#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.
Register of Interests of the Members of the House of Assembly
#TurksandCaicos, September 29, 2023 – The Integrity Commission advises that the Register of Interests for Members of the Turks and Caicos Islands House of Assembly, as at 31st December 2022 has been completed.
Members of the House of Assembly are required by the Turks and Caicos Islands Constitution, Section 103(2), and the Integrity Commission Ordinance (the Ordinance), as amended, Section 52(1), to file with the Commission, Statements of Registrable Interests. The Commission would, therefore, like to inform members of the public that, it has compiled the information contained in these Statements of Registrable Interests and has produced The Register of Interests 2022 for the Members of the House of Assembly, as at 31st December 2022.
The Register of Interests 2022 is now available for public inspection at the following locations:
- House of Assembly in Grand Turk
- Office of the Premier – Grand Turk and Providenciales
- Office of the Integrity Commission – Grand Turk and Providenciales (during the hours of 8:30am to 4:30pm from Mondays to Thursdays and 8:00am to 4:00pm on Fridays.)
- Office of the District Commissioner – Middle Caicos, North Caicos, Salt Cay and South Caicos.
The Register can be viewed at these locations during normal working hours or at a time that is convenient for the respective offices.
For further information or any assistance please contact the Integrity Commission:
By telephone at: 946-1941(Grand Turk Office) or 941-7847 (Providenciales Office) By e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Students not in school cite Fees as Roadblock
Dana Malcolm and Wilkie Arthur
#TurksandCaicos, September 29, 2023 – Concerning reports are coming out of Providenciales regarding the placement of students as the new term got started.
Wilkie Arthur, Magnetic Media Court Correspondent, had the opportunity to speak with several young people who were supposed to be in school. Instead, they were hanging out close to home, as they said they couldn’t afford the fees of the private schools they had been placed in.
Edgar Howell, Director of Education, during an August 31st press conference, had indicated that at least 26 students were awaiting assistance with placement in private high schools and 35 students were awaiting placements in primary schools. Parents should have heard from the ministry within days.
“The schools are full and they don’t have any more money to continue the [private] schools they were going to. So, this bright September morning these children are actually just idle,” he explained.
By law (Education Ordinance 2009), all children between four and 16 years old in the Turks and Caicos Islands are considered of ‘Compulsory School Age’ meaning, they must be enrolled in an institution.
It has long been the practice of the Ministry of Education to place students in private schools and subsidize the fees when space has run out in public schools. This year was no different.
“The Ministry continues to provide assistance to the parents through the private school subsidy program and 375 students are being assisted for the 2023/24 school year,” Howell explained.
It’s not clear if these students were a part of that number.
We have since reached out to representatives at the Turks and Caicos Ministry of Education for information on students who are not in school, how many remain unable to fit into public school classes and what provisions are in place for those students; there has been no update.
Grand Turk residents say they suffered lack attention from TCIAA
#TurksandCaicos, September 29, 2023 – Upgrades are underway at the JAGS McCartney International Airport but Grand Turk Residents say they were subject to subpar conditions for far too long; the comments came at a town hall meeting hosted by the Turks and Caicos Islands Airports Authority in the capital on Thursday September 21, at Dillon Hall.
“I am speaking on behalf of Grand Turk residents. It is unacceptable for the Airports Authority to treat residents how they do,” one resident told TCIAA executives at a town hall meeting in Grand Turk.
The airport was hit during Hurricane Fiona in late 2022, resulting in a destroyed roof and serious damage to the terminals from extensive flooding plus damage to the domestic and international arrival areas, deeming the area unfit for use.
The hurricane damage last year only exacerbated the destruction wrought by previous storms including 2008’s Hurricane Ike and 2017’s Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
The JAGS McCartney International was reopened for domestic arrivals just this past June after phase one of a restoration project. The international terminal was scheduled to open soon after but repairs are still ongoing. Residents told TCIAA executives, the work was simply not executed quickly enough.
“The lack of attention that they paid to the JAGS McCartney Airport after the hurricane, having the residents of this island come in like we’re from a third world country for months? It’s unacceptable for residents of this island for you all to leave us like that,” a resident maintained.
Ongoing updates include fixing the perimeter fence and parking lot as well as the fire station. Residents appeared grateful but cautiously optimistic.
“We see the plans that you have— which is good, and we hope that the next time we have a disaster we don’t have to be waiting for months [and] be treated like that.”
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