TCI: Salt Cay is first island OPEN; ZERO for Covid & 95% Vaccine Uptake
#TurksandCaicos, May 30, 2021 – Parrot Cay is the first island in the Turks and Caicos to have all of its residents fully vaccinated, but Salt Cay is the first island to be fully opened due to its outstanding uptake of the Covid-19 vaccine. The small population of under 70 people are nearly all vaccinated; only three residents are not inoculated for the Coronavirus.
Hon. E. Jay Saunders, Minister of Health and Deputy Premier during his post Cabinet press conference made the announcement; revealing that 66 people in Salt Cay have been inoculated for the Coronavirus, which is just about everyone. The Turks and Caicos will need that fourth batch of vaccines through Public Health England in order to hit the target percentage, but the vaccine uptake in Salt Cay has put the island out of the hot zone.
“We are now looking at the phased reopening of the economy and I’ve asked the PS of Health to prepare a paper for next cabinet. I’ve said that once we get to 70 per cent we will fully reopen the economy. As you can see with Salt Cay, some islands are doing better than others and we are going to start off by opening up Salt Cay,” said the Hon E. Jay Saunders, Minster of Health during a media conference on May 20 held at the Office of the .
Ironically, the sleepy community of Salt Cay is now the only island in the TCI which is OPEN; no face covering requirement, no more curfews or restrictions on businesses, churches, weddings, funerals or the school when it comes to capacity, social gatherings are permitted and business hours are no longer capped at 10 pm and you can stay out as late as you’d like on Salt Cay.
“So the Cabinet yesterday (May 19) approved amendments to the Public and Environmental Health regulations for Salt Cay and we are opening up Salt Cay. And as of Monday (May 24), Salt Cay is fully open and not only is Salt Cay open to its residents, Salt Cay is open for business, particularly those who are vaccinated. If you go to Salt Cay, and you’re fully vaccinated you don’t have to worry about Covid protocols,” informed Hon E. Jay Saunders.
Visitors to Salt Cay, who are un-vaccinated, will have to maintain donning of a face covering said the Deputy Premier.
The official Cabinet report informed: “Approved amendments to the Public and Environmental Health Regulations for Salt Cay only, following their over 95% vaccination programme, including: a) Curfew be lifted completely on the island of Salt Cay, b) Restrictions on business to cease, c) Religious places of worship-no restrictions, d) Funeral services and burial grounds-no restrictions, e) Restrictions on social activities to cease, f) Weddings-restrictions to cease, g) Public beaches-restrictions to cease, h) Remove mask mandate and penalties for residents of Salt Cay and individuals fully vaccinated only and i) The establishment of protocols for those visiting the island who are not vaccinated.”
Today, Turks and Caicos has seven active cases of Covid-19 with the tiny island of Salt Cay, never having recorded not even one case of the coronavirus.
Photo by Paradise on Salt Cay
Three Days to NIB Rate Increase for 2023
By Dana Malcolm
#TurksandCaicos, March 29, 2023 – On April 1st, the second round of increases on contributions at the National Insurance Board will kick in for the Turks and Caicos workforce. Announced last year, the increases were instituted to keep the NIB from running out of money by 2027 as it services a population that is living longer with contributions that had not been increased in 30 years.
As the Government’s new financial year begins, increases at NIB will mean a higher cost for doing business and a higher cost for running the Government.
The private sector is expected to pay contributions at a rate of 11 percent on your taxable income. The hike is up from last year’s 10 per cent; six percent of which is to be paid by the Employer and five percent is to be paid by the Employee. For wages of $2000, this will mean a $200 improvement in income per month to the NIB. As for the burn on residents’ pockets, based on a minimum wage of $1200 monthly salary, that’s at least $60 dollars a month and $720 per year.
Public sector rates will move to 10.15 percent up from 9.15 per cent with the worker paying 4.575 per cent and the Government paying 5.575 per cent; that’s $54 a month and $648 a year at minimum wage.
The NIB rate as of April 1, 2023, will jump to 9 percent for self-employed individuals; For self-employed individuals at minimum wage, that is $108 dollars a month or $1296 per year.
As taxable incomes increase so will the contribution.
The increases follow a 2019 Actuarial review, undertaken every three years, which unearthed that the NIB was facing a dismal future, possible collapse. Contribution rates were growing at a rate much slower than NIB expenses, which included beneficiary payouts. On that trajectory, the NIB’s earnings would be eclipsed by its income by 2027, forcing the worker protection plan to draw down on money saved for economic shocks like Covid-19.
Unsurprisingly, this was deemed untenable, and an immediate increase was recommended.
Despite this scramble to boost earnings, the NIB has simultaneously increased payouts. Payouts for pensions, funeral grants, maternity grants and more will all attract bigger sums.
These incremental increases on contributions and payouts were all consultant recommendations, informed statements from the Board.
Work of NAECOB critical in ensuring high standards in education, says Minister Hanna-Martin
Bahamas Golden Jubilee Events Announced, Celebrations Across 33 Islands & Cays
#TheBahamas, March 27, 2023 – As the 50th anniversary of our nation’s independence approaches, Bahamians everywhere are teeming with excitement and expectancy around the year-long celebrations set by The National Independence Secretariat.
Yesterday, the Prime Minister joined H.E Leslia Miller Brice, Chair of The National Independence Secretariat to unveil the Calendar of Events for the 50th Independence celebrations.
The calendar comprises a host of events, initiatives and recommendations for celebrations throughout all 33 islands of The Bahamas.
At this jubilant occasion the PM stated, “Celebrating independence is about acknowledging the greatness around us, the greatness within us, and the greatness ahead of us.
We are Bahamians. That identity is special.”
View the newly released calendar of events here:
FIND US ON FACEBOOK
Caribbean News1 week ago
TCI Moving to Catch Up in Clean Energy Race, attends CDB Conference
Health1 week ago
ChikV is back! The Americas see sharp increase and nearly 100 deaths
Uncategorized4 days ago
Lifting of COVID Vaccine Mandate is ‘Game Changer’ for Tourism & Real Estate says Christie’s
Uncategorized1 week ago
Banks fail, causing ripple effects but what of the Turks & Caicos banking security
Uncategorized5 days ago
JAMAICA: Tourism Ministry to Embark on Islandwide Consultations
Uncategorized7 days ago
Uton Graham, Bars Manager at BTC masters his mix with training the next generation
Uncategorized6 days ago
United States Works to Combat Gun Trafficking in the Caribbean Region
Uncategorized7 days ago
BTC Celebrates International Women’s Day, Embrace Equity