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North America
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FYI, from Clearly Cayman...

Due to the restrictions imposed by the phase 1 travel requirements, we are now planning to reopen all the Clearly Cayman Dive Resorts on Saturday, October 3, 2020. Based upon the characterization of phase 1 as a 30-day plan and reference to phase 2 beginning on October 1, we are making all the necessary arrangements to be fully operational to welcome our guests on October 3.

We are deeply disappointed – as we know you are - that the September 1 reopening doesn’t represent a broader reopening program that facilitates travel required for week-long dive vacations. Despite this disappointment, we hope that this more conservative reopening plan will result in a safer vacation opportunity where Covid-19 fears won’t spoil your vacation.

Phase 1 - September 1 Targeted as Limited Reopening

On Friday, July 18, 2020 the Cayman Islands’ Government announced a multi-phased reopening plan that begins with a limited reopening on September 1, 2020. In phase 1 of this plan, residents and visitors that travel to the Islands are required to complete an online application and submit a negative Covid-19 test result within 72 hours prior to departure from their gateway city.

Those that receive permission to travel will be required to self-isolate for 5-days and will be required to wear a health monitoring device for 14 days or the duration of their stay, whichever is shorter. This health monitoring device will track and record their temperature, heart rate, and respiration rate which will be monitored by the Cayman Islands Government. This device is also a geo-tracker and will ensure that each visitor is adhering to the self-isolation requirement. At the end of the 5-day self-isolation period, each visitor will be given another Covid-19 test. If this test returns a negative result, the visitor will able to leave isolation but must still wear the monitoring device.

This phase of the reopening plan is primarily designed for residents that are returning from overseas, seasonal residents, returning workers and visitors that will be staying in the islands for an extended period versus visitors with week-long vacation plans. During this phase, Cayman Airways will be the only carrier option for travel to the Cayman Islands from the United Statesthrough their Miami, Tampa and New York gateway operations.

Phase 2 – Elimination of Self-Isolation Requirement

Phase 2 of the reopening plan is described to include the requirements of phase 1, with the elimination of the self-isolation requirement. The Friday press briefing from the Cayman Islands Tourism Minister primarily focused on the phase 1 reopening requirements. As a result, it was not made clear if phase 2 would also include the on-island Covid-19 test that is required in phase 1 at the end of the self-isolation.

It has been reported that the timing of the phase 2 plan has not been determined. However, October 1, 2020 was given during the press briefing as the expected start date of phase 2. This phase of reopening will be much broader than the phase 1 reopening and will include the return of the US airline schedules to service the Caymans Islands from their hub cities.

Phase 3 – Full “Return to Normal”

While the Cayman Island’s reopening plan contains three phases, almost no time and no details of this phase were shared at Friday’s press briefing. The full return to normal is going to be dependent upon the success of the first two phases, the control of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the development/availability of therapeutics and vaccines for the virus.
I am surprised you say you are disappointed by the limited opening on 1 September. It was never intended for tourists. The Premier has said time and time again that the opening of the borders in general will hopefully happen by the end of the year. That’s never changed. The chance of regular tourists coming for a week in October is possibly unrealistic as well as some of the airlines are not planning on resuming services until January. For anyone hoping to book a holiday including accommodation keep an eye on For those who own property, your options will be greater as most of you already know and also to how get accurate up to date info.
To be clear, this is a quoted article from Clearly Cayman, the company that operates Little Cayman Beach Resort, Cayman Brac Beach Resort, and Cobalt Coast Resort. I was offering the article as information only that I hope might assist divers in their planning of trips to the Caymans.

Personally, I am disappointed as my wife and I have had a trip scheduled to Little Cayman for this October and we will most likely be changing our travel plans.
I know. It’s so disappointing for so many people. Part of the problem is how much misinformation is being posted. Even here in GC we cannot just get up and go to the Sister islands although the restrictions are much less than what they were. I strongly try to encourage people to go to the gov website or CIGTV etc and get accurate info. We all hoped it would be over but it is not. Cayman Airways and British Airways are the only airlines currently on the approved list and the list isn’t drawn up overnight. There still are evac flights scheduled right through the next couple of months for people who work in hospitality industry. Good luck if you make it down this year. We will be delighted to see you when it is safe to do soon.
and submit a negative Covid-19 test result within 72 hours prior to departure from their gateway city.

That's tough right now. Due to surging numbers of cases and testing, it's been taking longer to get test results back for some people. I take it they demand the negative result within that 72 hour window, not the taking of the sample for the test?

Anyone traveling lately, how 'forgiving' are the airlines about rescheduling or refunding your airfare?

As a result, it was not made clear if phase 2 would also include the on-island Covid-19 test that is required in phase 1 at the end of the self-isolation.

Please keep us posted; if it's required, how long does it take to get a result, and are there restrictions while you wait?

Still and all, glad to see the gears are grinding toward a return to the Caymans. Hope it goes well for everyone.
We were lucky enough to get seats on one of the first non-quarantine flights from Grand Cayman to Little Cayman a week ago and be on the first dive boat journeys in 6 months. We did four dives and they were glorious. These are not normal times, especially for Little Cayman operators who are now in that most expensive "kinda-open" phase where they only operate maybe 3 out of 7 days for the Cayman resident staycationers. They still have to pay, house, and feed all of their staff that remain idle 4 of 7 days. Hopefully fully open days are ahead soon with a vaccine, biobuttons, or some other workable solution above our pay grade. If there were "victory bonds" for Little Cayman, I would buy a stack of them.


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