Cayman Islands eases restrictions for vaccinated visitors
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Editor’s note: This post has been updated as of Feb. 23, 2022, to reflect updated guidance and protocols for travelers visiting the Cayman Islands.
Travelers to the Cayman Islands no longer have to test upon arrival, among other newly eased COVID-19 protocols that took effect last week.
It’s good news for vaccinated travelers eager to visit the popular Caribbean destination, whether they’re looking forward to beaches, snorkeling, diving or duty-free shopping.
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Only vaccinated visitors are allowed as of Feb. 18
The region recently entered Phase 5 of its reopening plan on Jan. 20, under which all fully vaccinated travelers (including children) can enter the country without having to quarantine if traveling from a country with first dose vaccination rates exceeding 60%, including the United States, per the Cayman Islands tourism organization.
For those coming from a country with a vaccination rate lower than 60%, you must quarantine for seven days.
Unvaccinated visitors age 12 and over are currently prohibited from visiting the Cayman Islands unless said visitors have a close tie to the islands, defined as “anyone who can demonstrate that they own a business or property in the Cayman Islands or has a close family tie.” This includes spouses, civil partners, siblings, parents, step-parents, grandparents, grandchildren, children or stepchildren of a Caymanian or local resident.
All arrivals must present proof of vaccination, specifically one of the 10 vaccines that have been approved by the World Health Organization.
Rules for children
Children must be vaccinated to visit, excluding children age 11 and younger, who will assume the vaccination status of their parents, allowing fully vaccinated visitors to travel with unvaccinated children in this age group if applicable.
Prearrival testing is still widely required
On-island testing on days two, five and seven is no longer required and vaccinated travelers do not need to take a predeparture test prior if headed to Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, specifically. Outside of those two destinations, a prearrival test taken within 24 hours of departure is still required for all travelers age 5 and older before arriving on the islands.
Rapid tests are sufficient for the prearrival test, including ones that are self-administered as long as they are proctored. Otherwise, a PCR test will suffice.
Other predeparture steps
Additionally, all visitors must continue to apply for a travel certificate via the Travel Cayman portal and must show proof of medical and travel insurance covering costs related to COVID-19.
How to get to the Cayman Islands
Grand Cayman (GCM) is the largest airport in the Cayman Islands and is based in George Town. Cayman Airways is the largest operator serving the islands, though many carriers travel to GCM, including Delta, JetBlue and American. Airlines are gradually resuming service to the islands, the dates of which are available here.
Cayman is a great choice for those based in Miami, as it’s located less than 500 miles south and just about an hour by plane.
“Cayman is easily accessible via nonstop service from most travel hubs in the U.S., Canada and the U.K.,” says its tourism organization.
On Google Flights, you can find round-trip, nonstop service on both Cayman Airways and American from Miami (MIA) next month, with prices starting around $300.
Note that American’s basic economy only includes one carry-on bag.
This same flight would cost you 25,000 AAdvantage miles plus $90.45 via a current special web award to sit in the main cabin. The only difference with this web special would be that you can’t make changes to your ticket unless you were to cancel it altogether, as explained below.
Where to stay in the Cayman Islands
The Kimpton Seafire Grand Cayman by IHG is on Seven Mile Beach, one of the top attractions of the islands. Rooms for a weekend in early March start at $1,234 per night or 60,000 points +$60.
A more affordable stay near Seven Mile Beach is Hampton by Hilton Grand Cayman, where a standard room starts at $326 per night or 70,000 Hilton Honors points per night.
Visiting the Cayman Islands is relatively easy right now, particularly for vaccinated tourists.
Additional reporting by Benji Stawski.
Featured image by David Rogers/Getty Images.
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