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Blog / Stem Cells

COVID-19 Operations, Inbound Travel & Quarantine Information

DVC Stem is still operating and it is possible to visit the Cayman Islands to receive treatment. Below we have outlined the current status of our clinic operations in regards to COVID-19 as well as the travel restrictions currently imposed by the Cayman Islands Government.

Updated:

February 22, 2021

David Lyons

Guest contributor

Feb 22, 2021

Louis A. Cona, MD

Medical Director | DVC Stem

The borders of the Cayman Islands are in a phased reopening process, which will expand within the next couple of months. This means that the airport is open but travel must be approved by the Cayman Islands Government & all visitors must participate in a mandatory 14 day quarantine.

COVID-19 Operations Update

Updated: February 18, 2021

The borders of the Cayman Islands are in a phased reopening process, which will expand within the next couple of months. This means that the airport is open but travel must be approved by the Cayman Islands Government & all visitors must participate in a mandatory 14 day quarantine.

The current border restrictions (2 week quarantine) will be in place until the end of March 2021. However we are offering patients a $3000 treatment allowance for those who would like to receive treatment prior to March 31, 2021 to help cover the additional cost of quarantine. This treatment allowance will be in place until all quarantine restrictions are lifted in the Cayman Islands.

DVC Stem is still operating and we are actively working with patients to navigate the current travel restrictions in order to provide treatment. Our medical and admin staff are still operating and handling patient cases during our operating hours (M-W-F 9am-5pm EST / T-Th 10am-7pm).

The Cayman Islands Government has done an incredible job protecting the people of Grand Cayman

The Cayman Islands eradicated COVID early on with draconian lockdowns and effectively closing the island to outsiders. Now it is COVID free (except for arriving passengers that are all in a 16 day quarantine) and remains that way because of strictly enforced 14-day quarantines upon entry. So once your 14 days are up you are in a world that you have not seen for almost a year — no masks, no restrictions, just people having a good time and enjoying the relaxed lifestyle of pristine beaches and fabulous places to eat and drink.

The government is keeping a close eye on other Caribbean Islands and collecting data, statistics and reports to ensure that when the Cayman Islands re-opens without quarantine restrictions, we have the safest, most efficient protocols in place to protect our visitors and our community.

"The arrival process could not have been smoother. We received a bracelet and phone to ensure that we honoured the terms of our quarantine. After a COVID test and the normal customs and immigration checks, we were whisked off to our condo at Plantana on Seven Mile Beach. We had ordered groceries online from Hurleys that were already delivered and unpacked. Two slick apps (Bento and Let’s Eat) get you quick deliveries from the top restaurants on the island. The first night we had amazingly fresh ceviche from Agua and a few days later some very authentic tacos from Casa 43. Wine and spirits can also be ordered online." - Cayman Islands Visitors

COVID-19 Testing Update 16 February 2021
COVID-19 Dashboard. Image Source: https://www.exploregov.ky/coronavirus-statistics

COVID-19 Advanced Dashboard 16 February 2021
Detailed COVID-19 Dashboard. Image Source: https://www.exploregov.ky/coronavirus-statistics

COVID-19 Vaccine Dashboard 16 February 2021
National Vaccination Rollout Statistics. Image Source: https://www.exploregov.ky/coronavirus-statistics

Cayman Islands Inbound Travel & Quarantine Information

Currently, those wishing to enter the Cayman Islands must purchase a ticket through Cayman Airways or British Airways, as well as be approved for travel by the Cayman Islands Government via their online portal.

Travellers who have not completed this process and travellers who have not received authorization to travel will not be permitted to board a flight.

We are still working with patients who are in the pre-treatment process, and those with completed packages will have the option of receiving treatment here in the Cayman Islands as long as they follow government imposed quarantine procedures.

We have outlined the process into 4 steps below:

Step 1: Book a flight through Cayman Airways or British Airways

Flights are currently available via either Cayman Airways (through Miami) or British Airways (through London).

Your flight must be booked directly through either of these two airlines. Please do not book any flights with a third party travel agents as they will not be valid.

