#GrandTurk, Turks and Caicos Islands – March 10, 2020 — Carnival Cruise lines today said it is not true that there are plans to cancel all of its branded dockings into Grand Turk until May 2020; but this week three of its ships have been re-routed to another destination due to ongoing discussions about COVID-19 protocols with the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Magnetic Media was informed that the cruise line company and government are working through issues arising from COVID-19 public health measures which, on March 6, resulted in a tense standoff between the cruise company and the Turks and Caicos Islands Government, TCIG.
In a media statement, Carnival Cruise Line said: “While Carnival Cruise Line has elevated our screening and onboard protocols, we remain uncertain about Grand Turk policies pertaining to cruise ship visits. Consequently, we have decided to cancel the three calls at the island that were scheduled this week and calls for Carnival Magic, Carnival Horizon and Carnival Breeze are being replaced by a visit to Nassau. We are continuing our dialogue with Grand Turk officials and hope to have a resolution soon.”
Carnival Magic was denied permission to dock and two passengers described as being in need of emergency medical evacuation were also denied entry by TCI Health officials.
A media statement on Friday explained, “…it was immediately issued an official notice of refusal for docking by the EHD, and no passengers or crew were allowed to disembark. This refusal was as a result of the mandatory Maritime Declaration of Health (MDH) document, issued by the ship to health officials in TCI, which showed cases of influenza-like symptoms on board.”
Still, the medivacs did eventually did take place and two passengers disembarked the ship in Grand Turk and were “placed on an aircraft”.
“This matter is now under investigation by all relevant government agencies and the public will be updated as soon as full details of this matter become cleared,” informed TCIG.
Our media company understands that neither party was pleased with the chain of events and handling of the situation; it resulted in immediate changes to the Carnival cruise calls to Grand Turk.
Carnival Magic, which was due to dock on Sunday March 8, did not and it will be the same for the Carnival Breeze and the Carnival Horizon which will replace their calls to Grand Turk this week with Nassau in The Bahamas.
Carnival said, “We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause our guests and appreciate their continued patience and understanding. Our onboard teams are dedicated to delivering a great vacation.”
The Turks and Caicos Islands Government this morning held a COVID-19 press conference where it was explained legislation has been amended to encompass the new coronavirus. Mandatory reporting of the disease by medical centres and government has broader powers of quarantine – forcibly if necessary – of people exhibiting signs, symptoms or confirmed to have the highly contagious virus.
However, there was noticeably no mention of the controversy which erupted on Friday with Carnival Cruise Line despite the presence of the HE Anya Williams, Acting Governor; Hon Sharlene Robinson, the Premier and Finance Minister; Hon Edwin Astwood, the Health & Human Services Minister and Hon Ralph Higgs, the Tourism Minister all being present at the high-level news conference.
TCI Man tries to escape major Gun Trafficking case, caught in Provo Airport
Freelance Court Correspondent
#TurksandCaicos, March 1, 2024 – He was reportedly trying to flee the Turks and Caicos last Thursday February 16 and now he is arrested and charged as among the people allegedly part of a gun smuggling ring. GINO GERBEX, who was caught in the airport trying to evade authorities is the brother of LORENZO GERBEX. Lorenzo has already been before the courts and is granted $20,000.00 bail with conditions.
Gino Gerbex is the older brother and was checked in for a flight out of the TCI when he was taken into police custody and taken before the Court to face gun charges; the man has been remanded to Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
While one brother was on his way out of jail on bail, that is Lorenzo Gerbex; the other brother, Gino Gerbex, was on his way into prison on remand on gun conspiracy charges; that was Tuesday February 20.
Both brothers are formally charged with conspiring to supply firearms and ammunition following a six month long investigation.
He appeared before the Hon. Chief Magistrate Mr. Jolyon Hatmin charged with conspiring with JUMILLO ISMA, now deceased and others to supply guns and bullets in 2022 and 2023 in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
The Chief Magistrate explained to him his limitations in such an indictable case and transferred the matter to the Supreme Court for April 10th, 2024. The elder Gerbex was also remanded to that date but can apply for bail in the Supreme Court at any time.
