As Cayman Islands works towards re-opening its borders to the wider world, it plans to offer willing visitors a chance to use biotechnology to shorten their quarantine times.
The Cayman government plans on a phased re-opening from September. As part of the entry requirements, incoming visitors will need to register via the Travel Time application for permission to enter the island, as well as provide proof of a negative Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test result within 72 hours of the assigned travel time (if you are above the age of 10).
Incoming guests will also be required to quarantine based on the following options:
- 5 day quarantine in combination with BioButton usage at a residence of choice or
- 14 day quarantine at a government facility.
The BioButton (developed by BioIntelliSense in partnership with Philips) is a biosensor which you stick on to your body to monitor vitals like body temperature, heart rate and respiratory rate. The data is then uploaded to your phone via Bluetooth to the BioMobile app and then sent on to the island’s health officials. These vital markers can be used to detect early symptoms linked to COVID-19.
Proximity and duration to other BioButton sensors can be reported to enhance contact tracing programs.
Hon. Deputy Premier and Minister for Tourism, Moses Kirkconnell said that, “this advanced health screening solution enhances our reopening protocols, providing further confidence that we can once again welcome visitors to our shores while minimizing the risk of introducing new cases to the local community.”
Chief Medical Officer Dr John Lee has been trialing the technology, wearing a BioIntelliSense medical device for the past month.
“I have been able to experience first-hand how unobtrusive it is to wear, and the accuracy of the data it provides. The primary advantage is the BioButton’s ability to provide an alert to any changes in vital statistics that could indicate trending towards a respiratory infection, such as COVID-19, and provides Public Health the opportunity to intervene as soon as possible.”
Those choosing to opt-in for the BioButton will be required to take a PCR test five days after entry, and if the result comes back negative, they will be able to leave their quarantine once they continue to wear the sensor for a further nine days. The government will also use data gathered from phase one to further improve the further re-opening stages.
[Featured Photo: Marc Babin/Unsplash]