Masks mandate repealed, travel tests dropped

| 25/06/2022 | 156 Comments

(CNS): Government’s mandatory requirement for people to wear masks to protect against the spread of COVID-19 has been repealed and is now purely voluntary, with the exception of visitors to hospitals, prisons and care homes. Bar and restaurant owners can require staff to mask up when serving customers but the government is no longer compelling their use. Businesses, including bars, supermarkets and shops, cannot refuse entry to customers because they are not wearing a mask. The testing requirement for vaccinated travellers has also been dropped.

CNS understands from a government source that public transport operators can still require passengers to wear masks but this is at their discretion. They can also ask people who choose to wear a mask to briefly remove them for identification. However, the government has also repealed the mandatory requirement to wear masks on planes bound for Cayman, and students and teachers are no longer required to wear masks in schools.

Travel Cayman is still in operation as people must make an application to travel indicating their vaccination status. However, the need to test has been repealed and unvaccinated residents will not need to quarantine. Other non-vaccinated travellers with ties to the islands are still required to quarantine for seven days but will not need a test to be released from that isolation. Cruise ship passengers will still need to be vaccinated to disembark.

While the new regulations relating to the pandemic don’t go as far as the tourism sector wanted, as stakeholders were hoping to see the back of Travel Cayman and any application to travel, the end of the enforced mask requirement will be welcomed throughout the community.

The new regulations, Control of Covid-19 (Travel) and Control and Management of Covid-19, which were released on Friday night, come into force on Thursday, 30 June, and last until the end of August. While they deal with travel testing issues, it’s not clear what the situation is now for people in isolation after their exit tests. GIS officials told CNS that is an issue controlled by Public Health.

No one in government released a statement and no press release was issued about the new regulations. However, under the new rules, arriving passengers will not need to show a negative COVID test but must sign the travel declaration form. Visitors and residents can still be ‘spot checked’ and asked to take a test if they appear to have symptoms.

The changes come as cases of the virus continue to decline, with the majority of those infected suffering only mild symptoms. According to the latest statistics revealed by Public Health on Friday, there were an estimated 899 estimated active cases of coronavirus in the Cayman Islands. There were less than 300 new cases between Monday and Friday this week, with the seven-day average on Friday standing at 58.

According to the latest details on hospital numbers, there were eight people in hospital on Thursday who were positive for the virus, but it is not clear how many were there due to COVID or were there for other reasons and had tested positive on screening.

Correction: This article has been amended to indicate that the new regulations come into effect on Thursday, 30 June.


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Category: Health, Local News, Medical, Travel

Comments (156)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Masks were a waste of time

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  2. Anonymous says:

    If Sabrina and the rest of her fellow pretend leaders really wanted a maximum number of people protected by vaccines and boosters, they would see to it that the vaccine clinic on Cayman Brac was at least somewhat in line with the idea of getting people vaxed and boosted. It is NOT! It is open for just TWO DAYS PER MONTH for two hours per day. It is open a TOTAL of JUST FOUR HOURS PER MONTH! And it is only open during normal WORKING HOURS at that! So people with a day job have to take time off and lose work to get vaxed or boosted. This is PATHETIC! Make the damn vaccine available daily by appointment at the hospital and don’t keep people waiting for over half an hour to get the jab. Have some evening slots available for people with day jobs. These PACT pretend leaders are truly worthless as an udder on a bull!

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    • daniel johns says:

      Wellll, that was running like most business hours until those who decided to ahhhhh wait, It has been open nonstop until this. I know, I live on the Brac, and well regarding the hours, maybe you should have gotten the jab before hand.. Now it’s an inconvenience, so is being out of work, because??? Well You got Covid, and now in the Hospital..

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      • Anonymous says:

        I live on the Brac and got my jabs in a timely manner. I am due for a booster. “Gotten the jab beforehand”? What the hell does that even mean?
        Yeah, maybe I should have gotten the damn booster before I got the first vax. You know,”beforehand”.
        Lastly…Thank you for making my case in your rhetoric:
        You conclude with the thought that inconvenience will end up causing hospitalisations. I could not have done better in crafting an argument regarding the outcome of having morons in charge. Well done!

