(CMR) The legal requirement for certain non-Caymanian residents and their accompanying dependents to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 has been lifted.
Effective 7 June 2023, applicants for new work permits, work permit renewals, permanent residence, certificates for specialist caregivers, and student visas, as well as persons submitting applications to add dependents or applications for Cabinet entry permits, among other applications, will no longer have to show proof of vaccination.
On the 5th May 2023, the World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General accepted the advice offered by the International Health Regulations (2005) Emergency Committee (the Committee) regarding the COVID-19 pandemic that it is now an established and ongoing health issue which no longer constitutes a public health emergency of international concern. However, this must be interpreted within the context that the Committee noted that SARS-CoV-2 has been and will continue circulating widely and evolving.
Chief Medical Officer Nick Gent stated, “When the provision for mandatory COVID-19 vaccination for work permit holders and permanent residency applicants was created, it made sense as a public health measure at the time. However, as we have all seen, much has changed in the last three years since the start of the pandemic.”
“Immunisation remains a vital tool in protecting the population against severe disease, and recency of immunization is key to maximize the benefits from vaccines. Thus, ensuring that recent arrivals on our Islands have access to COVID-19 vaccination and boosters as a public health program is far more beneficial than relying on immunizations that have been given prior to their arrival,” he added.
He further stated, “It is important that our public health measures evolve and adapt to ensure that they remain effective in light of the changing reality of the pandemic.”
Persons or employers submitting applications to Workforce Opportunities & Residency Cayman (WORC) or persons seeking student visas through Customs & Border Control can download the necessary applications, which have been amended to reflect the removal of the vaccine requirement by visiting www.worc.ky or www.cbc.gov.ky.