Cayman Airways
https://www.caymanairways.com/
USA - Toll - 305-266-4141, Toll Free - 1-800-422-9626

British Airways
https://www.britishairways.com

TRAVEL_ Process
Source: Cayman Islands Government (https://www.exploregov.ky/faqs/covid-19-inbound-travel)


Step 2: Book your quarantine accommodation

This section covers information relating to the COVID-19 quarantine process for inbound travellers to the Cayman Islands.

It is important to follow these restrictions for the entire quarantine period even if you do not have any symptoms. This will help to protect our community and control any spread of COVID-19.

All in-bound travellers are required to:
Provide proof of a negative PCR test within 72 hours of intended travel and again on day 15 of quarantine; and remain in isolation for a minimum of 14 days, after which a day 15 negative test result and sign off by the Medical Officer of Health is required for the quarantine period to cease.

Allow 24-72 hours for off-boarding process, this includes a negative test result and return of monitoring equipment.

There are three quarantine options:
Quarantine at a government sponsored facility
Quarantine at residence (Hotel or Airbnb), wearing a device with monitoring technology

Travellers must choose one of these quarantine options when they apply to Travel Cayman and will be notified by Travel Cayman that their approved quarantine option has been secured.

Quarantining at residence means that traveler has agreed to:
- Wear a Stay Safe Cayman smart wristband
- Quarantine in an approved location
- Remain in isolation for a minimum of 14 days, after which a negative test result and sign-off by the Medical Officer of Health will be required in order for your quarantine period to end.
- Allow 24-72 hours for off-boarding process, this includes a negative test result and return of monitoring equipment.

You must have suitable acommodation booked prior to applying for approval with Travel Time Cayman.
Accommodation must be booked prior to applying for approval with Travel Time Cayman.

We would recommend utilizing these websites when looking for accommodation:

https://ecaytrade.com/
https://www.airbnb.com/

Step 3: Apply for approval via Travel Time Cayman

This is extremely important, all persons wishing to travel inbound to Grand Cayman must apply via the Travel Cayman portal.

Please make sure to indicate that you are travelling for medical purposes. This should ensure that your application is approved in a timely manner.

Travel/COVID-19 Insurance

All in-bound travellers will be required to attest to a statement which confirms: that they possess health insurance which includes COVID-19 coverage, or that they understand the financial risks they are taking, and that they have independent means to cover their medical, accommodation and travel costs

As prescribed, under existing Customs and Border Control legislation, government reserves the right to require that travellers who cannot show means to support themselves during their visit - provide a written guarantee from a sponsor, undertaking that the sponsor will be fully responsible for the costs incurred by the visitor during their stay.

In the event that you or a member of your party tests positive for COVID-19 prior to your travel, you may be required to cancel or postpone your visit.In the event that you test positive for COVID-19 while in the Cayman Islands, you may be required to isolate yourself from the wider community, and this could lead to incurring unexpected accommodation costs. You may not be able to return home on the date that you intended.

Many annual travel insurance policies, or contracts entered into prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, do not cover COVID-19 risks. If you have an insurance policy, please check carefully that COVID-19 risks are covered.Many private or employee health insurance policies only cover medical treatment in your home country, and do not cover expenses associated with accommodation costs and changes to travel plans. You should check that your policy covers your needs.

Step 4: Send us travel / approval confirmation

Please notify our team as soon as your receive approval from The Cayman Islands Government so we can confirm your treatment date. If you have any questions about the process our patient management team would be happy to further explain the entry process.

info@dvcstem.com

FAQ

What happens when I get to the airport?

On arrival, the isolation team will greet you at the airport. You must have your passport and the isolation confirmation email ready on your phone (or printed), ready for identification.

There are several steps that must be taken before you can be released from the airport and transported to your approved quarantine location. The Cayman Islands Government have advised the following steps.

Pre-Isolation Steps:

NOTE: You are only fitted with a wristband if you are participating in the Quarantine at Residence programme. You will be fitted with your iMSafe smart wristband at the General Aviation Terminal of the airport – this is new monitoring technology that you wear as a bracelet. Fitting and activation will take approximately 5 minutes or less per traveller. The wristband is light-weight, hypoallergenic, waterproof, latex free and is completely unobtrusive. Children who are 5 years old and up will be fitted with a smart wristband.

