GEORGETOWN, Cayman Islands (CMC) – The Government has removed the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing requirement for returning travellers who have completed their COVID-19 vaccination course with the Health Services Authority (HSA).

The announcement, which also maintained a ban on carnival parades, was made through a statement Friday evening outlining amendments to existing COVID-19 regulations.

“Amendment to Regulation 4 removed the requirement for SARS-CoV-2 PCR testing prior to boarding a plane to the Cayman Islands. This applies only if the traveller has completed a full course of vaccination by the HSA against the COVID-19 disease at least two weeks before boarding,” the statement said.

The quarantine protocols remain unchanged. Those fully vaccinated returning to the Cayman Islands are required to isolate for 10 days.

However, unvaccinated travellers are mandated to quarantine for 14 days and PCR tests 72 hours prior to arrival will still be required for everyone else.

The changes were gazetted Friday and took effect immediately.

The newly amended Control of COVID-19 (No 2) Regulations, 2021 will continue through July 15 .

The Government also issued an exemption for shelters from the 500-person gathering limit when the premises are being used for an emergency.

“Amendments to Regulations 2 and 3 permit emergency shelters to have over 500 persons indoors only in circumstances where the premises are being used as an emergency shelter in the event of a threat of a disaster or the aftermath of a disaster,” the statement said.

This change comes weeks ahead of the formal start of the 2021 hurricane season on June 1.

Changes were also made to the prohibitions around carnival-related social events.

These events now have the green light to resume in earnest; however, Government has maintained the prohibition for parades, including carnival parades.

Jamaica Observer