For those craving a vacation relaxing in the crystal waters of the Cayman Islands — some good news. The Caribbean country has rolled back another COVID-19 requirement making it fully open for all vaccinated travelers to visit.
The country no longer requires anyone who is vaccinated to quarantine. That includes those arriving from countries with rates of vaccination less than 60%.
Previously, the Cayman Islands required even vaccinated travelers who arrived from countries where the vaccination rate was less than 60% quarantine for 10 days before they could explore the island.
The country, which was closed off for months, has slowly reopened its borders to visitors. Just last month, the country started welcoming back cruise ships to its shores after a nearly two-year hiatus.
Applying to travel to the Cayman Islands
Even though restrictions are rolling back, there are still a few things you must do in order to enter the Cayman Islands.
First, you must register with the Travel Cayman portal no less than 72 hours prior to departure. You must upload proof of vaccination and apply for a travel declaration to travel to the country. If you have a securely verifiable vaccination record, you'll be able to download your travel declaration immediately. If you have a non-secure vaccination record — like a CDC card —the travel declaration can take up to 5 working days to process so consider that when planning out your application process.
According to the Cayman Islands' travel website, securely verifiable means "your vaccination record has security features like a hologram or unique QR code which allows your vaccination information to be confirmed." The record typically is in the form of a QR code which, when scanned, shows the traveler's name, date of birth and vaccination information.
Paper vaccination records are not considered securely verifiable but for US travelers, the Cayman Islands does accept SMART health card records if your health care provider is part of that system. (New York travelers can also use the QR code from the Excelsior Pass Plus platform)
Unvaccinated children under age 11 will assume the vaccination status of the adult with whom they are traveling.
In addition, travelers over the age of 5 must also provide a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than one day before departure. To meet this requirement, along with PCR tests, the Cayman Islands will now also accept certified rapid tests.
Travelers also need to have travel and medical insurance where COVID-19 is not an exclusion from coverage.
Arriving in the Caymans by cruise ship
On March 21, the first cruise ships returned to the port at Grand Cayman. Cruise ship travelers are allowed to disembark if they are vaccinated. Those travelers must have completed an approved vaccine course at least 14 days prior to embarking on their selected cruise. Unvaccinated children who are younger than 12 may disembark if they are traveling with a fully vaccinated adult.
The rules also apply to ship captains and crew members. The cruise ship will provide Cayman customs and border agents with a list of passengers and their vaccination status prior to arrival.
According to the Cayman Compass, the country is limiting the amount of cruise ship traffic to 40% of pre-pandemic passenger volume. Currently, Disney Cruise Line, Carnival, Celebrity and Princess all have cruises scheduled to port in Grand Cayman.
Who is not allowed to travel to the Cayman Islands
Unvaccinated travelers—unless they are children under age 11 traveling with a vaccinated adult—are not permitted to travel to the Cayman Islands unless they have a “close tie to the island.”
According to the Cayman Island tourism website, those individuals include:
- Those with a business or property in the Cayman Islands
- A spouse, civil partner, sibling, parent, step-parent, grandparent, grandchild, child or stepchild who is Caymanian or a resident.
If permitted to come to the island, unvaccinated travelers must quarantine for 14-days upon arrival.