After this, you will proceed to the COVID-19 testing station to be swabbed for your initial PCR Test. Please note your test result will be sent to the email address provided within 24 hours. (Children ages 5 and up will undergo testing at the airport, although they don't necessarily have to provide a negative PCR result before travelling).

The Cayman Islands Government have arranged for authorised transportation to take you directly to your approved quarantine location. No stops of any kind will be permitted on the way there! You are also not allowed to arrange private transportation for safety purposes. The public will not be allowed into the airport so please advise any family members or friends not to come to the airport on the day you arrive.

Do I have to quarantine in a government facility or a hotel?

No! One of the most integral things to bear in mind is that you no longer have to quarantine at a government-led isolation facility, whether you are a Caymanian or a permanent resident. Caymanians and residents, subject to approval, can now quarantine at a private facility or at home. There are also more quarantine options for work-permit holders and property owners.

Do I have to get a COVID-19 PCR test before I fly?

Yes. As of 14th January 2021, all arriving travellers aged 10 and over MUST have a COVID-19 PCR (Polymerase chain reaction) test prior to travelling. This test must be taken no more than 72 hours prior to your flight, and you MUST provide evidence of a negative result on your swab (from your upper airways) before you travel.

If I didn’t take the test, can I still travel?

No. Airlines will reject boarding to anyone who cannot prove they have had a negative PCR test result within the last 72 hours.

How do I provide my test results?

Printing out a paper copy of your results after you have received them is ideal. However, if you show the test results on your phone, that is also fine. Your results must also be from an accredited laboratory or institution such as a UKAS accredited laboratory or the NHS, National Health Laboratories or other government approved providers.

I've received a negative test result but my children haven't been tested. Can we still travel together?

That depends how old your children are. If your children are aged 10 and older, they cannot travel unless they provide a negative PCR result no more than 72 hours prior to departure. Parents are responsible for keeping records of their children's test results (that is, if they are age 10 and above). If your child is below the age of 10 they do not need to take a COVID test before they travel (but if they are 5+, they will have one upon arrival in Cayman).


Do I have to have another PCR test when I arrive in Cayman?

Yes, you do. All travellers will be tested again on arrival.

Is the quarantine period shorter now?

No. The quarantine period is still 14 days. Travellers must take a day 15 COVID-19 test, and can only be released 24-72 hours later if a second negative result is received.


I'm Caymanian and I don’t want to quarantine in a government facility... What should I do?

As of October 2020, there are now three options available to you:

  1. Quarantine at Residence
  2. Quarantine at a Government Run Facility
  3. Quarantine at a Privately Run Facility

Government Run facilities previously included The Wyndham Reef Resort and Comfort Suites. Now, there are more options available in Palm Heights, The Ritz-Carlton, Sunshine Suites, St. Matthew’s Hall and St. Matthew’s Residence.

You also don’t have to choose any of these. As long as you are fitted with an iMSafe wristband, and applied previously to Travel Cayman, telling them where you would like to quarantine and received approval from them, you are good to quarantine at your home or a private accommodation of your choosing (again, subject to approval from Public Health officials).


How do I prepare for quarantine? How will I know if I’m ready?

Preparing to isolate for a period of 14 days may seem like a daunting, stressful task. There are a variety of things to worry about, such as toiletries and medications, and if you have children, the stress may double. However, if you plan ahead and think about what you will need to be able to stay in your home for the full 14 days, it will be a much easier, smooth endeavour. The Cayman Islands Government recommends that, to prepare:

- If you are taking any medication, please be sure to bring along an adequate supply to ensure you have enough while in quarantine. A one-month supply is recommended.

- If your household includes others, ensure they are aware of the quarantine requirements and are prepared to quarantine with you or find alternative accommodation prior to your arrival.

- Ask friends or family to drop off anything you need or order supplies online ahead of your arrival.

I have family at home – do they have to quarantine, too?

