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Vaccine, Negative PCR & Repeat Testing Proposed for Travelers to Cayman

Discussion in 'Cayman Islands' started by KathyV, Dec 10, 2020.

  1. KathyV

    KathyV ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Midwestern US
    5,312
    3,503
    No dates given yet.

    https://www.gov.ky/news/press-relea...STB2yVHHyLOnsKYlvwI7aZD6yLeZODLtbeIoeOHZhSqPY

    Premier on COVID-19 Vaccination Plan
    Published: December 10, 2020

    "...All travelers entering the Islands must be able to show that they have received an approved vaccine course against the virus which causes COVID-19. This should have been completed before arrival, according to recommendations by the Public Health Department. They must also receive negative results from a PCR test upon arrival. Persons who meet these conditions will be exempted from quarantine, if living in households where the other residents have also received a vaccine.

    1. All people who are exempted from quarantine in this manner, including their households, will undergo repeat testing on day 5, day 10 and day 15 following the arrival date.
    2. Regular PCR screening will continue with safety restrictions for healthcare workers, healthcare establishments, nursing homes and prisons.
    3. Those involved in hosting travelers, including all port workers, hotel workers, restauranteurs, bar workers, leisure companies, taxi drivers and anyone else working in tourism, will be required to be screened for COVID-19 disease at regular intervals.
    Mister Speaker, additional PCR testing capacity by the HSA, Doctor’s Hospital and Health City Cayman Islands, should be able to match any increase in demand. The HSA and Public Health Department will also monitor the situation and promptly request any additional human resources necessary to this goal. Rapid testing may also be used to provide simpler access to testing for COVID-19 disease. But Mr. Speaker, I use the word may because it should be noted that widespread use of this in city-wide sampling programmes elsewhere has shown disappointing sensitivity in that it has only picked up between 50% and 70% of people who have COVID-19..."
     
    BrackaFish and mi000ke like this.
  2. drrich2

    drrich2 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Southwestern Kentucky
    8,638
    6,434
    Are they talking about your household back home (which would make sense), or the people you'll be staying with on island? I'd think the former.

    Somehow I don't think my family back home will get repeat testing at days 5, 10 and 15 that I'm on island should I come at some point.

    How will anybody get this done on the Cayman Aggressor V live aboard? Do Little Cayman or Cayman Brac have the means to do this?
     
    KathyV likes this.
  3. KathyV

    KathyV ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Midwestern US
    5,312
    3,503
    I think that they are talking about household members you may be staying with on the island; if you have family there that you are visiting.

    The proposal seems very complicated and there are a lot of issues and logistics that still need to be addressed, like how do you prove that you've been vaccinated? Also, who is going to pay for all this testing and how expensive will it be? And who will be checking to make sure everyone is current?

    The procedures for visitors on yachts and charters is another category that becomes even more complicated if cruises will be starting up again.

    This must just be an early version, the plans needs a lot more details - but I'm sure that's true all around the world, now that the vaccine is being rolled out.
     
    mi000ke and drrich2 like this.
  4. mi000ke

    mi000ke ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Massachusetts & Grand Cayman Island
    1,065
    1,577
    Here's a companion piece with a link to the Premier's full announcement of the National COVID19 vaccination plan for the Cayman Islands just approved by the Cabinet.

    Cayman to roll-out COVID-19 vaccinations in January - Cayman Compass

    Testing here so far has been easy, quick and free. Not sure how that will be impacted by an increase in tourism, though.
     
