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First COVID-19 Death for TCI, Health workers get all clear and dozens out of quarantine

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The Ministry of Health would like to advise the public that as at 12am on 5th April, 2020:

REGRETABLY, THE TCI HAS TODAY RECORDED ITS FIRST COVID-19 DEATH. The individual was a middle-aged male with a pre-existing condition. Details of this were given in an earlier joint press release.

NEW TEST RESULTS HAVE BEEN RECEIVED, AND TCI CONTINUES TO RECORD NO NEW POSITIVE CASES SINCE OUR UPDATE AS AT 4th APRIL, 2020. On 1st April, 2020 the case definition for COVID-19 was amended for TCI; a travel history is no longer needed to fit the criteria. Given the closure of the TCI borders it is likely that new case would be as a result of local transmission.

The number of suspected cases of COVID-19 in the TCI has increased slightly to thirteen (13): The thirteen suspected cases are TCI residents returning from countries with local transmission, contacts of a confirmed case, persons presenting with severe acute respiratory infection (SARI), and persons experiencing relevant symptoms but no travel history. Three suspected cases are now under hospital care and one suspected case passed away on 3rd April, 2020.

All thirteen persons had met the WHO case definition for a suspected case of COVID-19, and those currently in quarantine/observation are experiencing symptoms. Samples have been collected and sent for testing, and we are currently awaiting results.

The increase in suspected cases over the past 24hrs is as a result of an individual who is experiencing relevant symptoms but has no recent travel history – contact tracing is underway.

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Persons under quarantine/observation (140)—The confirmed cases (4), contacts of a confirmed case (17), possible contacts of a confirmed case (10), the suspected cases (12), symptomatic person/s under investigation (1), relatives/contacts of suspected cases or persons under investigation (24), persons travelling from highly affected countries (2), TCI residents (70). Persons under observation/quarantine are either not displaying symptoms or have not meet the case definition for COVID-19.

The decrease in quarantine/observation numbers is as a result of the expiration of the quarantine period for a considerable number of individuals (mainly TCI residents who returned from overseas); and new test results received confirming individuals (TCI Hospital staff) are negative for COVID-19. All individuals and their contacts have been removed from quarantine status.

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Recently-tested staff members of the TCI hospital have consistently been included in COVID-19 statistics, suspected and quarantine figures. All 21 healthcare workers were tested, those suspected and quarantined, to ensure the safety of our valued healthcare workers and patients.

TWENTY-ONE NEW TEST RSULTS HAVE BEEN RECEIVED – ALL RESULTS ARE NEGATIVE. To date, a total of forty-eight (48) test results have been received, with forty-three (43) confirmed negative and five (5) positive confirmations. Persons confirmed not to have COVID-19, and their contacts, were moved from quarantined status and asked to continue following proper guidelines from the Ministry of Health. Those cases confirmed positive are in isolation with contact tracing aggressively continuing.

The Ministry of Health takes this opportunity to remind the public of offenses committed under section 18 of the Emergency Powers (COVID-19) Regulations 2020 in regard to false Statements/information. You do not have to be the originator of the statement/information in order to be charged under the law.

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Please note the following definitions:

• A suspected person is someone who meets the case definition as outlined by WHO and CARPHA – and is experiencing symptoms.

• A person in quarantine is an individual on island who has come from infected country(ies) or may have come in proximity to suspected or confirmed cases – and have not exhibited symptoms.

Let’s continue to reduce the risk by:
1. Washing our hands for 20secs or more
2. Practicing social distancing
3. Prepare your home, office and other surroundings by following the advice of the Ministry of Health and other credible health agencies.

For more information, please visit the Ministry of Health website, www.gov.tc/moh/coronavirus; email: COVID19@gov.tc; or call our hotline numbers, (649) 232-9444 and (649) 333-0911, if you or someone you know has symptoms or signs of COVID-19.

Magnetic Media is a Telly Award winning multi-media company specializing in creating compelling and socially uplifting TV and Radio broadcast programming as a means for advertising and public relations exposure for its clients.

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UK Passengers to Turks and Caicos Islands Increase as March Sets New Record for Air Arrival

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#TurksandCaicos, April 19, 2024 – Experience Turks and Caicos is pleased to report a notable increase in air arrivals from the United Kingdom to the Turks and Caicos Islands, signaling positive developments in our tourism landscape. While the United States continues to lead as our primary tourism source, we are encouraged by the uptick in visitors from the United Kingdom during the initial months of this year.

From January to March 2024, the Turks and Caicos Islands welcomed 3,946* arrivals from the UK and Europe, representing a substantial 105.4% increase compared to the same period in 2023. This rise can largely be attributed to the commencement of Virgin Atlantic’s non-stop flight from Heathrow, London to Providenciales, which commenced operations on November 4th, 2023.

The introduction of twice-weekly flights by both Virgin Atlantic and British Airways has enhanced accessibility, opening up new avenues for exploration within the European market. Data shows growth in arrivals from European nations such as France, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, and the Netherlands.

Projections based on ticket purchases indicate that from January to August 2024, we anticipate a total of 8,130 passengers from the UK, reflecting a substantial 54 percent increase year over year. Additionally, France is expected to contribute 761 visitors (a 13 percent increase), followed by Italy with 513 passengers and Germany with 436 passengers, each representing a notable 55 percent increase year over year.

Expressing satisfaction at this development, the Honourable Josephine Connolly, Minister of Tourism, said: “The increase in UK and European arrivals reflects our concerted efforts to diversify our tourism offerings and expand our reach. We welcome visitors from the UK and beyond to experience the beauty of our islands and the warmth of our hospitality.”