      • Anonymous says:

        I live most of the time on the Brac and got my jabs in a timely manner. The Brac Vax clinic was such a zoo back then, I ended up getting vaxed on my trips to Grand. The next vax clinic is on the second Thursday of July, the next being on the last Thursday. The morons in charge probably do think something like: “…maybe you should have gotten the jab before hand.” What the hell does that even mean?
        Yeah, maybe I should have gotten the booster before I got the first vax while hours were (moronic as well even back then) but slightly less inconvenient. You know,”beforehand”.
        If you live on the Brac and are aware of the opening hours of the Vax Clinic you would know that the morons in charge have done with the Brac clinic hours what they do best with everything, continually devolve into a state of utter irresponsible worthlessness. The Brac vax clinic was never open “non-stop”. You should know that.
        Over time, the vax days and hours kept getting more and more inconvenient. Speaking of which, I note that none of the clinics in Grand Cayman are open past 5PM. And to add insult to injury, if you want to go during your noon or so lunch break, they are closed 12:30 to 1:30. So the morons in charge do not really care or respect the working person with a day job and do not give a damn about people barely making ends meet having to lose work. I get it. Wutlessness.
        While on the subject of wutless: If someone self tests positive and reports it, they not only have to isolate, they have to PAY to come out of isolation! Government makes them pay CI$75 for each PCR test and it may take more than one to reach a negative result. The devil will suffer from frossbite pon eem rass long before I will ever report a positive self test. I will self-isolate as best as I can and do my own LFT test to decide when its ok for me to breathe on people again.
        More wutlessness: The Brac “Flu Clinic”–same place as the vax clinic–for travelers and people needing LFT or PCR testing, is open Monday–Friday: 9am-12pm
        Saturday, Sunday & Public Holidays: 1pm – 2pm
        So why not offer appointments for the vax/booster jabs during those hours too?
        The answer is: wutlessness.
        Lastly: Thank you for making my case in very few words.
        You conclude with the thought that the inconvenience and wutlessness will end up causing hospitalisations.
        Bravo! Well done! I totally agree.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Someone thinks they’re above everyone else cuz they got their vaccination. It hasn’t stopped anyone from getting Covid and it hasn’t stopped hospitalizations. Neither have masks.

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        • Anonymous says:

          @4:47:
          No vax or measure against any disease will stop all transmission and all morbidity. Thus far, according to credible statistics, the Pfizer vax has performed its duty as promised. B4 and B5 are posing a challenge, but new vaxes against those strains should be out soon and should perform well also.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Hi cns, the links in your acrticle don’t work. Do you have a link to this actual press release please

    CNS: There hasn’t been a press release yet. Those were the links provided and they worked yesterday. It’s possible they are revising or have moved them. We’ll try to find out.

  4. Anon says:

    There is some crazy hypocrisy at hand here with respect to vax and quarantine stuff. Just be done with it and let everyone, respectfully go about their lives.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Does the Hon Minister of Tourism have planning permission for his now permanent billboard? Or it it yet another case of selective enforcement by our world class civil service.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    You would think all the cry babies would be happy. man these people can complain.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah, we’re plenty pissed off about the past 2 years and the fallout is only beginning.
      Opening with rampant covid was predicted, and unmasking with covid was predicted. Even a moron could see that this was all inevitable years ago but apparently the masters of the universe aren’t as bright as the average pleb that can read and understand some basic science that isn’t paid for by Pfizer.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    I guess dear Kenny has to keep Travel Cayman going to keep Ellio Solomon employed at his inflated salary.

    Did anyone even realise that Ellio is now doing that?

    Just follow the money. Follow the money!!!

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  8. Anonymous says:

    Totally confused , if you research travel requirement to Cayman there is no change or indication of change , secondly isn’t it the Airlines own requirements that you should where a mask and not the Cayman Government’s.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I think some of that is that this doesn’t start until June 30, but with planes I believe it’s the destination that dictates mask, or no masks, with a caveat that the airline can still require masks across the board on their fleet. If you travelled to/from the UK, you had a mask to Cayman, based on Cayman requirements, a mask to Bahamas, based on their requirements, then no mask to the UK!

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    • Beaumont Zodecloun says:

      You won’t see a change reflected until the 30th, when the new regulations become active.

      The CIG requirements are what you want to focus upon, since they are ultimately the most enforceable here.

      It is unclear to me whether the airlines and airport still require masks. I would guess that they will continue to require them.

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    • Anon says:

      It’s on Travel Cayman, you just have to click through to the right page.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Good news because I have to say that one mask I had from day one starting to turn a little brown. I’ll give it a wash and put it up safe for the next pandemic.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    welcome news….but will they ever admit that that the mask mandate and covid restrictions for the past 6 months achieved absolutley nothing?????

