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Lifting of COVID Vaccine Mandate is ‘Game Changer’ for Tourism & Real Estate says Christie’s



By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer



#TurksandCaicos, March 27, 2023 – A year after most of the rest of the world, the Turks and Caicos has dropped its mandate requiring vaccination for entry into the county. The announcement was made by Shaun Malcolm, Minister of Health and Human Services in a March 24th statement carried live on Facebook.

It’s a long awaited decision for many.

Robert Greenwood of Christie’s International Realty describes the move as a ‘game changer’ in a press release.

“For individuals interested in purchasing property in the Turks and Caicos Islands, the removal of the COVID testing requirement is a game-changer. Previously, potential buyers had to navigate the challenges of obtaining a negative COVID test result before traveling to the Islands, which could be a significant deterrent for some.”

The move comes as the TCI revels in unprecedented interest evidenced by record real estate sales in 2021 and comparable sales in 2022.

It also means unvaccinated homeowners will finally be able to see their properties after more than two years and it opens the door, wide, to new investors.

“With the new policy in place, individuals can now travel to the Islands more easily and view properties in person, allowing for a more streamlined and efficient purchasing process.”

Greenwood, in sharing the news, explained that health and safety are not compromised with the Government’s decision to allow the rule to expire at the end of the March.

“The Turks and Caicos Islands remains committed to providing a secure and enjoyable travel experience for all visitors and The Ministry of Tourism encourages travelers to continue to practice healthy hygiene habits and to follow any local guidelines or regulations put in place during their stay.”

It’s a perspective widely shared and a move very welcomed by the tourism industry in particular who advocated against the three month renewal of the mandate in December describing it as a move that would make the TCI seem ‘archaic’.

The combination of seeing a rapid decline in Covid-10 cases, down to only three active for the country, high vaccination penetration of at least 85 percent and the prospect of building on already record arrivals and real estate prospects, the falling away of the mandate flings the gates wide open to a much larger cross section of travelers for the Turks and Caicos Islands.

It could have positive effects on the country’s largest market helping push profits to never before seen levels.

“The Turks and Caicos Islands offer some of the most luxurious real estate in the Caribbean, with beautiful beachfront villas, private islands, and luxury resorts. With the removal of these COVID requirements, potential buyers can now experience the beauty of the Islands firsthand and invest with confidence,” shared Greenwood.

The Minister did not comment on the requirements for work permit holders who were mandated to get a vaccine or forfeit their work permits but naturally there is an expectation this requirement will also be nullified.

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RTCIPF Observes World Down Syndrome Day



On March 21st, 2024, the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force joined the international, regional and local communities in observing World Down Syndrome Day. 

Officers showed their support by wearing brightly coloured and mismatched socks to raise awareness. 

The head of the Safeguarding and Public Protection Unit, Assistant Superintendent of Police Grantley Williams, Training Manager Mrs Odessa Forbes and Media Relations Officer Denyse Renne visited the SNAP Centre and interacted with the students.

In a message to the TCI community, the RTCIPF noted that stereotypes perpetuate stigma and hinder inclusion, preventing individuals from reaching their full potential. 

Instead, the RTCIPF calls for individuals to foster an environment of acceptance and support where everyone is valued for who they are. 

By breaking down barriers and challenging misconceptions, we can create a more inclusive society where individuals with Down Syndrome are empowered to live fulfilling lives and contribute meaningfully to their communities and, by extension, the TCI. 

As law enforcement officers, we must protect and serve all members of society, regardless of their abilities. 

Let’s work together to ensure that individuals with Down Syndrome are treated with dignity and respect and that their rights are upheld.

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CARICOM speaks out on Climate Change, looking to May meeting to amplify call for Climate Funding



March 3, 2024


The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) remains on the frontlines of global climate crisis, an issue the Region has been aggressively advocating on for the past thirty years. Despite the many commitments and promises of international partners, the window of opportunity to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels is rapidly closing.

Heads of Government are concerned that while COP 28 was widely regarded as a historic event, with the completion of the first global stocktake (GST), on progress in achievement of the Paris Agreement goals, the outcomes of GST show that emissions of greenhouse gases continue to rise and the nationally determined contributions (NDCs) of Parties will not keep global temperatures below the 1.5 degree goal enshrined in the Paris Agreement.

Heads of Government also expressed concern to be heading to COP 29 where a New Finance Goal will be articulated to replace the 100bn goal, which has not yet been met, even as developing countries require trillions to deal with the escalating impacts of climate change. Developed country parties have not provided enough finance at scale, technology and capacity building support required to help developing countries tackle their pressing needs to build their resilience, especially in adapting to the adverse and increasingly catastrophic impacts of climate change. The clear absence of definitive timelines for action and quantitative commitments for scaling up of investments, and particularly adaptation finance emerging out of COP 28, cause great concern to our Region.

The Conference noted that Small Island Developing States (SIDS), recognized as the most vulnerable group of countries and a special case for sustainable development, have been facing strong push back against the recognition of their special circumstances especially in the context of climate finance. There is limited international support for special allocations for SIDS within financing arrangements and available climate finance from international and private sources is limited, expensive and too onerous to access.

In light of the preceding, Heads of Government called for CARICOM to take a strategic, unified and coordinated approach to ensure that the Region remains influential in the climate and development arena through engagements with key partners and advocacy groups.

They called for renewed focus by the Region to advocate for inclusion of forests, nature-based solutions and blue carbon into market mechanisms with the aim of articulating clear regional positions and strategies.

Heads of Government reiterated the call for improved readiness programmes, simplified approval procedures, a change to the criteria for determining access to low-cost finance, and for the adoption of programmatic approaches to address the bottlenecks in accessing finance.

The Region reiterates its support for the Bridgetown Initiative’s call to expand capital adequacy of international financial institutions.

Heads recognized that the Fourth International Conference on Small Island Developing States, scheduled to be held in Antigua and Barbuda, 27 – 30 May 2024, will be an inflection point for many of these discussions to be articulated. As such, the Region remains committed to participating in the Conference at the highest level.

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TCI News

South Caicos Development Plans shared with Washington-Misick led Administration



On Monday, 12 February 2024, the Premier led a delegation to tour the island of South Caicos to view the ongoing public and private sector projects, involving the remodelling and rebranding of the airport terminals, historical districts, and the East Bay Hotel.

The tour of the various developments reinforced the Government’s commitment to collaborating with stakeholders to boost the island’s activity and economy.

Photos courtesy of the TCI Office of the Premier

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