Airports on the Cayman Islands remain closed to all but essential travel until October 1, 2020, the government announced.

In a statement, the government noted that some airlines were marketing flights to the Cayman Islands and accepting future bookings, warning that no airlines had permission to operate commercial flights while its borders remained closed.

The only airlines permitted to operate were British Airways (BA, London Heathrow) and Cayman Airways (KX, Grand Cayman Island), which were conducting limited repatriation flights to and from the islands. However, the government strongly discouraged non-essential travel as the COVID-19 situation remained fluid.

“At this time we are only allowing repatriation flights for essential travel. There is no guarantee when commercial flights will become available for inbound travel to the Cayman Islands,” the government said.

It confirmed that British Airways began operating a fortnightly repatriation service between Grand Cayman Island and London Heathrow from September 17, 2020.

Cayman Airways, in partnership with the government, was offering repatriation flights to Grand Cayman from various destinations based on demand, including from La Ceiba, Honduras; Kingston Norman Manley, Jamaica; and Miami Int'l, Florida.

From October 1, borders would begin opening in phases. The government would implement a pilot programme, which includes a new arrivals process combined with the use of monitoring technology.

In Phase One, commencing October 1, categories of eligible visitors would be extended beyond Caymanians, permanent residents, work permit holders and their families, to also include those owning residential property within the Cayman Islands and other pre-approved visitors. Arrivals would be required to home quarantine and wear a geo-fencing monitoring device or have to isolate in a government centre for a minimum of 16 days.