The Cayman Islands, which has remained closed to most tourism since the pandemic began, will reopen to fully vaccinated travelers on Nov. 20.
The announcement signals the destination's move to Phase 4 of its reopening plan now that a large percentage of the local population is vaccinated, according to Kenneth Bryan, minister for tourism and transport.
"The health and safety of our residents and visitors have always been the government's number one priority, and our Covid experience throughout the pandemic has been exemplary to date," Bryan said. "We are keen to relax the current restrictions and move to Phase 4. This will bring an important return to normality for travel and tourism on the islands in time for the holidays."
Most Caribbean countries have gradually reopened their borders since the beginning of the pandemic, but the Cayman Islands has been a holdout. A plan to reopen in October was delayed after a rise in Covid cases.
All travelers must obtain approval for entry from Travel Cayman. Once approved, the verified travelers must present proof of vaccination and proof of a negative PCR test result taken within 72 hours of arrival.
Vaccinated adults will not be required to quarantine on arrival, but children who are not vaccinated will not be able to come to the islands without quarantining. That rule will change once the islands move to Phase 5, the last of the phases in the reopening plan.
The Cayman Islands have followed a strict policy for a phased reopening. Certain categories of travelers were allowed entry, beginning in June 2020. These included home and villa owners, business owners, health professionals and repatriated workers.
A remote-work-and-stay program launched late in 2020, but participants were subject to rigorous application in order to be approved for a limited stay.
In Phase 3, some of the quarantine restrictions were removed for those arriving on repatriation flights.
JetBlue has resumed a twice-weekly route on Tuesday and Saturdays from New York JFK to Grand Cayman. Cayman Airways will resume its weekly Saturday nonstop flight between Tampa and Grand Cayman on Nov. 7 and will add a Monday flight in December. Four weekly roundtrip flights between Miami and Grand Cayman also resume Nov. 7.
Correction: The Cayman Islands will reopen to fully vaccinated travelers on Nov. 20; an incorrect date appeared in an earlier version of this article.