#Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands – March 23, 2020 — Sandals Resorts International has had to close all 21 of its Caribbean hotels including its family all-inclusive resort in the Turks and Caicos Islands – Beaches Resort Villages and Spa – due to the travel industry free-fall following the disastrous impact of coronavirus, and the message from their board room is the industry and the SRI resorts will bounce back.
“Our view remains optimistic. Travel is resilient and so is Sandals Resorts. We are proud to be a brand that customers and team members can trust,” said Sandals Resort in a media release issued over the weekend.
Beaches Resort Villages & Spa in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos will close a week from today; March 30, 2020 just like the other 20 properties in countries namely: The Bahamas, St. Lucia, Barbados, Grenada, Antigua and Barbuda and Jamaica.
The properties will remain closed until May 15, 2020, said the statement.
“We are saddened by the impact that COVID-19 is having on the world. If we could have, we would have remained open to welcome guests and for the benefit of our team members but airline disruptions and airport closures coupled with recent global health warnings have forced us to temporarily close.”
Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart, Sandals Chairman described the decision as ‘difficult’ for the company which employs well over 10,000 people across the region.
The coronavirus pandemic, which has infected nearly 250,000 people, with a death toll of over 15,000 worldwide is also an economic catastrophe.
Cruise ships, since early March discontinued sailings globally until April 30 and international flights last week began suspension of service, which will last until May.
The Turks and Caicos Islands Government, on Friday announced emergency orders which take effect at midnight (March 24) and which bar inbound visitors at both sea ports and air ports.
Sandals Resorts, in that statement reminded that emergencies are nothing new for the company.
“We have been in business for nearly four decades and have seen our share of many kinds of disruptions, from natural events to various health emergencies. Right now, as we make this transition, our main priority is the health and well-being of all of our team members and valued guests. We will use this temporary closure to embark on various improvement projects both front and back of house, so that when the time comes, we can welcome guests with open arms and an even more elevated experience.”
It is reported that the TCI Government is broadening its economic stimulus plan; details have not yet been unveiled.
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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