Cayman Islands Will Make Arriving Passengers Wear A “BioButton” To Avoid Quarantine

When the Cayman Islands re-open to tourism in September, they require a negative Covid-19 PCR test from within 72 hours of flying and will offer arriving passengers a choice:

  • 14 day quarantine in government facility
  • 5 day quarantine at their own accommodation
  • Wear a ‘biobutton’ for 14 days, and take a Covid-19 test five days after arrival

The biobutton that lets tourists avoid quarantine will “passively monitor incoming travellers for early symptoms associated with COVID-19.” The device monitors heart and respiratory rate as well as skin temperature.

The health sensors communicate via Bluetooth with the BioMobile™ smartphone app as well as BioHubs, which can be placed at the wearer’s accommodations to monitor the user’s whereabouts during a period of self-isolation.

Proximity and duration to other BioButton devices can be reported to enhance contact tracing programmes.

The government hasn’t yet said how they’ll protect medical privacy or what they’ll charge for the ‘biobutton’ option.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. What if you get a sunburn? Does that set off the bio-button’s skin tem sensor with a false positive?

  2. Very interesting. There are numerous companies developing biomedical devices to track early signs of illness. This seems like a nice way to implement that, provide is as an option rather than quarantine. Ideally, covid tests at arrival, or better yet, pre-departure (at the airport) with instant results will be the best case scenario for travel. Until we get to that point, its good for travelers to have another option such as this device.

    Further speculation, companies can provide these types of devices (smartwatch, clip-on, etc.) to their employees to track body temperature, heart rate, etc. Using AI and machine learning, the software will be able to determine the average for each user, and inform them of any abnormalities. I see this option as a possibility for professionals who need to go physically to work.

  3. @John, October is too soon for you to be making that kind of a trip. I’d reschedule that trip to at least the spring of 2021.

  4. This is for a virus in which 98% of people who get it have mild symptoms. It’s craziness. It is more serious than the typical flu but it is still at that level. Bio markers for 14 days? Government reading your vital signs? I rather the Cayman Islands collapsed into the ocean than do what it is doing. The media hype around coronavirus is what is deadliest.

  5. Gary’s summary is a not quite clear, per the article. There seem to be two options: the 14 day quarantine or the 5 day self quarantine with the button. The button is not a third choice that avoids any quarantine. So any trip 5 days or less would involve quarantine the whole time. The button does seem interesting and I wonder if it would be adopted more broadly. However based on the picture in the Cayman Times article, it is bulkier and larger than I would have expected, and if you are wearing it on a beach holiday, you’ll end up with some interesting tan lines. Also, as a woman, I’m trying to figure out the placement–it looks like it would just sit on a boob, which would be, um, interesting…

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