by mine, it is this: I indicated my opinion that we were fools to open up with community spread. Uncontrolled community spread, I might add, that continues and grows to this day.

            You indicate a debate free of ad homs just after you attempt a weak logical fallacy by an appeal to authority by representing a “clear majority of people” and then finish up with a smashing strawman by concluding that I “want to live on my knees”. You really are a piece of work.

            You got your knickers all in a twist, and forgot to refer to my actual statements, but tagged onto those of the respondent which you agree with. Feels kind of silly doesn’t it. Happens to the best of us. No worries.

            Pastor, again, we don’t have basements, and I’m not hiding. What I am doing is expressing an opinion, which you are free to counter, or debate. Instead, you choose to try to cubbyhole me into a group of mythological people who apparently want to live in caves and hide from the world, while the truly brave heroes such as yourself lead the way to freedom from oppression upon golden steed. I guess I feel a little sad for you; if you really are a pastor, you have influence and that comes with great responsibility.

            The reality — from my view — is that there are those that have concern for ALL the people, and there are those who don’t. No shame to it, I suppose. We weren’t born with compassion, and some don’t naturally develop it. My business has suffered severely from this whole time, and yes, I resent it.

            I also think it was foolish to think that the Cayman Islands could do nearly exactly as other places and countries did and reach a different conclusion.

            The next time you want to direct a treatise at me, Komrade, please read a little first. Do some research outside of your angry little bubble. Look at the Lancet. LEOSS, RKI Great place to begin. I too, have hopes that Omicron will become dominant and endemic, however you can add that to your long list of, er… ‘premature’ actions if you choose to declare the game won already.

            This division game you play doesn’t do any of us any good. We should be working together and supporting, not persecuting and attacking. I would think a pastor would view that as effective community building.

            Be well and safe Sir, and God bless you, if it is right that he do so.

            • Anonymous says:

              Well said! It is now clear who is leading the “rebellion” against Covid precautions.

        • Anonymous says:

          155,000 Americans hospitalized with COVID-19, highest since pandemic began, but the majority of the people here have been so brainwashed by capitalism’s tricks and treats that they would have the virus overwhelm the island to return to a normal that is gone.

          • Anonymous says:

            From a population of 350+ million. So how many were unvaccinated and how many have underlying health issues?
            How about this. Stop the obsession with testing and infection statistics, the only numbers that count are those that indicate the overwhelming of the healthcare sector, which has not happened in the past two years. Omicron is a non-event and has caused unnecessary damage to the worlds economies due to knee jerk reactions by cowardly politicians. England has proved to the world that locking down is the wrong method of control and remained open through Christmas and NYE. The numbers are now consistently falling and life is returning to relative normality, without a significant rise in deaths.
            Wales and Scotland did lock down and it’s still rampant, as it is in Cayman.
            Get rid of this nonsensical 2/5/10 testing, it proves nothing and is killing tourism. As is the treatment meted out on arrival. If you need a PCR and written permission to leave your home country, why does it need constant production on arrival?
            Cayman authorities already know who you are and your status, why make life more difficult?
            Only test if you have symptoms and be a responsible adult and stay away from people until testing negative. That normally only takes a few days, just like a cold or mild flu.
            The island is already overwhelmed by the virus, it’s just not noticeable, giving much needed protection as it passes around.
            So get on with living, get vaccinated and stop reading statistics than are meaningless in the real world.

          • Anonymous says:

            Would translate to abut 30 people here.

      • Anonymous says:

        Actually, it’s never been easier to reliably sniff out asymptomatic positives with LFT test kits widely available at every checkout. If every resident and visitor self-tested themselves honourably for 30 days, community transmission would fall to zero, and we would be back to full productivity. If CIG or CITA or Chamber of Commerce or Cayman Finance picked up the 30 day tab to test everyone, even better, it would be laughably affordable at <KYD$250k. Why aren't we? Why wouldn't we?

        • Anonymous says:

          Many cannot afford 1 test so 30 tests not going to happen!

          • Anonymous says:

            You notice the OP solved the source of funds problem, right. The groups that want us to ‘learn to live with it’ may have to ‘learn to live with’ higher costs so the country can ‘live with it’. (Higher costs like staff,and customers, being out sick or higher costs like subsidised mass testing, your choice.)

    • Anonymous says:

      Its not easy to understand why visitors from places which have Covid travelling to Cayman which also has Covid are a problem. They don’t pose an additional risk beyond that which is already present in the community (in fact if anything they are a reduced risk, given the pre-travel testing requirements). Put another way, what does a travel ban actually achieve?

      • Anonymous says:

        Most travelers to the island are not at too much risk after passing thru the airport. They will stay on the beach, at their condo, and in the fresh air. Most will not be gathering in large groups, in the clubs, or at the domino games.

  13. anon says:

    The need to allow resident parents returning to Cayman with children without being locked up for 15 days is more important than video apps for tourists, let’s get our priorities right.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why? So hot-foot people like you can be irresponsible and send your kids to school while people like me are trying to stay put and keep our children out of harm’s way? How about yall keep still. Trying to live the life we lived 2 years ago. Now is not the time to embrace FOMOs. When the time is right, we’ll be able to travel freely AGAIN. It is most impressive how immature and selfish we all are. My life is ending. I haven’t been on a plane for 6 months. blah blah blah. If you’re not traveling for school, work or to be with a sick family member, then there is no need to travel.

      I think all countries need to come together and pick a spot where all you lawless and inconsiderate people can live and roam the streets freely. No testing or quarantine is needed. Just live your best, short life, while the rest of us plan for the future.

      On the other hand, I do feel it for those in the tourism industry.

      • Anonymous says:

        what absolute rubbish. once vaccinated the virus is no worse than the flu and will never go away. My entire family had it and barely a sniffly nose.. you can hide away indefinitely. 2 years on , the rest of us do not want to be locked on a small island and not see our families and friends elsewhere. Cayman is being left behind. The world is getting on with it.

        • Anonymous says:

          And you are a vaccinated bigot. My extended family who are unvaccinated had it too with minimum symptoms, just as you describe, but they were discriminated against and locked up like criminals for weeks by this PACT government. How is this fair?

        • Anonymous says:

          Today in the world outside of the rock.

          155,000 Americans hospitalized with COVID-19, highest since pandemic began.

          U.S. coronavirus death toll hits 850,000.

          Germany reports 92,803 new coronavirus cases, the biggest one-day increase on record, and 263 new deaths.

          India reports 247,417 new coronavirus cases, the biggest one-day increase since May 2021.

          But no worries. Cayman is magically insulated from the world.

        • Anonymous says:

          Funny. I don’t remember the common cold attacking my brain, heart, and other vital organs. Along with the flu depriving me of my sense of smell and taste of food.

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