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    • Anonymous says:

      WHat would be the point lol move on. The rules changed now and you’re looking for an ego boost lmao bye

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      • Anonymous says:

        so we don’t learn from past mistakes??

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        • Beaumont Zodecloun says:

          We cannot create measurable data to assess past mistakes; therefore, they are unimportant. For once, I am onboard with “move on”.

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        • Anonymous says:

          lmao watever you just want them to admit it so people can say i told you so and get an ego boost.
          why would they say anything, as the entire world wore masks for some time…..

          use your brain. they arentgunna say masks did nothing so again… MOVE ON

  11. Anonymous says:

    Might be 300 moderated comments by lunch Monday. Everyone has an opinion on this!

    My two cents 👍

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  12. Anonymous says:

    Thank god, hopefully no more of that ghastly hand spray they force on you.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    Yikes, Azova will close down now…

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  14. Anonymous says:

    Yet another half-witted, ill thought out ‘plan’ by Caymans finest. Huge numbers of travellers have not, and will not take the vaccine, that is their choice.
    We now know that the vaccine doesn’t stop transmissibility nor infection, it only gives the recipient protection from serious illness. So why doesn’t Cayman accept all travellers under the caveat that they must have mandatory Covid insurance.
    The only people that need to be concerned are the unvaccinated and the individual traveller, who stands more chance of being infected in Cayman than they do of bringing infection in with them.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly – vaccinated or not, doesn’t make a difference at this point, except for the individual

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  15. Anonymous says:

    Does this mean no more magic spray? Surely many will perish!

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  16. Anonymous says:

    Kmt have to start trimming my nose hairs now

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    • Anonymous says:

      And your point is?

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      • Anonymous says:

        On the positive side, a big wave of Covid now will prepare us for a big wave in autumn, which will be good preparation for a big wave in winter, which will …

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      • Waterboy says:

        I think the point is that the commenter fails to grasp the impact of the high base R number of the current omicron sub-variants and the fact that covid is endemic now with a persistent 1% infection rate looking more like the best case management scenario.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Wasn’t the whole point of Travel Cayman to document those who took tests to come here? Without required testing, there’s no point to that site.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Travelers need to apply for a Travel Certificate to come to Cayman, via Travel Cayman, part of Cayman Airways. Proof of vaccination or Cayman resident/status required until end of August. No unvaccinated tourists. The Travel Certificate has always been in addition to the proof of negative test.

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      • Anonymous says:

        It’s ridiculously stupid to keep travel time. You can show proof before boarding.

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        • Anonymous says:

          9:06 pm correct just like need to show passport/boarding pass before going onboard, can show vaccinated card same time.

          • anonymous says:

            We should not care about vac status period. GOVERNMENT just being an unbearable burden on people.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Unfortunate for inbound travellers before July 1st who still seem to need a Travel Time Cert and proctored negative LFT to fly until Friday. If that’s not the case, then CBC/Travel Time should issue a formal press release that emergency health orders are over. DOT should coordinate urgently with VERIFLY and other airline partners.

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  19. Anonymous says:

    The nearest approach to immortality on earth is a government bureau (department).

    James F. Byrnes (US Senator- South Carolina) September 1933

    I suspect they will be with us for a long,long,long time.

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  20. Anonymous says:

    Fantastic news and LONNNNNG overdue! Last thing needed is elimination of Travel Cayman. Hopefully that pain in the butt goes away soon too!

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  21. Anonymous says:

    Cuz that makes so much sense re. 3:44.
    I’m triple vaxxed, but it doesn’t make sense.

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    • Anonymous says:

      So a Caymanian traveling who isnt vaccinated doesn’t have to quarantine yet a foreigner does? What sense does that make. Caymanians immuned? Isn’t this how the spread started 🤔

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  22. Anonymous says:

    I can’t stand how official news is never officially announced. You hear about news through government employee leaks on Instagram, and it ends up being true. The are no public announcements from hurricanes, to covid to garbage. How can we not figure this out. Even small villages in rural areas can figure it out

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  23. Anonymous says:

    So you still think it’s all about your health? Caymanians and residents can come unjabbed (finally) by plane without quarantine but tourists can’t? Still need to register at Travel Cayman to come home…for what purpose now? The UK abolished all restrictions and mandates 3 months ago and what happened? right, nothing. If logic is missing…you probably have flow

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    • Anonymous says:

      Travel Cayman is now all about paying Caymanians to do unnecessary jobs. It is very similar to the constituency assistants some of whom are paid nearly $5000 to be glorified messengers. This Government does not understand financial accountability. There is no job description for such persons and many are family and friends.

