Travelers can now wear a button to avoid government quarantine at Cayman Islands

Jul 27, 2020

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As the travel industry reopens following COVID-19 shutdowns, TPG suggests that you talk to your doctor, follow health officials’ guidance and research local travel restrictions before booking that next trip. We will be here to help you prepare, whether it is next month or next year.

Cayman Islands may possibly have the most innovative reopening plans as it prepares to begin a six-month phased reopening of its borders on Sept. 1.

In preparation for welcoming tourists, the local government said it was partnering with U.S.-based biotech company BioIntelliSense to provide a new option for health monitoring. BioButton, the company’s FDA-approved technology device, can track trends that might indicate a respiratory infection like the coronavirus. Specifically, the device monitors heart rate at rest, respiratory rate and skin temperature.

TPG first saw the story on View from the Wing.

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BioButton can also help with contact tracing efforts if need be. Its health sensors connect to the BioMobile smartphone app via Bluetooth to monitor the user’s whereabouts, but proximity and duration to other BioButton devices can track users and report them to contact tracing operations.

“This advanced health screening solution enhances our reopening protocols, providing further confidence that we can once again welcome visitors to our shores while minimizing the risk of introducing new cases to the local community,” said Minister for Tourism Moses Kirkconnell.

Guide: 5 things to know about the Westin Grand Cayman

While all travelers coming into the Cayman Islands still need to provide a proof of a negative PCR test 72 hours prior to departure, they will now be provided an option to wear a BioButton for 14 days. The stipulation to that, however, is self-isolation in a private accommodation is still required for five days until they take a second PCR test in five days and get a negative result.

If travelers decline that option, they will have to resort to staying in a government-managed facility for 14 days.

Despite these new technological advancements, Cayman Islands still seem to be taking a conservative approach with its border reopening. No commercial flights will resume for its reopening, and anyone hoping to come must first register with TravelTime for permission to travel on one of the government-arranged repatriation flights or by private air.

Related: Country-by-country guide to reopening

Theoretically, however, any American who has the means to travel are able to come to the islands provided that they are able to follow some of these legal requirements. The local government has not excluded Americans as part of its reopening plan, contrary to what many foreign governments are doing nowadays.

This may change as the country is still working to finalize details of reopening protocols and any costs and quantities of the BioButton made available. In addition, Cayman Islands’ Reopening Borders Committee is planning to release details of self-isolation arrangements, data privacy and management for the BioButton and how to secure PCR testing.

Details on when the second phase of reopening will happen will also be announced in the coming weeks.

More: Country-by-country guide of reopenings in the Caribbeans

Featured photo by David Rogers/Getty Images

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