14 TCHTA MEMBERS APPROVED AS COVID-19 TESTING CENTRES
PRESS RELEASE: With the recent Center for Disease Control announcement of new testing requirements for travellers entering the United States, our tourism-dependent destination was faced with an immediate need for an increase in testing capacity to provide visitors convenient access to COVID-19 testing.
The Ministry of Health welcomed the Turks & Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association to complement the make-up of a Task Force assembled to develop a strategy that would significantly bolster the country’s capacity for testing. TCHTA members, led by President Todd Foss, quickly rallied and offered assistance for a timely solution.
While Turks and Caicos is fortunate to be one of the first destinations in the region to roll out a COVID-19 vaccine program, the need for visitors to test prior to their return home could easily threaten the vitality of the hospitality sector, already fragile due to the effects of the global pandemic.
The Ministry of Health thoughtfully and swiftly rolled out a certification programme with strict requirements enabling the certification of resorts and businesses as testing sites. An inspection and training programme was dispatched soon after, and MOH personnel ensured designated staff members at all properties were guided in the administration of the Lateral Flow Antigen tests accepted by the US.
Through this remarkable partnership, the country’s testing capacity saw exponential growth in a matter of days. Fourteen (14) TCHTA members are now approved testing sites with more applications currently being processed. Those members are: Amanyara Resort, Associated Medical Practices, Beaches Resort, Club Med Turkoise, COMO Parrot Cay, Flamingo Pharmacy, Grace Bay Club, Grace Bay Medical Centre, InterHealth Canada, Omnicare Medical Center, Sailrock Resort, Seven Stars Resort & Spa, The Palms, and The Shore Club.
To facilitate the needs of guests on-island departing within the first few weeks of the new requirement, TCHTA member Seven Stars Resort graciously provided a portion of their on-island kits to other approved testing sites, ensuring guests convenient and timely access to testing.
President Todd Foss stated, “It was inspiring to see the public and private sectors working so well together in order to solve yet another serious threat to the economy of the island”.
The association is also working to educate members and their teams on the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine and TCI’s vaccination programme. Ms. Alrisa Gardiner, Primary Health Care Manager of the Ministry of Health, was invited to lead a session for the association’s 200-member group.
learned about the properties of the vaccine, who should and should not
take the vaccine, the importance of herd immunity and more. To
date thousands of residents have received their first doses of the vaccine
in Turks and Caicos in just a few weeks.
The Turks and Caicos Islands is a recipient of the Safe Travels Stamp issued by the World Travel Council. With the country’s vaccine roll-out and the increased testing capabilities, TCI proudly maintains its designation as one of the safest and most convenient places to travel to.
With a firm commitment to the sustainability and longevity of this country’s leading sector, the TCHTA is proud to partner with Government and the Ministry of Health in these efforts to ensure the protection and continued strengthening of the industry and brand TCI.
Energy & Utilities Commissioner says new legislation will help to stabilize energy costs in Turks & Caicos Islands
Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands – Thursday, 30th November 2023: The Energy and Utilities Department (EUD) of the Turks and Caicos Islands, today reminds the public that the comprehensive Renewable Energy Legislation is currently before the House of Assembly and that the Legislation not only addresses the existing challenges posed by fuel price volatility but also lays the foundation for a sustainable and resilient energy future for the TCI.
In a recent press release, FortisTCI cited global factors such as production cuts and increased demand for fuel, leading to a surge in market prices. The EUD acknowledging these challenges thanks our power supplier for its proactivity when it comes to informing consumers of any changes in the cost of electricity. Further, the Government of Turks and Caicos wants residents and guests to know that it is committed to taking proactive measures that will transform the energy landscape through robust Renewable Energy Legislation.
In that vein, Delano Arthur, the new Energy and Utilities Commissioner looks forward to working with FortisTCI in the upcoming days to find innovative and collaborative solutions to reduce the cost of Fuel and Energy in the Turks and Caicos Islands. This initiative aims to not only mitigate the impact of volatile fuel prices but also secures a sustainable, reliable and affordable energy future for all of us.
Key components of the Renewable Energy Legislation include:
- Integrated Resource Plans: A formal planning process to prioritise renewable energy in addressing evolving energy needs.