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  24. Anonymous says:

    Good! Now lets see if they remember to tell the airlines or if they wait until September to do that.

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  25. Total Ignorance says:

    So, everyone still has to apply to Travel Cayman, everyone rides mask less on the plane, everyone is free from testing, every unvaccinated resident and citizen doesn’t have to quarantine, but every unvaccinated non-citizen has to quarantine (no test).

    While I guess this is good news for some, I would be worried about the sanity of the PACT leaders. No one, and I mean no one, can be this STUPID – it has to be a mental illness.

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  26. Anonymous says:

    My browser will not allow me to download the new rules from the link above, saying there is a security risk.

    CNS: The link is correct. The security issue is with the government website.

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  27. Anonymous says:

    Traveling back to Cayman 30 June. Travel Cayman says I need a negative LFT – is this correct??

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    • Anonymous says:

      Unenforced mask mandate is lifted immediately. New Travel Regs don’t begin until June 30. Everything else stays until Aug 30. No unvaccinated visitors.

    • Sheriff says:

      stated at the bottom of the article: “This article has been amended to indicate that the new regulations come into effect on Thursday, 30 June.”

      This should mean as of 30 June vaccinated visitors do not have to provide a negative covid test. Am I reading this correctly?

    • Anonymous says:

      No

  28. Anonymous says:

    I would urge everyone to read the regulations for themselves

    CNS: please check the regs again. Owners of public places can post signs requiring wearing of masks for entry and can then refuse entry to the unmasked.

    CNS: The regulations are linked in this article (something we always do). Our reading of them is that the only places that can require masks are:
    (a) a health care facility;
    (b) a residential home care facility;
    (c) a prison or place of detention; or
    (d) such other public place as may be specified by notice by the Medical Officer of Health.
    However, there should be more explanation coming from the CIG on Monday, so if we’re wrong we will correct at that time.

    • Anonymous says:

      Private businesses can refuse entry for whatever reasons they see fit, for the most part. Dropping requirements from public health regulations does not equate to saying they cannot still choose to have restrictions in place.

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  29. Paul says:

    The regulations come into force on Thursday 30th June according to the attached legal documents not the Friday

    CNS: Apologies! This has been corrected.

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  30. Anonymous says:

    Thank God!!!

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  31. Anonymous says:

    Now get rid of travel cayman, pointless online form to get a travel certificate that means absolutely nothing and serves no purpose

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  32. Local says:

    I understand that Cayman Airways will still require a negative test to board. Can someone explain that?

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    • sheriff says:

      what the hell is that about?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Several better choices to pick from.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Did you ask KX directly or are you repeating hear-say?

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    • Anonymous says:

      I called Travel Cayman and they say you need a negative LFT to board until and including Thursday 30 June.
      However the law and Compass state the new travel rules come into effect 30 June?????

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    • Anonymous says:

      Simply don’t use cayman airways, let the lose of dollars hurt them

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    • jared says:

      where is your documentation on this, sounds like your posting fake news to me

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    • Anonymous says:

      Info inaccurate. Just booked on CAL to Mia. No Covid test required.

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    • Anonymous says:

      New inbound Travel Regs don’t go into force until June 30.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Then don’t fly with Cayman Airways

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    • Anonymous says:

      Local – doesn’t the allowance for private businesses to do as they wish remain? Perhaps CAL wishes to continue this?

      Dropping mandates still allows for any measures a business owner may desire for their premises.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Stop spreading FAKE news. Cayman Airways never did require mask they are just enforcing the laws that is issued by cayman health authorities/ CIG

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    • Anonymous says:

      100% not true post June 30. Made up troll comment. I can confirm that is not the case!

      Im a CA cabin crew. Glad to rid the mask (very few passengers have complied last 9 months, especially visitors — so called eating and drinking exemption). Made our jobs awkward and uncomfortable.

      It is time.

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  33. Anonymous says:

    For my family and I personally, this is excellent news. We have been regular stay-over visitors since 1984, and can now come back with much less hassle. We are all fully vaccinated, but the 24 hr pre-arrival testing was a stressful burden as many flights are being cancelled, so we often could have been out of the 24 (or full day prior) window. I understand the caution, but also the welcome that this announcement represents. See you soon!