Yes. Everyone in your household are subject to the same regulations. According to the Cayman Islands Government, yourself and your family members must:

  • Wear an iMSafe wristband
  • Quarantine in a location that has been approved
  • Have a COVID PCR test upon arrival at the airport and on the 15th day of the isolation period
  • Remain in isolation for a minimum of 14 days, of which when the mobile compliance team will visit your household and begin the ‘off-boarding’ process, A.K.A., when yourself and your family are free to leave the home.

I live in an apartment complex – can I use the pool and other communal facilities?

No – you are not allowed to use communal areas. You must stay within your geo-fencing perimeter. You are only allowed to use private areas, such as a private yard or outdoor balcony.


Can I have visitors while I quarantine?

No. You are not allowed to have ANY individuals enter your home or your yard space, even if you are not even inside of your home at the time. This includes all family members, friends, food delivery persons, work colleagues and domestic helpers. Any breach in the terms and conditions may cause you to be forcibly removed from the Quarantine at Residence programme and placed in a Government Run facility. Committing an offence is also a breach of the Public Health Law and regulations made to control the spread of Coronavirus.


Can I leave my place of quarantine? What if it’s an emergency?

For no reason whatsoever are you allowed to leave your place of isolation. The only exemption is if you have received advance authorisation from the Medical Officer of Health or in the case of an emergency (again, which has been approved).

I don’t want to quarantine at home anymore. I want to go somewhere else. What do I do?

If you decide midway that you do not want to participate in the Quarantine at Residence programme anymore (after you have been fitted with a wristband and transported), you will have to complete the remainder of isolation in a Government Run facility, which can result in incurring costs of CI$9,000 or more.

What if I break my wristband?

You are responsible for any tampers or damages to your geofencing device. You must make sure that your device: has at least 30% of charge in the battery; has Mobile Data services enabled, including for the Tracesafe application; and remains in the same room as you within your place of isolation.

"Dr. Cona is a leading edge stem cell treatment physician"

Matthew Murry - MS Patient

2 DAYS POST TREATMENT

"Is the video I posted from this morning! My speech is so easy for me now, got easier throughout the day! I can talk like a NYer (fast) for the first time in years! Praise God!"

- Matthew Murry

EXCITING IMPROVEMENTS

Only 3 days after treatment, Matthew is now able to touch his nose with his eyes closed as well as touch his thumb and pinky together. Both of which he was previously unable to do before treatment.

We are excited to see his continued progress. His story will be updated here so keep an eye out!

Matthew showing his progress with mobility

Matthew Murry - 3 days post treatment

"This is exciting stuff, god bless"

Matthew Murry - MS Patient

2 WEEKS POST TREATMENT

Matthew experiences sensation in the bottom of his feet after receiving a simple nerve test.

His left foot did not experience any sensation or move at all, but what happened to his right foot is extremely exciting!

50 DAYS POST TREATMENT

Matthew is now able to lift his leg unassisted. He was previously unable to do so.

Matthew is experiencing the benefits of stem cell therapy first hand. You can view his progress video here.


Matthew showing some amazing mobility improvements.

Matthew Murry - 50 days post treatment

"Amazing progress from one of our MS patients Matthew Murray"

Louis A. Cona, MD - DVC Stem

3 MONTHS POST TREATMENT

Matthew is able to stand up with the assistance of stability bars.

David Lyons

Multiple Sclerosis

Although David Lyons was able to successfully fight Multiple Sclerosis through a strict regimen of diet and exercise, he wanted to ensure he was doing everything he could to stay fit. Multiple Sclerosis can be managed with treatment, but there is currently no cure for the disease. For that reason, David came to DVC Stem years ago to use the regenerative and anti-inflammatory attributes of stem cells to aid in his fight for fitness.

The positive results he experienced enabled David to stay strong in the gym, now into his 60s, and that is why he continues to support our clinic to this day.

About the author

Louis A. Cona, MD

Louis A. Cona, MD

Dr. Cona has been performing stem cell therapy for over 10 years. He is a member of the World Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (WAAAM). He is also a recognized member of the British Medical Association, the General Medical Council (UK), the Caribbean College of Family Physicians, and the American Academy of Family Physicians. He is the Medical Director for DVC Stem a world-renowned stem cell therapy clinic located in Grand Cayman.

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