Cayman Islands to Require Negative COVID Test Taken Day Before Departure

Previously, fully vaccinated travelers were required to test negative within 72 hours before their trip.

Beginning Friday, international visitors heading to the Cayman Islands will have to test negative for COVID-19 the day before their departure, a move aimed at slowing the spread of the highly contagious omicron variant of the coronavirus.

Previously, Cayman Islands required fully vaccinated travelers to test negative within 72 hours of their departure to the islands. With the change, government officials said they also would broaden the types of COVID tests accepted to include rapid antigen tests instead of just a PCR test, which generally takes longer to process.

Cayman Islands began welcoming fully vaccinated travelers from select countries including the U.S., U.K., and Canada in November. For travelers from countries where less than 60% of the local population has received at least one dose of a World Health Organization approved coronavirus vaccine, a 10-day quarantine also is required.

Sunset over the Caribbean Sea by George Town, Grand Cayman
Eric Laudonien/Getty Images

All travelers five and older also have to take a COVID-19 test prior to their departure to the Cayman Islands, purchase travel insurance, and take additional COVID-19 tests during their stay. Cayman Islands is requiring foreign visitors to take rapid antigen tests, on the second, fifth, and tenth days of their stay. Travelers also have to use an online portal to formally request a certificate to travel to the Cayman Islands.

Unvaccinated leisure travelers are prohibited from visiting Cayman Islands. Unvaccinated residents are able to return but are required to quarantine for the first 14 days they're back.

Within Cayman Islands borders, travelers are required to wear face masks in taxis and public places. Indoor events are restricted to 100 attendees while outdoor events are limited to 250 attendees.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last month designated the Cayman Islands as a high-risk country, warning travelers to avoid travel to the trio of islands known for its snorkeling, scuba diving, fishing, and idyllic beaches. The CDC designated the Cayman Islands and the Netherlands a "Level 4," issued when COVID caseloads hit 500 per 100,000 residents.

Meena Thiruvengadam is a Travel + Leisure writer who loves discovering historic sights, wandering new streets, and walking on beaches. Find her on Facebook, Instagram, or at the airport.

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