Three others, RYAN SMITH, JAMES FERGUSON AND LORENZO GERBEX have already been charged in this conspiracy ring and with others not yet named. Smith, Ferguson and Gerbex have been granted bail.
A fourth accused SHAKEME SEYMOUR who had asked for time to consult an attorney or apply for legal aid had his matter, on Tuesday February 20th, transferred to the Supreme Court by the learned Hon. Grand Turk Resident Magistrate Ms. Patricia Arana.
He was remanded to the same Sufficiency Hearing date of April10th. He too has the right to apply to the Supreme Court for bail.
It is anticipated that the older GERBEX brother will be granted bail in a matter of days.
It is not clear if officers of the Serious Crimes Unit have exhausted their arrest list in this matter, evolving from the reported discovery of a cell phone found in a white Fuga car in 2021, believed to be left behind when Isma fled the car.
Jumilla Isma was gunned down in October 2023 mere yards away from the departure terminal of the Providenciales International Airport; he too was trying to flee the Turks and Caicos Islands on a British Airways flight but was murdered, along with another young man, Mike Forbes, before he could board the plane.
GOVERNMENT CONDEMNS SICK OUT ACTION OF AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLERS
PROVIDENCIALES, TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS (March 1st, 2024): The Turks and Caicos Islands Airports Authority (TCIAA) assure the travelling public that all measures are being implemented to mitigate the sick out action by Air Traffic Controllers at the Howard Hamilton International Airport.
All agencies – The Office of the Governor, The Office of the Premier, The TCIAA, The Turks and Caicos Royal Police Force, Experience Turks and Caicos – are working together to ensure that our travellers are not inconvenienced.
Our law enforcement partners, the Royal Turks and Caicos Police Force have affirmed their commitment to ensure the safety and security of travellers, airport personnel and the TCI community amidst the challenges posed by the action of the Air Traffic Controllers and are working with all partners to ensure safety.
All travellers are advised to check with their relevant airlines for any possible delays.
Industrial Action at TCI Airport
Hon. Edwin A. Astwood
Leader of the Opposition
The leadership of the People’s Democratic Movement is currently monitoring the ongoing industrial action at the Howard Hamilton International Airport, our nation’s primary gateway. It is disheartening to know that our workers’ job dissatisfactions, in particular the Air Traffic controllers, have reached a point where they saw that it was in their best interest to take this stance here today.
The PDM believes in being proactive rather than reactive, and that discussions to ensure the workers’ satisfaction at the Howard Hamilton International Airport, should be ongoing, and discrepancies and complaints should be addressed at their earliest time to minimize dissatisfaction.
Delays at the airport are not good for anyone: not good for our people who have to travel to and from our family islands, not good for persons traveling to seek medical attention, not good for visitors leaving to return home, not good for visitors who have chosen the Turks & Caicos Islands and have the choice to cancel and go to another destination to go on vacation, not good for the taxi/tour operators and our people working in the tourism industry, and not good for the image of the country.
This also underscores the critical need to engage the International Labor Organization (ILO) to conduct a thorough assessment of our outdated labor laws. This review must encompass both the public and private sectors to safeguard against any exploitation, mistreatment, or under-compensating of workers in our country,
The People’s Democratic Movement is dedicated to this cause and is committed to formally engaging the ILO to conduct a comprehensive review of our labor laws within the first 30-60 days of assuming Office as the new government of these islands. Additionally, we stand steadfast in implementing any recommendations for improving employee well-being, job satisfaction, and productivity, while also providing the environment for business long-term success.
By adopting a comprehensive approach that considers the needs of both the workers and the businesses, the Peoples’ Democratic Movement believes that our country can create a balanced regulatory framework that supports economic growth, protects workers’ rights, and fosters a fair and sustainable work environment for all stakeholders.
The PDM is the ANSWER…
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