On Friday Aug 7, government announced that Cayman’s border will remain closed until 1 Oct due to the sheer size of COVID-19 cases in the United States.
Last month Premier Alden McLaughlin and Deputy Premier Moses Kirkconnell had announced that the borders will reopen on 1 Sept. The planned reopening date has been extended by a month as explained in the recent announcement, “having continually monitored the rate of infection in other countries, particularly in the United States where the pandemic is still widespread”.
Regarding repatriation flights, the government statement said, “During this time, repatriation flights by Cayman Airways will continue to operate on an ad hoc basis and the air bridge between the UK and the Cayman Islands will also remain open, as this provides a vitally important link between the two countries.”
Kirkconnell said, “From the outset of the pandemic the government has placed the highest priority on public health and safety and we are approaching the reopening of the Islands borders with the same degree of due care and attention.” and added that waiting to open Cayman’s borders “is allowing us to learn from the experiences of other countries and is ensuring that sufficient time is allocated to putting all of the necessary precautions in place [to] keep our Islands safe and people protected”.
“The Governor’s Office has confirmed that a British Airways flight will leave the Cayman Islands for London, Gatwick on 28 Aug., which is mainly for students and their parents,” the press release said, adding that British Airways might introduce a regular fortnightly service to London, Gatwick.
Cayman Airways, it pointed out, is also scheduling repatriation flights from Cayman to Miami, US; Kingston, Jamaica; and Le Ceiba, Honduras.
“Although there are no restrictions on outbound travel from the Cayman Islands, non-essential travel is strongly discouraged, as options to return are limited and travellers may have to remain overseas longer than anticipated,” the release said.
“Travellers who make reservations directly with any airline while the Islands borders are closed are doing so at their own risk. It should also be noted that airline vouchers issued by other airlines for such flights are not transferrable to the British Airways repatriation flights, nor are they valid for use on Cayman Airways,” the statement said.
Travellers who wish to fly inbound must register their travel request with TravelTime, and complete an online form at www.exploregov.ky/traveltime, in order to receive pre-travel approval while borders remain closed.
“Travellers who have not completed this process will not be permitted to board a repatriation flight,” it added.
“The Cayman Islands Government, through TravelTime are making every effort to assist residents with returning home. However, travellers should remain aware that we are in uncertain and challenging times and with inbound travel restrictions in place, delays in securing a return flight should be expected,” the statement said.