Cruise ship regulations published | Cayman Islands Loop

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Updates to the current regulations and restrictions have now been released to deal with the arrival of cruise passengers from Monday 21st March 2022.

Details of the changes were shared by Prime Minister Wayne Panton during a COVID-19 community update press conference at the Government Information Services studio this week, where the Prime Minister described health protocols required for approved cruise ship calls and for disembarking cruise passengers. ships. Premier Panton noted that the updated regulations mark “the conservative reintroduction of cruise tourism aimed at supporting our economy and allowing us to monitor the implications for some time.”

The highlights are:

  • Guests aged 12 and over must have received their last dose of a Cayman Islands-approved COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to the start of the cruise.
  • Under current Cayman Islands regulations, children under 12 years of age will assume the status of traveling adults in their party.
  • All crew must be fully vaccinated.
  • No passengers, crew, or close contacts of COVID-positive passengers or crew are permitted to disembark the cruise ship in Grand Cayman, whether symptomatic or not. It should be noted that all legal obligations under international maritime law will be met.
  • Any prevalence of the COVID-19 virus detected on board a cruise ship is assessed by reviewing evidence of sustained transmission on board, the timeline of infections, and the measures taken on board to control the spread of cases. There is already legislation in place requiring ships arriving in territorial waters to provide certain information to the duty officer at the port before coming into physical contact with the shore. This includes information relating to persons on board who suffer from an illness or who have suffered from an illness during the voyage. The ship remains in quarantine until the officer on duty has given the ship permission to communicate with shore.
  • Inter-island travel: There are also changes regarding travel between islands. From now on, unvaccinated persons under the age of 18 who are accompanied by an accompanying person who has completed an approved vaccination course at least 14 days before the date of travel will not be required to obtain a PCR test or a rapid antigen detection (“LFT”) diagnosis at a registered health facility prior to travel. A vaccinated child under 18 would not have to be tested prior to inter-island travel.

The Minister of Health and Wellness, the Hon. Sabrina Turner who noted the steady decline in the number of new COVID-19 cases over six consecutive weeks. This is primarily a testament to the Cayman Islands being a regional leader in COVID-19 vaccinations as well as the public remaining compliant with mask mandates and other public health protocols, she commented.

However, she warned the islands now had 23 deaths attributed to COVID-19, the majority of which were unvaccinated. “To date, the Cayman Islands has also had 237 people hospitalized with COVID-related causes. Although this is significantly lower than many places in our region, a number of these cases could have been prevented if the patient had taken advantage of the protection offered by vaccination,” she said.

Minister Turner also urged anyone who has not received a booster to get vaccinated. “As we welcome more visitors and travel overseas ourselves, the booster boosts immunity and provides peace of mind,” she said.

Additionally, given that 16 children to date have been hospitalized locally with life-threatening symptoms due to COVID-19, she urged parents to have their children in the affected age group vaccinated “to give them every defense.” that they need”. She noted that the immunization program has been extended to schools through school health nurses.

Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Autilia Newton, responding to a question about cruise passengers, explained the precautions in place such as testing cruise passengers, just like air passengers, before they embark on their cruise. The responsibility for testing before boarding cruise ships rests with cruise lines.

However, detailed information on the test and vaccination status of each person on board a cruise ship, whether passengers or crew, must be provided on the health declaration forms at the Cayman Islands Port Authority for each ship arriving in the Cayman Islands, the acting CMO explained in more detail.

Only when the authorities are satisfied will the cruise ship receive a relevant certificate and the ship will be allowed to enter the port of the Cayman Islands, she stressed. The aim is to ensure that passengers and crew who disembark do not show any symptoms and are not close contacts of the cases, she added.

The full press conference can be viewed below:

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