The Cayman Islands Government, which includes Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac, and Little Cayman, is changing the COVID-19 testing window for arriving passengers.
Effective last Friday, all travelers five years and older headed into Grand Cayman or visiting its Sister Islands will be required to be tested within 24-hours of their departure. Both rapid and PCR tests will be accepted.
The rule is written so that the departure time is the last leg of a connecting flight, meaning that travelers will need to be tested within 24-hours of the last leg of their trip.
“This means a traveler should have proof of a negative test result twelve hours prior to their take-off time to arrive in the Cayman Island,” Visit Cayman Islands said in a statement.
“We suggest that travelers check for rapid testing sites within airports they are traveling through.”
The new measures are a direct response to the spread of the Omicron variant, Visit Cayman Islands said.
According to Worldometer, the Cayman Islands is experiencing its first major COVID-19 surge with new daily cases reaching just under 800 at the end of November. The islands did not record an infection number above 100 throughout the entire pandemic until October 2021.
The islands had been locked down since March 2020 and had released its plan to reopen in five stages last summer. That plan started to ease travel restrictions in August, with vaccinated tourists able to come in without quarantine in October 2021.
The last stage, which would have started in January 2022, would have seen all travelers again be welcomed in without quarantine travel restrictions, including cruise travel. There is no word right now on whether that plan has been delayed with the case surge and the new restrictions.