Unvaccinated cruise ship tourists (12+ years of age) will not be allowed to disembark while in the UK's Cayman Islands, even if they have a medical exemption, Tourism Minister Kenneth Bryan announced.
The Minister made the announcement while speaking as a guest on Compass and Rooster 101’s ‘Beyond The Headlines’ talk show on Friday, March 4.
The vaccination requirement is a part of the new set of COVID regulations which are expected to be brought to Cabinet for approval some 2 weeks before the lift on the ban of cruising on March 21.
Bryan said that a press conference would be held next week, at which time the regulations would be announced in full.
When the ban is lifted, a phased return of cruising is expected to start.
The initial itinerary shows 21 cruise ships are expected to call on George Town (Grand Cayman) within the first month of the reopening.
The full roster of ships has a combined capacity of 74208 passengers. However, according to Bryan, industry trends showed that fewer than 80% of that amount was expected to arrive in Cayman.
During the show, Bryan said that Cayman’s financial position had allowed the government to re-evaluate Cayman’s cruise tourism product, which would see an expected drop in the total number of cruisers in Cayman.
“We are actually the last country in the Caribbean to open cruise [tourism], and that tells you the attitude and the appetite of Cayman in respect to the risk and reward ratio.”
Bryan added that a final draft of the regulations that showed “similarities” was expected to be completed by Monday, March 7.