    KathyV and BrackaFish like this.
  5. Divetech Cayman

    Divetech Cayman Contributor

    253
    637
    Unfortunately the vaccine will not be the magic bullet we are hoping for. The following are not my words, but they represent the personal beliefs of one of my fellow CITA board members, which I happen to agree with.
    1. The safety and efficacy of the vaccines has NOT been studied in children. The clinical trials in children will not begin until next year with the results unlikely for 6 months or more. The stated vaccination policy will prohibit children from entering the Islands without quarantine until the late summer of 2021 at the earliest. Dr. Fauci says Covid vaccine trials on pregnant women and young kids could begin in January
    2. The safety and efficacy of the vaccines has NOT been studied in pregnant women. Therefore, pregnant women will not be advised to be vaccinated and could not enter the country without quarantine. Dr. Fauci says Covid vaccine trials on pregnant women and young kids could begin in January
    3. The safety and necessity of vaccinating previously infected individuals (20-30% of US population) is NOT known. It is not yet known how long immunity from previous infection will last and whether those individuals even will require vaccination. This data will not be available for many months. As a result, 20-30% of the US population will be excluded from visiting the Cayman Islands. COVID-19 and Your Health
    4. The duration of immunity from the vaccines is NOT known. We don't know if immunity will last 3 months (the duration of the clinical trials) or 30 years.
    5. The relative efficacy of the vaccines compared to one another is NOT known. Therefore, whether a specific vaccine(s) will be required is NOT known (e.g. Pfizer/BionNTech vaccine with 95% efficacy versus Astrozeneca/Oxford with 70% efficacy). The risk that a person is infected with COVID-19 would obviously be much higher if they had the Astrazeneca vaccine versus the Pfizer vaccine.
    6. It is NOT known whether someone that is vaccinated can also be a carrier of the virus.
    7. The UK Government has no plans to formally issue immunity passports to vaccinated individuals or to make getting the shot mandatory according to Nadhim Zahawi, the British government’s vaccines minister. The CIG's stated policy would be out of step with the UK Government and Public Health England. Covid-19 Vaccine Passports Could Help Life Return to Normal, but Experts Urge Caution
    8. There may be legal pitfalls in differentiating between vaccinated and non-vaccinated individuals including data protection, privacy rights and forgery.
    9. There are many individuals who oppose vaccination for ethical or religious reasons and would thereby be excluded from visiting.
    The announced plan falls well short of providing a path forward for the resumption of stayover tourism and the rebuilding of a key pillar of Cayman's economy. There are multiple options to a safe reopening to visitors that are not solely dependent on vaccination of all incoming passengers.

    Data from other Caribbean islands has shown there are safe ways to reopen the Cayman Islands to tourism, independent of a vaccine, and we need to incorporate these strategies into our own plan.

    Tony
     
    mi000ke, KathyV and drrich2 like this.
  6. KathyV

    KathyV ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Midwestern US
    5,312
    3,503
    UPDATE: Cayman to roll-out COVID-19 vaccinations in January - Cayman Compass

    UPDATE: Cayman to roll-out COVID-19 vaccinations in January

    Premier eyes March reopening
    December 10, 2020

    Cayman will be rolling out a mass inoculation campaign starting early January once COVID-19 vaccines arrive on local shores, Premier Alden McLaughlin said on 10 Dec. He pledged to be among the first to take the jab.

    Speaking in Parliament, McLaughlin said based on the planned roll-out of vaccines and how well government is able to convince the population to get vaccinated, government would be in a position to feel secure about opening local borders by March.

    “Because by then we would have had enough of our people inoculated to create the oft-talked-about herd immunity which will protect the entire community,” he said, adding that all of this remains contingent on the public’s participation in the vaccination exercise. This as McLaughlin responded to questions from Opposition Leader Arden McLean following his statement.

    As he unveiled his national plan, which has been approved by Cabinet, McLaughlin said priority will be given to those over 60 years old, and people who have certain defined conditions and diseases that make them more vulnerable to the effects of the coronavirus.

    “And while I am not yet in those ranks, I will say that I will be one of the first in line to take the vaccine to lead by example and to demonstrate my confidence in the safety of the vaccine,” he said.

    The vaccine will greatly reduce the chances of getting COVID-19, and “the potential severity of the illness if we should contract it, but nothing is guaranteed”, he said.

    The first BA flight is expected on 5 Jan.

    Governor Martyn Roper, in post on his official Facebook page following the premier’s statement, said, “there will be enough to vaccinate many thousands of people initially and once we have shown that logistics here work and that the vaccine can be rolled out effectively, the UK will send far more – relatively quickly after the first batch.”

    He also added that he is willing to take the vaccine as soon as he is invited to do so.

    “I encourage everyone to do the same. In this way we can protect our population and get back to normal life,” Roper added.

