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Immigration Officer Deandra Dames Receives Star Award



Providenciales, 04 Nar 2016 – Immigration Officer, Ms. Deandra Dames was the first ever winner of the newly created Star Awards category – Hospitality Hero. This award goes to a frontline employee in the Public Service who exemplifies our nation’s ongoing commitment to great service, who extends a “wow” factor to our visiting guests and who rise to unexpected occasions to a positive and memorable resolution. The selection process included observation of officers’ zeal and cordiality as they interacted with the travelling public, their punctuality, attendance, and passenger feedback.

Ms. Dames joined the Public Service on November 1, 2005 as an Assistant Immigration Officer. Prior to that she served as a teacher at the Doris Robinson Primary School in Middle Caicos and worked with two private sector organizations in the Turks and Caicos Islands. When questioned as to the reason why she wanted to become an Immigration Officer after working in the private sector she cheerfully responded; “I really wanted to work in an area that will help to protect my country’s borders and to welcome genuine visitors to enjoy true paradise.”

Head of the Civil Service, Deputy Governor Anya Williams added; “On behalf of the entire public service I would like to both recognize and congratulate Ms. Deandra Dames on her stellar service as an Immigration Officer at the Providenciales Airport which was recently recognized at the Star Awards.

“The quality of the immigration function at the Providenciales Airport has significantly improved during the last few years, with positive comments continuously being received from tourist that traverse through the airport. Ms. Dames has certainly played a key role in this as she continuously demonstrates a zeal for her job and is fully cognizant of the importance of her role. We are certainly grateful to her and her colleagues for their continued service and would like to encourage them to continue serving with pride and excellence.”

Given that Immigration Officers are the first to greet visitors to the Turks and Caicos Islands, the Minister of Border Control and Employment said; “I am elated that an Immigration Officer was selected as the first ever Hospitality Hero at the annual Star Awards event. No doubt this highlights the importance of the service that staff at the Immigration Department render to our country on a daily basis.

“I have had personal experience of the warm welcome home extended to me by Ms. Dames and I have no doubt she is deserving of such an award. For this, I extend my hearty congratulations to her. I also wish to commend other serving officers for the work that they do in welcoming guest to our beautiful shores and encourage them to give of their best at all times. ”

Ministry officials including the Minister of Border Control and Employment, Permanent Secretary Mrs. Clara Gardiner and Director of Immigration, Mr. Larry Mills attended this event to celebrate with Ms. Dames on this crowning moment in her public service career.

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Caribbean News

Government Considers Vaccine Requirement for New Admissions to Infirmaries



#Jamaica, December 7, 2021 – Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, says the Government is considering a vaccine requirement for new entrants to the island’s infirmaries, once admissions resume.

“What we are looking to do is that once we start to readmit persons to the infirmaries, one of the conditions that will be laid out is that new cases coming into the infirmaries must be fully vaccinated before they are admitted,” he said in an interview with JIS News.

“We have to do that to safeguard the population in our infirmaries,” he pointed out.

He said that the Ministry is also looking at allowing visits to facilities by fully vaccinated family members during the Christmas season.

“Last year, we partnered with Digicel and we used technology as a means of allowing loved ones to communicate with their relatives inside of the infirmaries. This year, we are looking to see if we can do it on a limited, face-to-face basis, once we have agreed… where people, who would want to visit their relatives in the infirmaries… must be fully vaccinated,” he said.

“I also want to stress that they must come with a negative COVID test that is [taken within] 72 hours, and we will limit visits based on appointments,” he pointed out.

“So, you would make your appointments, you would come at the time given and we will be creating areas such as the therapeutic park [being built at the Trelawny Infirmary], as a means of allowing loved ones [to visit] during the festive season once we have worked out the protocols. That is the approach we will be taking,” the Minister outlined.

Mr. McKenzie said the Government will always be sympathetic to the plight of the poor, noting that those with loved ones inside the infirmaries can be assured that they are being cared for by a committed and dedicated team of professionals.

He said that while 70 per cent of the island’s infirmary staff has already been vaccinated, every effort is being made to get the remaining 30 per cent on board, noting that taking the vaccine has proven to be the most effective way to keep the COVID-19 pandemic under control.


Contact: Garwin Davis

Release: JIS



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Caribbean News

Minister Bartlett Elected Chair of Inter-American Committee on Tourism



#UnitedStatesofAmerica, December 7, 2021 –  Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, has been elected by acclamation as the new Chairman of the Organization of American States (OAS) Inter-American Committee on Tourism (CITUR).

Minister Bartlett came out ahead of the candidates from Paraguay and Ecuador for the chairmanship at a meeting on Tuesday (November 30).  Both countries will now serve as Vice Chair of the CITUR.

Chair of the OAS’ Inter-American Council for Integral Development, Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States (US), Audrey Marks, congratulated Minister Bartlett on behalf of the member states.

“I wish you… much success in the work that you will be leading as we begin deliberations to prepare the draft work plan based on the Declaration of Paraguay towards the reconstruction and rebuilding of tourism post coronavirus (COVID-19),” she said.

Minister Bartlett, in his response, called on all member states to work together to complete the plans and policy programmes that they had started.   This, he said, “would require a greater sense of innovation, as we cannot continue with things as they are”.

“We must now seek to find new ways to deal with new disruptions that seem destined to follow this pandemic,” he added.

Minister Bartlett thanked member states for the confidence placed in him by way of his election to the chair of the committee.  He pledged to be a strong, fruitful, and vibrant chairman and called for the support of each member state.

“We have so much to do, and I know the Americas are depending on us to chart the way to recovery and to thrive after recovery,” he said.


Contact: Derrick Scott

Release: JIS



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Facts laid out in Beach Vending Bill Debate by Tourism Minister Connolly



By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer


 #TurksandCaicos, December 7, 2021 – Tourism Minister Josephine Connolly says the policy that birthed the controversial Beach and Coastal Vending bill was conceived under the PDM administration.

Connolly was speaking in the House of Assembly on November 30 when she made the claims.  She said the policy had been around since 2020 and had been in circulation among tourism stakeholders and publicly via the DECR up to June this year.

“The bill was circulated in 2020 up to three times. In June of this year the policy was again circulated. And the DECR held meetings to discuss the policy and some of the changes.”

Connolly claimed that the policy which had been drafted by the previous administration and had then been intentionally ignored by them.

“…Mr Speaker, I met on my desk a draft policy on beach vending prepared by the previous government. It had sat there gathering dust, not because it was not needed but because the previous government did not want to deal with it,” the Minister said after laying the Bill for its second reading.

Connolly insisted however that she was up to the task of seeing the bill through.

“They let it slide; leave it for the next guy, but I am the next guy and I am not shy.”

She went on to reference a specific issue affecting vendors. She said currently, vendors only needed a business license to operate on the beach. This resulted in vendors tying up several booths and denying other vendors a chance.

She claimed the bill would fix this as each vendor would only be allowed one license to operate on the beach, thus increasing fairness.



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