The UK Transport Minister, Grant Shapps has today announced a gradual re-opening of international travel to and from England from 17 May. Included in the announcement is information on the Government’s new traffic light system which assesses countries as red, amber and green (RAG) for inbound travel. This rating determines what inbound travellers must do on arrival in the UK, linked to the COVID situation in the country from which they are travelling, vaccination rates and availability of genomic sequencing.
My office fed data related to Cayman’s Covid situation and vaccination rates into the Department of Transport and that informed the central UK Government RAG rating decision. Cayman, and indeed the whole of the Caribbean have been placed on the UK’s Amber list.
Although this may come as disappointing news to some, this is the first iteration of the red, amber and green lists and they will be reviewed every three weeks. The self-isolation period from 17 May remains the same as faced by travellers today – there is no change, just a new name for the rating system.
Given Cayman’s excellent response to the Covid-19 crisis I am hopeful that Cayman will move onto the green list at the review point. My office will remain in close contact with the UK as the list evolves.
It is also worth noting that the UK’s 10-day self-isolation period is shorter than Cayman’s mandated quarantine period for non-vaccinated travellers. Furthermore, in the UK there remains the option to pay for a test-to-release scheme on day 5. A negative result ends self-isolation early.
The UK, like Cayman remains vigilant of their borders in the fight against Covid-19. As a result there are only a small number of countries on the green list, including places like Israel and Gibraltar where there are very high vaccination rates.
Notes to Editors
- From May 17 May for those travelling to the UK direct from Cayman, or through another amber or green rated country, will have to self-isolate for 10 days on arrival in the UK. This can be done in a location of your choice. The self-isolation period for vaccinated and unvaccinated travellers is the same. If, however, you travel via a red rated country you will have to quarantine for 10 days in a government approved hotel.
- In the UK there remains the option to pay for a test-to-release scheme on day 5. A negative result ends self-isolation early.
- Please refer to gov.uk for updates.