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Cayman restricts travel to more than a dozen countries amid coronavirus threat

The Government of Cayman has restricted travel to 14 countries and territories as health authorities around the world continue to struggle to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The Cayman government has restricted travel to 14 destinations as the coronavirus threat spreads. (Photo: The Guardian)

In a release, the government said its Cabinet has approved measures to restrict travel to affected countries as well as to control the entry of people with a history of travel to mainland China to the island.

The Ministry of Health and the Public Health Department have advised that the public avoid all but “essential travel to mainland China until there is a measurable change in the global situation and the ban lifted.”

“The ban will take immediate effect and the intention of this announcement is to give clear notice to travellers, businesses and organisations that may be affected.”

– Health Minister, Dwayne Seymour

According to the new measures, visitors who have been to China in the preceding 14 days will be denied entry, a restriction the Cabinet said is in line with many of its regional neighbours.

“Returning residents who have travelled to mainland China will be quarantined under the direction of the Medical Officer of Health. At this time this is likely to be in the traveller’s home,” the statement said.

An aerial view of the Owen Roberts International Airport in Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands.

Further, the Health Ministry recommended that there be only essential travel between the following countries and territories where the World Health Organization has confirmed five or more cases of the coronavirus: France, Germany, Hong Kong, Iran, Italy, Japan, Macau, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and Vietnam.

People who have travelled to those, or any other, countries where there is a risk of the coronavirus within the past two weeks are advised to advise Public Health immediately if they have a cough, fever or shortness of breath.

The coronavirus has infected more than 85,000 people globally.

Seymour, said “As always, our first priority is to keep Caymanians and residents safe and mitigate any public health threat expeditiously.”

What’s more, he said funding has been approved for the Health Services Authority to begin preparation and implementation of a treatment unit.