The surge in arrivals from the UK and Europe has contributed to a record-breaking March, with 77,559 air arrivals overall, marking a 15.57% increase over March 2023. Year to date, the islands have welcomed 204,237 air arrivals, demonstrating steady growth.

Complementing the increase in arrivals has been an increase in online search activity from most key markets. There is strong evidence to suggest that these searches are converting into bookings, based on the current and forecasted air passenger arrivals. For US-based travelers, according to Google Flights, the Turks and Caicos Islands is the most searched destination for couples and family vacations and in the top five for solo travelers for Summer 2024.

Arrivals to the Turks and Caicos Islands is projected to remain strong with a 24% year-on-year increase* through August, signaling that the Turks and Caicos Islands tourism industry will remain active throughout the year.

Cruise numbers for March 2024 were the highest for the year so far with 98, 161* passengers, a decrease of 1.88% from March 2023 which saw 100, 047 passengers arriving at the Grand Turk Cruise Centre.

As we navigate these encouraging trends, Experience Turks and Caicos remain steadfast in our commitment to sustainable tourism development and the preservation of our natural and cultural heritage.

*These are provisional figures *Data courtesy Amadeus Destination Insights Report 202

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Crown Land acreage to grow according to ISU progress report

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Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer 

 

#TurksandCaicos, April 19, 2024 – Slow but steady is how the ISU is carrying out its mandate to reclaim the 544 acres of illegally occupied land in the Turks and Caicos, revealing that 2.4 percent is now cleared and back under the control of its rightful owners; that 2.4% represents 13.15 acres of the initial 544.46.

In an April 11 newsletter discussing its 2023 year in review, the ISU revealed that at the completion of its mandate, almost half the land would go back to the hands of non-Crown landowners as the Unit is undertaking removals on private land, having been beseeched by the landowners who were dealing with squatters

It is expected that of the 544 acres of land, 11 percent will go back to the government 42 percent will go back to private landowners 45 percent was listed as ‘mixed’ and 2 percent had no clear owner.

Magnetic Media has asked if private owners are covering their own costs when it comes to clearing squatters from their properties.

It would come as no surprise to residents that the vast majority of informal settlements (37) were discovered in Providenciales, another nine were found in Grand Turk and a single settlement in North Caicos.

The Turks and Caicos has the unsavory distinction of being the only UK territory where shanty towns or informal settlements are so firmly established.

It’s not just irregular migrants desperate for a place to call home who are perpetuating the land crisis. Legitimate residents have been found in breach as well according to sources speaking to the news team.

According to the newly minted ISU, here is what will happen if you build on a lot without direction from the Planning Department.

You will be served an eviction notice if your structure is found to be illegally occupying Crown Land.  The ISU says then, you will have one month to secure other accommodation and leave.

If the structure is unoccupied after 28 days, reclamation procedures will commence.

If the structure is occupied, individuals will be evicted before reclamation, the ISU says.

The ISU anticipates that there will be claims against eviction orders and is advising people who wish to contest the notice, visit a Crown Land Unit office.

Those contests came in a flood following eviction notices in November 2023 and the Crown Land Unit is still trying to straighten them out with a promise that residents will be treated fairly.

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‘Incredible Environment’ for Real Estate continues for Turks and Caicos

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Garfield Ekon

Staff Writer

 

 

#TurksandCaicos, April 18, 2024 – Tourism and real estate sales continue to boom in the Turks and Caicos Island (TCI), over other Caribbean territories, with sales numbers and pre-construction sales numbers reflecting an incredible environment.

There are hosts of opportunities for new development offerings, some currently under construction and some that are about to announce their plans. A number of the larger parcels of beachfront land in Providenciales will be reshaped into high-end, branded hotels, and residences to keep pace with the seemingly endless demand for investment and vacation properties.

In a report by the Turks & Caicos Sotheby’s International Realty, it states that “our superb tourism offerings continue to attract A-listers from around the globe as seen throughout the social media channels as well as buyers looking for a place to call home amongst the abundant turquoise blue ocean views throughout, the temperate climate, and tranquil laid-back Caribbean atmosphere,” the report said.

It added that the first quarter of this year witnessed another major groundbreaking celebration in Providenciales, by the same developers of The Ritz-Carlton Residences with The St Regis on Grace Bay, as well as the formal public sales launch by Grace Bay Resorts with The Point.

The two new luxury developments have already recorded over 70% (St Regis Tower I of three towers) and 65% (The Point) units sold/reserved. The Loren on Turtle Cove, which broke ground in June 2023, is showing a unit sales production of 52%, and Andaz Turks & Caicos after officially breaking ground last year, is reporting unit sales production at 65%. ARC at South Bank is 50% sold with construction to start in May of this year.

“This new condominium inventory is satiating the overdue demand with buyers who are willing to wait for up to three years for the completion of the resort properties. We are also gaining momentum on some of the boutique new developments, such as Villas at Blue Mountain, with multiple pre-sales which will soon start construction, and The Summit at Blue Mountain, which has strong momentum and is well under construction,” the report further added.

While the pre-construction sales in the Condominium Sector are high and not officially recorded within our TCREA MLS statistics, in this 1st Quarter, the re-sale condominium sales volume was $18M, 25%-65% lower in comparison to the past three years with the average price remaining high at $1.1M which resulted in a $/SF of $1,100 at the luxury end (+$1.5M).

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