American sunseekers, this is the moment you’ve been patiently waiting for. The Cayman Islands, one of the hottest cruise ports and leading destinations of the Caribbean has just dropped all entry requirements. Heading into the fall, the islands will no longer require visitors to present health-related documentation, finally reinstating pre-Covid normality.
For two and half a years, the famous archipelago applied some of the strictest rules in all of the Americas, barring unvaccinated visitors while requiring those able to produce a vaccination certificate to apply for authorization in advance. Naturally, these self-imposed barriers have been hampering the recovery of tourism.
Fortunately, as of this week these have all been lifted:
Cayman Fully Reopens For Tourism After Two And Half Years
For the first time since Covid was declared an emergency, the Government of the Cayman Islands has decided to rescind all regulations that have kept a large number of tourists from coming back to their favorite vacation spot. Beginning August 24, all will once again be allowed to enter free of scrutiny and strict border checks, including unvaccinated Americans.
This makes the British Overseas Territory the latest Caribbean destination to return to their pre-pandemic travel guidelines, in a list that includes all of America’s top rated sunny breaks. Prior to the Cayman Islands, Jamaica, The Dominican Republic, Belize and countless others opened up for tourism, moving away from the harsh zero-Covid approach.
Now, visiting Grand Cayman, or any other destination within the territory will feel like it was in 2019:
- No pre-departure testing
- No mandatory pre-arrival registration form
- No vaccination certificate required
- No booster certificate required
- No post-arrival testing
- No state-regulated quarantine
Whether they are arriving by sea or air, visitors will be able to step into the sun and enjoy their hard-earned break in paradise stress-free. As the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism confirms, starting this Wednesday, all American travelers are now permitted to cross the border simply by bringing a valid passport, ‘without the need of any additional documents’.
Although travel insurance is also not mandatory, we cannot stress enough the importance of carrying a valid insurance policy when flying abroad, especially now that U.S. airlines are failing to meet their targets and cancelations are widespread. Trust us, you don’t want to be left stranded in Cayman if your flight back is axed at the very last minute.
Find out more about travel insurance here.
What Has Changed Following The Latest Update?
Before the update, U.S. citizens and any other foreigners flying to Grand Cayman had to seek permission beforehand. The so-called ‘Travel Certificate’, which served as proof for Cayman border authorities that a traveler had been pre-screened and deemed fit for travel, could be easily obtained through an online portal – that is, if you were vaccinated.
Those who were not had their applications routinely turned down, unless they were a British Overseas Territory citizen linked to the Cayman Islands, or someone with close ties to local residents. Additionally, the few allowed to board a Cayman-bound flight or vessel had to present a negative test and later isolate at their accommodation, or home, for 7 full days.
The quarantine did not apply to vaccinated travelers, though they were still subject to the pre-arrival testing rule up until June 30. These regulations made the territory an outlier in the Caribbean, as a majority of countries in the region accepted Covid is no longer a disruptive disease and ceased to restrict tourism in return.
At last, Cayman has joined what we’re dubbing the Freedom Club.
What About Masks?
Similarly to the border restrictions, the Cayman Government has scrapped mandatory mask usage all across the islands. Since June 30, visitors have not been expected to wear face coverings in any indoor or outdoor settings, including:
- Clubs and entertainment venues
- Leisure centers
- Public transportation
It is worth noting private establishments may still enforce mask usage.
The Cayman Islands are a collective of 3 small islands part of the British Commonwealth in the Western Caribbean. The largest of them, Grand Cayman, is the main entry point and a home to world-renowned resort brands, such as the Ritz-Carlton, Palm Heights and Margaritaville. On the other hand, Little Cayman is popular among nature enthusiasts for its diverse nature, marine life and water sports.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com