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Time Zone and Daylight Savings in Cayman

The USA enjoys daylight savings, but the Cayman Islands, being nearer to the equator, has fairly equal periods of day and night year round. There’s only about an hour’s difference in daylight between June 20th and December 20th. So all year, Cayman has the same time, -5 hours Coordinated Universal time (UTC). This means the Islands share Eastern Standard Time (EST= -5 UTC) with Miami and New York from November through April. When the USA switches to Daylight Savings Time in April, Cayman then shares Central Daylight Time (CDT= -5 UTC) with Chicago and Houston.

This doesn’t cause too much confusion – it’s automatically factored into airline tickets. Residents sometimes think in terms of Miami time. Half the year, we have the same time as Miami; half the year, we’re an hour behind Miami. However, being aware of the situation is important if you have to call California before noon Pacific Time.

Residents also notice what happens with American television schedules: since most television viewed locally is picked up from the east coast of the USA, during EST network evening programming begins at 8pm, and during CDT the same programming starts at 7pm.