#TurksandCaicos, March 25, 2021 – His Excellency the Governor, Nigel Dakin, chaired the 4th meeting of Cabinet on Monday 15 March 2021 at the Office of the Premier on Providenciales.
All members were present.
At this meeting Cabinet:
· Were updated on the state of the nation and discussed measures to further address and mitigate against any escalation of Coronavirus (Covid-19) and discussed increased testing of front line staff and the population at large.
- Approved the extension of existing control measures (curfew, business hours, capacity or persons allowed in named establishments/scenarios and ban on public and private gatherings, sporting or social activity of any description on all islands save for training for CARIFTA and by the TCIFA) on the basis of expert modelling advice.
- Approved the following new measures with effect from Wednesday 17 March until Friday 2 April unless otherwise stated:
a) Suspension of business operations for 8 or 15 days for repeat non-compliance with measures,
b) Extending the use of logbooks until 30th June 2021, and
c) Extending the ban on cruise ship arrivals until 31st August 2021.
· Approved amendments to facilitate the operation of pleasure craft. These include:
a) Pleasure craft are permitted to operate at a maximum occupancy of 30%,
b) Vessels with a capacity of 10 persons or less be limited to a maximum of six persons from outside the same household,
c) A ban on all boat parties,
d) All pleasure craft are required to register with DECR, who will also be responsible for determining the capacity of each vessel.
· Approved the appointment of Attorney Ms Elizabeth Charlton, Senior Crown Counsel, AG Chambers as a Member of the Allied Health and Pharmacy Council until 21 July 2021, replacing Ms. Chassidy Swann (Attorney).
· Approved the discontinuation of the Social Stimulus Program within the Ministry of Education, with the balance of funds to be reallocated to the purchasing of food vouchers with distribution by the TCI Conglomerate of NGOs to assist vulnerable persons.
· Noted progress with the provision of online education for all students. Approved a phased approach to the reopening of schools commencing on 22 March and 3 May 2021 depending on size of school and state of readiness. All schools with less than 200 students are allowed to return to face to face learning with schools with 200 or more students to utilize a blended approach.
· Approved the use of the Gaming Control Commission Board as a Commission appointed under the Casinos Ordinance and following the requirements of the Gaming Control Ordinance to consider an application from Desarollos Hotelco Ritz Carlton for the establishment of an in-house casino.
· Approved Supplementary Appropriation No. 3 relating to FY 20/21 reducing funding from the Public Sector Investment Program; reducing funding for specific capital projects; the transfer of funds from the Contingency Fund; and an adjustment to the recurrent expenditure. Some of the funds recovered will be used to cover the increase in retirement benefits and the increase in allocation to the economic stimulus program.
· Members discussed the implications of Supplementary Appropriation No. 3 and agreed next steps on a number of existing and new capital projects along with their associated human/funding requirements.
· In line with the process under the provisions of the Public Procurement Ordinance, approved the Procurement Board’s recommendations on the award of the following contracts:
a) TR 20/31, Consultancy Services for Valuation of the Turks and Caicos Islands Government (TCIG) Fixed Assets,
b) PN 005577, Furniture for Road Safety – Providenciales (TR 20/49) and
c) TCICAA 01/2020, Automobiles for the Turks and Caicos Civil Aviation Authority – Grand Turk (TR 20/27)
· Approved the terms of settlement, as proposed by the Attorney General, to an ongoing claim against the TCI Government.
Further information on these matters will be provided by Ministers in due course.
Woman dies on Tuesday; 32nd Covid Death for Turks & Caicos
By Dana Malcolm
#TurksandCaicos, January 20, 2022 – The Turks and Caicos has recorded its 32nd death related to COVID-19.
The person, who we are told is a special needs young woman – was unvaccinated and had underlying medical conditions.
The death rate in the Turks and Caicos of both vaccinated and unvaccinated persons has climbed alarmingly this year. In the 21-month period from March 2020 when the country recorded its first case to December 2021, there were 26 deaths recorded in the TCI.
In the 19 days since the start of 2022 that number has increased to 32; which means six deaths already in January.
Cruising should slow down says PAHO
By Dana Malcolm
‘Slow down on Cruising’, that’s the word from the Pan American Health Organization, PAHO in their latest recent press conference.
“In the context of intense transmission, due to the Omicron variant as we have highlighted several times. It is just logical to suspend or at least limit the cruise ship traffic as an outbreak on board might end up exceedingly high and probably will go beyond the capacity of local health services”
Both the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos are experiencing a massive uptick in cases and several warnings regarding cruise travel have been issued by the US Centers for Disease Control.
Cruising just resumed for many regional countries this past Summer, Turks and Caicos was among the latest to restart on December 13.
A stop to sailing would be devastating to economies, however, ports of call like Grand Turk which are reeling with rocketing case numbers of COVID are urged to consider the suggestion of slowing down on ships by PAHO.
Cayman gets its second ‘Sir’; former Premier Alden McLaughlin knighted on Jan 1
By Dana Malcolm
#Cayman, January 20, 2022 – Former Premier of Cayman Alden McLaughlin was knighted at the start of 2022; named in the Queen’s New Year Honors List. He is only the second Caymanian to have ever received a knighthood from her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Current Governor, Martyn Roper extended congratulations saying, “This is an outstanding personal achievement for former Premier McLaughlin, one of the most important and impactful political leaders in Cayman over the last 21 years. It is a significant moment for our islands. This historic award is only the second ever Knighthood to a Caymanian since the first in the 1990s. It is a strong signal of the respect in which Cayman is held and a visible demonstration of the progress Cayman has made as a vibrant democracy with strong good governance foundations.”
Sir McLaughlin, who is also now a QC attorney, served two terms as premier and had a career in politics that spanned 21 years. McLaughlin is known for his role in modernizing Cayman’s constitution.
Current premier G. Wayne Panton described the occasion as a unifying moment for the country saying, This is a day of celebration and great pride for all Caymanians as a son of our soil has been bestowed one of the highest honour. Today marks a new and most unique storyline in the history of the Cayman Islands. In considering the rarity and magnitude of this occasion, this is certainly a unifying moment for our community.”
Sir Alden McLaughlin, 60, was appointed as a Knight Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George on January 1, 2022.
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