- Competitive Tendering Process: Government-run initiatives to promote healthy renewable energy competition, achieve low-cost energy, and meet Paris Agreement goals.
- Administrative and Regulatory Measures: Establishing clear processes and responsibilities for all players who are in the renewable energy market.
- Licensing and Safety Standards: Comprehensive licensing provisions to ensure accountability and safety standards for renewable energy systems.
- Net Billing Program: Allowing building owners to self-generate and sell surplus electricity back to the grid.
The Renewable Energy Legislation serves as a mitigation against volatile fuel prices. By transitioning to cleaner energy sources and fostering a diverse renewable energy infrastructure, these Islands aim to reduce dependency on fossil fuels. The competitive tendering process introduced in the legislation ensures the selection of the most cost-effective renewable energy solutions, contributing to energy affordability and stability.
As the Islands invest in renewable energy, the increased share of clean, locally produced electricity provides a stable alternative to fluctuating fuel prices. The Net Billing Programme further incentivises distributed energy generation, offering a predictable path for building owners to contribute to the grid and receive compensation, thus reducing reliance on traditional fuel sources.
For further information, please contact:
Delano R. Arthur
Energy and Utilities Department
Turks and Caicos Islands Government
CARICOM Sec Gen speaks on Gender Based Violence
“Everyone must continue to invest in preventing violence against our women and girls (VAWG). It is an investment in our shared future,” were the words of Dr. Carla N. Barnett, CARICOM Secretary-General, as she reiterated the need for solutions against VAWG.
She called attention to VAWG as she gave a speech surrounding the annual campaign “16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence,” which runs from November 25 to December 10, 2023.
Barnett expresses the well-known fact that VAWG is one of the most prevalent issues affecting all corners of society.
“VAWG remains one of the most pervasive forms of human rights violations in the world and cuts across all races, cultures, genders, and educational backgrounds,” she maintained, as she continued to point out the sad reality that this is still a major issue despite regional and global policies.
“Despite the existence of regional and global policies and legislation to combat VAWG, weak enforcement and discriminatory practices remain significant barriers to ending VAWG.”
The Secretary-General highlighted statistics for VAWG, bringing attention to how serious and embedded this issue is in society.
She said that globally, 736 million women—nearly one in three—have experienced violence—physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence, non-partner sexual violence, or even both.
For the Caribbean region, she said surveys conducted between 2016 and 2019 inform us that one in two women experience intimate partner violence, which is higher than the global average.
In continuation, Barnett expressed that the campaign calls everyone to action against VAWG, including “development partners, civil society organizations, women’s organizations, youth, the private sector, and the media.” Also, world governments are being asked to share how they are investing in gender-based violence prevention.
Ending her address, the Secretary-General urged everyone to wear the color orange for the duration of the campaign, as well as on the 25th of each month, “as a symbol of hope for a brighter future where women and girls live free from violence.”
Sea Patrol Vessels Approved by Cabinet, October 11 Meeting
#TurksandCaicos, November 25, 2023 – Her Excellency the Governor, Dileeni Daniel-Selvaratnam, chaired the 26th meeting of Cabinet on Wednesday, 11 October 2023 at the Governor’s Office, Providenciales.
All Members were present except the Hon. Josephine Connolly.
- Approved the Consultation Report on the Proposed Amendments to the Turks and Caicos Islands Immigration Ordinance with amendments and agreed for the amended document to be brought back to Cabinet for final approval for onward submission to the House of Assembly.
- Approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Turks and Caicos Islands Government (TCIG) and Geta Crew Holding Ltd. for a mixed use development project on the island of Grand Turk, with the view of entering into a Development Agreement as per the Encouragement of Development Ordinance and the National Investment Policy.
- Approved the renewal of rental lease agreement, for various Government offices, between TCIG and Waterloo Property Management, Grand Turk.
- Approved the awarding of the following contracts:
- PN 005694, TR 23/13, Furniture and Equipment for NJS Francis Building; and
- PN 005696, TR 22/10, Purchase of Patrol Vessels.
- It noted the update from Her Excellency the Governor regarding the upcoming visit of UK Ministers to the Turks and Caicos Islands.
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