(CMR) Work permit holders are being encouraged to get their COVID-19 vaccine as it could soon become mandatory for persons applying for renewals and new work permit holders to be vaccinated before their permits can be issued.
Speaking on Radio Cayman's ‘For the Record' talk show on Monday, Minister of Tourism Kenneth Bryan said:
“The government is considering making it mandatory for renewals and new work permits. I know other jurisdictions have made it mandatory right away; we don't feel the same way.”
He explained that instead of making it mandatory right away, the government is considering making it a condition for renewals and new permits.
Premier Wayne Panton, who also appeared on the talk show, said the Cayman Islands government was also considering reducing the quarantine period for vaccinated persons from 10 days to five days. He said more would be announced in the coming weeks.
“The main issue for us in terms of reopening is trying to get clarity around how we confirm or verify that someone has been vaccinated,” Panton stated.
He said reopening the country's borders depended on several factors, including what is happening in the rest of the world.
“We are looking at the vaccine take-up rate in the US and the UK. We are looking at the prevalence of COVID transmission. We have set certain parameters which must occur there before we must consider reopening plans here. I am very happy to say that the UK has achieved those standards.”
He added that some US states had achieved this while others are on a path to achieve this. He, however, admitted that current situations in these countries could change at any time.
Panton explained that it is important that vaccination is high as possible before opening the country's borders.