Our Zika Policy:
We understand very well the risks of the Zika virus to unborn children. We are following the news & research. There is grave concern about the effects of the Zika virus on adults and unborn children. On February 1; our Principal (Jim Leavitt) flew down to Cayman to attend a Cayman Islands Tourism Association (CITA) meeting whose #1 agenda item was Zika. In May, the Cayman Islands (although having no reported cases) authorized the release of 22 million of genetically-modified males mosquitoes to “crash the population” of the Aedes Aegypti mosquito (invasive species on Cayman). The World Health Organization endorses the practice and is looking at Grand Cayman as an example for the rest of the world.
Please know that Zika is not currently a risk in Grand Cayman. Zika is a risk in the United States, and as the weather warms in the USA, it is expected to spread quickly with the growth in population of the Aedes mosquito. The World Health Organization has the USA on the list; not the Cayman Islands currently.
The hospitality industry in Grand Cayman is handling each request on a case-by-case basis and, as Grand Cayman has not had one reported case of Zika in the country; it is not a large number of cases. We have many cruise ships landing here each day with thousands of tourists visiting the island. Same with airplanes, we have 9-15 flights a day with well over 1,000 arrivals daily staying in our villas, hotels and condos.
Our standard cancellation policy is divided into two periods prior to occupancy; 1) Within 60 days and 2) Outside of 60 days.
Cancellations within 60 days (final payments already made) we cannot amend our policy for Zika-risk-related cancellations. All funds have been collected, processed, distributed to owner, managers, DOT taxes and agents. Our owners offer cancelled parties (within 60 days) for any reason to apply 50% of funds paid towards another stay at the same villa taken within 13 months. We offer trip interruption insurance to indemnify guest for risks of cancellation.
For cancellations outside 60 days; We refund half of the 50% deposit taken right way to the credit card on file….and then when/if the reservations is replaced; we refund the balance to the guest (less credit card processing fees 2.50%). FOR ZIKA- RELATED CANCELLATIONS OUTSIDE 60 DAYS OF OCCUPANCY; we will certainly ask our owners for an exception to the policy…as well as push our owners to permit you to move your vacation to another date in the future with no penalty and full credit…up to 13 months later than the planned reservation. This permits any pregnant guests to conceive at home and not to travel.
Please understand that unlike a hotel or condo; you have entered into a signed contract for real property. Similar to a short-term lease, with our company as agent. You have specific rights against the owner and vice-versa.
The trip insurance industry is pretty quiet; also case-by-case; but what we have read so far is that if a guest contracts Zika (before or during); they will pay. The fear of contracting Zika in a country that has no reported cases of Zika is not grounds for cancellation or insurance proceeds.
Grand Cayman Mosquito Research & Control Unit (MRCU)
For over 50 Years; Grand Cayman has had a professional group of etymologists, researchers, pilots and eradicators to control the mosquito population for this island of 60,000 people. It is well-funded and supervised directly by the CI Government. They regularly spray insecticides using both vehicles and crop-duster planes.
Please click www.mrcu.ky for details.
MANY other countries in the Caribbean do not have the resources to invest in this level of protection. The Cayman Islands have one of the highest GDP-Per-Capita ratios not only in the Caribbean, but in the Western Hemisphere. Three hospitals, excellent healthcare, pure water and reliable electricity/communications are the result of a much higher standard of living and investment in the future.
ZIKA Virus Prevention on Grand Cayman
Malaria, Zika, Dengue, Chikungunya, Dog heartworm and West Nile are all mosquito-borne illnesses that the MRCU seeks to control/eradicate. Regular spraying by both airplane and vehicle have kept many of these illnesses from becoming epidemic on Grand Cayman.
Grand Cayman MRCU also CAPTURES AND TESTS MOSQUITOES for all of these viruses.
ZIKA is the current illness that has the attention of the USA CDC. The December, 2015 CDC warning for ZIKA does not list the Cayman Islands as an affected country. Click CDC ZIKA WARNING for the report.
Late January, the World Health Organization named the United States as a country with confirmed cases of Zika. The Cayman Islands is not on that list.
Recent news stories in Grand Cayman Newspaper regarding Zika:
Jan 31: https://www.caymancompass.com/2016/01/31/cayman-prepares-for-zika/
Feb 2: https://www.caymancompass.com/2016/02/02/cayman-prepares-for-zika-2/
Feb 10: https://www.caymancompass.com/2016/02/09/cayman-fighting-zika-before-it-gets-here/