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  34. Anonymous says:

    Did I read on another site that unvaxxed Caymanians and residents can come in no problem, but unvaxxed tourists must still quarantine? If so, is the virus only carried by unvaxxed tourists?

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    • Sheriff says:

      Yes, that is correct. And clearly, the unvaxxed tourist are a major threat.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Correct. Except unvaxxed tourists are still not allowed, only those “with close ties to the islands”. Because clearly this is nothing to do with public health. The data from the UK and elsewhere show zero vaccine effectiveness against infection after a few months. It is just following the US administration’s political control agenda, rather than that of the UK. where no Covid restrictions exist, and it has made little difference to infection levels.

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    • Anonymous says:

      2:16pm…..it’s not the difference in risk as much as it’s a difference in right to be here. Pretty hard to tell a citizen/resident they can’t come HOME.

      Unvaxxed citizens/residents must still quarantine for 7 days upon arrival. It’s not a free for all. Tourists would not want to do a 7 day quarantine anyway.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Many countries are restricting unvaxxed visitors. A place called the US for one.

      By now, if you haven’t been vaxxed you are a coward and scared of needles, or peddle in bottom of internet conspiracy theories.

      Enjoy your granola bar Tucker.

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      • Anonymous says:

        1) The US Federal government is banning unvaxxed travellers purely for political purposes, to show control and co-ercion. As they attempted to do with mandates for Federal workers and contractors. Countries such as the UK (and now the majority of the Caribbean) which opened fully, have seen no siginificant rise in imported Covid infections, or serious illness.
        2) As for the comment “if you haven’t been vaxxed you are a coward and scared of needles”, maybe see the recent large French study “Age and sex-specific risks of myocarditis and pericarditis following Covid-19 messenger RNA vaccines” just published in Nature and the US NIH PubMed. I don’t think those journals are big on “conspiracy theories”.

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  35. Anonymous says:

    Oh thank you for restoring some more of our rights exhaulted and all powerful dear leaders. You are most merciful.

    Still fat, unhealthy, illogical, tyrannical and pathetic…but merciful.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Unnecessary comment. Not all fat, unhealthy etc. Ken is in great shape, and has given up Coca Cola as well!

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  36. Anonymous says:

    Snuck in the pension holiday extension quietly. Must know themselves it’s a terrible idea to kick the can even further down the road.

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  37. Anonymous says:

    Whoopee – still treating us as less than children, here’s a little sweetie for you to shut you up – Travel Cayman should have ended this week – what a load of nonsense!

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  38. Anonymous says:

    Abolish Travel Cayman immediately. #stopthefarce

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  39. Anonymous says:

    Apply for permission to travel home? PACT is a damn joke.

    Also, no restaurant, bar or store requiring customers to wear a mask will be be getting a penny from me.

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  40. Anonymous says:

    Travel time still stays. So dumb.

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  41. Anonymous says:

    Right Kirks, Fosters and Hurleys, drop the mask requirement now!

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  42. lil Bobo in East End says:

    Excellent, now can we phase out Cayman-Travel-Cayman, whatever it is called as well…

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    • Joe says:

      Them getting a paycheck is what this is all about. Plain and simple. Just pay them to do nothing but stay out of trouble like Most on government subsidy and let life get back to normal for the rest of us. But they are not that smart or they would all have real jobs. Can’t blame them for holding on so tight to what pays them.

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  43. Bert says:

    Why do the unvaccinated need to quarantine? I’m not anti-vaxxer, I’m triple jabbed, but there does not appear any policy reason to support this position as we enter Q3 2022.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Screw ‘em. They’ve been holding the rest of us back from day one.

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      • Anonymous says:

        “They’ve been holding the rest of us back from day one.” Following the “science” I see. Which shows zero vaccine effectiveness against infection or transmission after a few months. Unlike natural infection. See (for example) UKHSA vaccine surveillance reports up to c. week 14 (when they stopped reporting the split of vaccinated vs unvaccinated infections and hospitalisations.

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        • Zap says:

          It is idiots like 8:43 that are the problem – while making them quarantine now makes no sense, it does fulfil the basic desire to punish them.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Only tourists. But of course, Cayman Sense-less.

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    • Anonymous says:

      they dont. If they are Caymanian or resident or connected they can come unvaxxed. Others who are unvaxxed cannot come yet.

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