    Staged roll-out planned
    While McLaughlin said he could not provide an exact arrival date, he said he expects doses of the Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine to arrive here within the first week of January.

    “We anticipate receiving a sufficient number of vaccines in the first batch to immunise several thousand people. Additionally, government has contracted with the coronavirus COVAX facility organised by the international vaccines agency, Gavi, to provide further vaccines.

    The premier said the vaccines will be provided by the United Kingdom and will be free.
    He stressed inoculation will be voluntary but he encouraged the public to do their to do due diligence, and to keep their minds open to the benefits that participation will offer.

    “It is an opportunity for us, as individuals, to take action to protect this community that we love so much, and which has done so much for us, while at the same time we protect ourselves,” he said.

    The vaccinations will be rolled out in stages, McLaughlin said, and Cayman will be in a position to deliver 3,000 doses per week based on current resources.

    “Once the vaccine arrives on island, a number of groups have been prioritised for the voluntary vaccination,” he said.

    These groups include healthcare workers and institutional residents to reduce the risk of spreading COVID between care givers and those they care for, and protects those that are not able to physically distance.

    Another priority group comprises frontline customer-facing staff working at ports who are constantly exposed to the risks from travellers as well as those over 60 years old.

    Those suffering from conditions that put them at increased risk if they were to contract COVID-19 and workers who are essential for the continuity of government services will also be vaccinated as part of stage one.

    The second stage of the plan, he said, will include essential workers, teachers and school staff and those living in the households of anyone who was vaccinated in stage one.
    The final stage of the vaccination programme will consist of vaccinating the remainder of the population.

    New travel protocols to follow vaccination
    The premier, in his statement, said the Ministry of Health has proposed the further opening of borders after stage two, which is expected to be around one month after the start of the vaccination programme.

    Changes in restrictions for those arriving from overseas will include proof of vaccination.

    “This should have been completed before arrival, according to recommendations by the Public Health Department,” McLaughlin said. “They must also receive negative results from a PCR test upon arrival. Persons who meet these conditions will be exempted from quarantine, if living in households where the other residents have also received a vaccine.”

    All people who are exempted under these conditions and their household members, the premier said, will undergo repeat testing on day five, day 10 and day 15 following their arrival date.

    The vaccination requirement is not mandatory for entry into Cayman.

    Travelers who do not meet the requirements will need to go into mandatory quarantine and be tested according to the requirements at the time of the border reopening.

    Regular PCR screening will continue with safety restrictions for healthcare workers, healthcare establishments, nursing homes and prisons.

    McLaughlin also introduced a new requirement for regular COVID-19 testing for tourism workers, including restaurateurs, taxi drivers, and those hosting travellers.

    Rapid testing may also be used to provide simpler access to testing for COVID-19, he said.

    McLaughlin acknowledged that the plan and initiatives may raise concerns about a possible spike in cases.

    However, he said government will remain vigilant throughout the roll-out, the proposed travel changes, and their impact on the community.

    “Should there be an indication of substantial and worrisome community transmission of COVID-19 cases in the Cayman Islands, or if we were required to move up a suppression level, preventive measures will be promptly tightened through Public Health regulations, as they have been in the past. If this happens, we will see a return to the wearing of masks in public places, physical distancing and the use of protective barriers to minimise further spread of the COVID-19 disease,” he said.

    Who gets vaccine first?
    1. Healthcare workers and institutional residents
    2. Frontline customer-facing staff working at ports
    3. People over age 60, and those suffering from conditions putting them at increased risk
    4. Essential government workers

    Second?
    1. Essential service workers, teachers and school staff
    2. Those living in the households of anyone from the stage one vaccination programme

    Third
    1 The remainder of the population
     
    drrich2 likes this.
  7. KathyV

    KathyV ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Midwestern US
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    All good points and no easy answers.
     
  8. scubadada

    scubadada Diver Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Philadelphia and Boynton Beach
    14,300
    10,705
    Clearly Cayman has sent out an email regarding opening to travel. They are now hoping for March 2021.

    upload_2020-12-11_16-10-57.png
     
    caydiver, KathyV and drrich2 like this.

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