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10 IMMIGRATION KIOSKS INSTALLED AT SANGSTER INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

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MONTEGO BAY, Dec. 11 (JIS): Ten automated immigration kiosks have been installed at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, St. James, which is expected to significantly reduce the processing of airline passengers.

The establishment of the 10 stations brings to 15, the number of automated immigration kiosks now in operation at the island’s two major international airports under a US$2 million project, which is being funded by the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF). Five kiosks were opened at Norman Manley International in Kingston last month.

Tourism and Entertainment Minister, Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill, who commissioned the kiosks into service, said they are expected to reduce the processing time for travellers to less than one minute.

He informed that some 23,000 travellers are expected to use the facilities during the month of December.
The kiosks use an advanced passenger information system (APIS), which

Dr. McNeill said, is among the best in the world. Minister McNeill said that Jamaica is one of the first countries in the Caribbean to utilize it “and we are proud of that.”

The kiosks project involves partnership with the Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA), through the Ministry of National Security, in reducing congestion at Immigration and Customs during peak periods.
Dr. McNeill said the partnership, which started two years ago, resulted in the formation of a task force, which has been working on a number of projects.

He noted that as part of the initiative, keen attention has been placed on boosting the efficiency of the PICA through training and the use of modern technology.

“Last year, we were able…to remove the outgoing immigration from our airports…what we have been able to do is to safeguard our borders while at the same time…allow for the smooth passage of persons,” he said.
Meanwhile, Minister McNeill said work is continuing on reconfiguring the immigration form to make it more user friendly for the travelling public.

He said the revamping is being done in collaboration with various stakeholders led by the Ministry of National Security and PICA.

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Health

Woman dies on Tuesday; 32nd Covid Death for Turks & Caicos

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, January 20, 2022 – The Turks and Caicos has recorded its 32nd death related to COVID-19.

A Ministry of Health press release informed that the individual who was in quarantine in Grand Turk and requested emergency aid on Tuesday; response came from the public health team in Grand Turk.

The person, who we are told is a special needs young woman – was unvaccinated and had underlying medical conditions.

The death rate in the Turks and Caicos of both vaccinated and unvaccinated persons has climbed alarmingly this year.  In the 21-month period from March 2020 when the country recorded its first case to December 2021, there were 26 deaths recorded in the TCI.

In the 19 days since the start of 2022 that number has increased to 32; which means six deaths already in January.

 

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Bahamas News

Cruising should slow down says PAHO

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

‘Slow down on Cruising’, that’s the word from the Pan American Health Organization, PAHO in their latest recent press conference.

Dr. Ciro Ugarte Director of Health Emergencies at the PAHO was referring to the Bahamas but made sure to note that the advice was highly relevant to many countries in the times of omicron.

“In the context of intense transmission, due to the Omicron variant as we have highlighted several times. It is just logical to suspend or at least limit the cruise ship traffic as an outbreak on board might end up exceedingly high and probably will go beyond the capacity of local health services”

Both the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos are experiencing a massive uptick in cases and several warnings regarding cruise travel have been issued by the US Centers for Disease Control.

Cruising just resumed for many regional countries this past Summer, Turks and Caicos was among the latest to restart on December 13.

A stop to sailing would be devastating to economies, however, ports of call like Grand Turk which are reeling with rocketing case numbers of COVID are urged to consider the suggestion of slowing down on ships by PAHO.

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Caribbean News

Cayman gets its second ‘Sir’; former Premier Alden McLaughlin knighted on Jan 1

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#Cayman, January 20, 2022 – Former Premier of Cayman Alden McLaughlin was knighted at the start of 2022; named in the Queen’s New Year Honors List. He is only the second Caymanian to have ever received a knighthood from her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Sir Vassel Johnson, received the honour in 1994; he was Cayman’s first Financial Secretary; he died in November 2008 at the age of 86.

Current Governor, Martyn Roper extended congratulations saying, “This is an outstanding personal achievement for former Premier McLaughlin, one of the most important and impactful political leaders in Cayman over the last 21 years. It is a significant moment for our islands. This historic award is only the second ever Knighthood to a Caymanian since the first in the 1990s. It is a strong signal of the respect in which Cayman is held and a visible demonstration of the progress Cayman has made as a vibrant democracy with strong good governance foundations.”

Sir McLaughlin, who is also now a QC attorney, served two terms as premier and had a career in politics that spanned 21 years. McLaughlin is known for his role in modernizing Cayman’s constitution.

Current premier G. Wayne Panton described the occasion as a unifying moment for the country saying, This is a day of celebration and great pride for all Caymanians as a son of our soil has been bestowed one of the highest honour.  Today marks a new and most unique storyline in the history of the Cayman Islands.  In considering the rarity and magnitude of this occasion, this is certainly a unifying moment for our community.”

Sir Alden McLaughlin, 60, was appointed as a Knight Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George on January 1, 2022.

 

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