(CMR) Cabinet has tonight issued regulations that restrict travel to the Cayman Islands from some nine countries in southern Africa and one in Europe after the emergence of a new coronavirus variant, Omicron previously labeled B.1.1.529. Travelers from these countries already in the Cayman Islands from these countries will also be required to complete a 14 day quarantine.
The move follows other countries that took similar steps earlier on Friday. It had a large number of mutations, and early evidence suggested an increased reinfection risk, the WHO said. It was first reported to the WHO from South Africa on 24 November and has also been identified in Botswana, Belgium, Hong Kong and Israel.
A number of countries around the world have now decided to ban or restrict travel to and from southern Africa. On Friday, the WHO said the number of cases of this variant, initially named B.1.1.529, appeared to be increasing in almost all of South Africa's provinces.
The measures follow the World Health Organization (WHO) recognizing the variant first reported to have emerged in South Africa two days ago, as a variant of concern, which it has named Omicron. Other countries around the world have already taken similar measures. In its announcement WHO noted that the variant had a large number of mutations, some of which are concerning.
Countries from which travel is restricted include: Belgium, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Persons who travel to, from or through these countries within the 21 days preceding their arrival in the Cayman Islands, must undergo PCR testing within 24 hours of arrival, and must also complete a quarantine period of not less than 14 days.
The regulations also detail provisions for persons who have been in contact with such individuals, including any other occupants of a private residence where they may be quarantining.
For more details read the regulations HERE.