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40 staff sent home until October; 10 customer limit a bad taste for Mango Reef



#Providenciales – Turks and Caicos Islands – September 13, 2020 — Mango Reef, a premier restaurant in Providenciales will close temporarily and has sent 40 employees home until government either amends or lifts a COVID-19 health regulation which limits service at their sprawling site to 10 people at a time.

Mango Reef staff, photo from website

A photograph shared on social media was how the public learned of the decision by the 16-year restaurant, which is consistently ranked among the top eateries in Providenciales; having this year won a Traveller’s Choice Award from TripAdvisor.

A spokesperson for Mango Reef said the decision, by management, was made on September 10, following a visit by the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police.

Members of the Force conducted a surprise inspection to ensure Mango Reef’s compliance with the public health mandate.  At the time, two groups of tourists were attempting to lunch at Mango Reef; their combined number was over the regulated limit.


 It caused a problem, which was eventually cleared up to allow guests to be served.  Still, the experience left a bad taste in the mouth of the restaurant owner who informed staff, Mango Reef, located at Turtle Cove Marina, would close.

Other expansive restaurants are equally as incensed at the regulation which was announced on August 26 by Sean Astwood, Deputy Premier/Acting Premier.

“The 10 person limit in bars/restaurants makes no sense. It should be a percentage of capacity (be it 25%, 30% or whatever) that governs the numbers. This is how pretty much every other country in the world has governed such restrictions. For example, Mango Reef/Conch Shack are large and outdoors and should surely be allowed more than 10 people, whereas a tiny indoor downtown bar which is much, much smaller can also have 10 people but crammed into a tiny space? This is illogical to me,” said a local attorney in an email to Magnetic Media.

The Minister of Health, on Friday held a press conference, where no change to the 10 person limit was announced.  Instead the country learned that the regulation is extended another 15 days.


“Restaurants and Bars will continue from September 15th to September 30th 2020 will have a limit on patrons/customers to be no more than 10 persons at a time.  Enforcement of wearing of face coverings in public through the implementation of fines through the ticketing system which has already been developed,” said Edwin Astwood, Minister of Health. 

It means 20 days of no work, no tips, no salary for the kitchen, dining room and cleaning staff at Mango Reef.

Managers had hoped for some dialogue or a review of the rule by the Ministry of Health; but there has been “nothing”.  It is disappointing to the business which has tried to do its best by staff during the economic challenges of the coronavirus crisis, said the spokesperson.

“We have been paying staff.  Long term staff members were kept on and salaries and other bills are being paid.  We have been giving food and rent assistance.  We were surprised that our request for a meeting was refused.”

Despite the effort to stem the spread of COVID-19 through the 10 person limit regulation and other measures, Turks and Caicos has gone from 358 cases to 644 cases of COVID-19; a 180 percent surge in the virus.

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.

Bahamas News

Kamala Harris to meet with Caribbean leaders in The Bahamas



Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer



#USA, June 5, 2023 – Kamala Harris, United States Vice President will journey to Nassau Bahamas in June for a top level meeting with Caribbean  leaders, marking the first time she will visit the region since occupying office in 2021.

According to the White House in a statement, the meeting will bring attention to a range of regional issues.  Harris and the Caribbean leaders will continue talks on the shared efforts to address the climate crisis, such as promoting climate resilience and adaptation in the region and increasing energy security through clean energy.

Additionally, the statement informed that Harris’ trip “delivers on the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to advance cooperation with the Caribbean in pursuit of shared prosperity and security, and in recognition of the common bonds and interests between our nations.”

The June 8th meeting builds on and strengthens the U.S.-Caribbean Partnership to Address the Climate Crisis 2030, which was launched by the Vice President and Caribbean leaders in Los Angeles at the Summit of the Americas as further mentioned by White House Statement.

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Caribbean News

Woman who lost foot is Alexandra Truwit, Yale Grad & All American Swimmer



By Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer



#TurksandCaicos, June 5, 2023 – A champion swimmer, marathon runner, Ivy League graduate and world traveler with a huge smile– that is Alexandra Truwit; at only 22 years old, she has a whole life ahead of her, one that may have now been made exponentially harder by the loss of her foot in an incident which continues to be unconfirmed, but reported as a shark attack off the coast of Providenciales.

Magnetic Media learned Truwit, who is a very experienced swimmer, was on a private charter captained by an employee of Big Blue Collective (not a Big Blue Charter).  She was bitten by what eyewitnesses think could have been a Caribbean Reef Shark and her foot below the ankle was completely severed.

It’s a heartbreaking incident exacerbated by the young woman’s obvious love for- and proficiency in- the water.

The Yale website describes Truwit as a Two-time USA Swimming Academic All-American.  Featured as a ‘Teen Titan’ in her high school, she was one of ten young people chosen for the school’s magazine. 

Truwit, who has a twin brother, cites nail art and baking as her life joys. Already having survived ‘mono’ as a teen, she volunteers as a Special Olympics “hugger” and started a Special Olympics club at her high school.

She was airlifted from the Turks and Caicos on the day of her accident and there have been no updates on her condition so far.  Residents in the TCI and the US have expressed via social media their best wishes for the young achiever and must now wait, hoping for the best possible outcome.

One resident said, “So sorry Alexandra you had to encounter such a traumatic experience while on vacation on our beautiful Island.  I am praying for a successful surgery and speedy recovery for you, hopefully, the surgeon can work their magic for you.”

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Governor’s Appointed Member touts Civil Service Upgrade during Budget Debates



By Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer 



#TurksandCaicos, June 5, 2023 – There are sweeping changes coming to the civil service this year after years of complaints about delays and understaffing.

“For the year 2023/24, the office of the Deputy Governor has a very ambitious public sector transformation centered around improving service delivery and the customer experience.”

This came from Governors Appointed Member Willin Belliard, as he rose in the budget debates on Thursday May 18 to detail the revamp.

Phase one of E-procurement which will allow for the virtual submission of tenders is to be implemented. Along with that will come E-Jobs, a similar system touted to make job applications virtual, swift and easy.

Implementation of the Human Capital Procurement Program is also on the list of deliverables. Human capital is sorely lacking in the Turks and Caicos across the public and private sectors with hundreds of vacancies sitting open and resignations continuing to pile up.

Public servants will also find it easier to enroll into the all new Public Sector Pension Plan with the advent of a portal to remove the need for paper based applications.

The previously announced pay grading exercise is on the table to be completed and a Contract management unit has now been created to manage the delivery of projects that taxpayers are funding.

Residents of the Turks and Caicos have complained bitterly about the state of the civil service in the country for years. From police records to the treasury, the service is characterized by low staffing, frustrating wait time and long lines.

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