The Cayman Islands government stands ready to consider airlifting non-nationals to their home countries but within certain limitations.
This was indicated by Hon. Premier Alden McLaughlin on Monday.
The Premier said that while Government was willing to look into that possibility, it would require a formal request to be made by or on behalf of those non-nationals interested in pursuing that option.
"If we have an indication that there are significant numbers of persons who wish to get to their homes within the reach of Cayman Airways, that's a lot easier than flying into the US for example in the present circumstances," he pointed out.
He added that Government is "prepared to look at all of these possibilities because this is going to be a much longer-term event than I think most people truly grasp."
Mr McLaughlin said another issue that would have to be considered is access to the destination countries.
UK AIR BRIDGE
In a related development, His Excellency Governor Martyn Roper announced that the much-anticipated air bridge that he has been seeking to establish between the UK and the Overseas Territories could be realised as early as next week.
Although he could not give an exact date, Governor Roper announced that a British Airways flight has been secured to fly to the Cayman Islands via Bermuda.
The flight is available to bring returning Caymanians from the UK as well as to pick up British and other passengers flying back to the UK.
Caymanians returning home on that BA flight would be required by law to self-isolate for 14 days.
The flight will also bring a shipment of medical supplies for the hospitals in Cayman coordinated through the Health Services Authority.
Those supplies will be a range of personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare staff sourced via Public Health England.
On the occasion of the annual Doctor’s Day observation in the territory, Hon. Minister of Health, Dwayne Seymour applauded the ongoing efforts of the healthcare provider community, especially doctors, given the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency.
The day dedicated to the physicians started in 1933.
“Today on Doctor’s Day, we pause to honour our dedicated physicians who work tirelessly for the patients who entrust them with their healthcare,” Min. Seymour declared.
Cayman’s doctors are on the frontline in the fight against the virus and Min. Seymour again called on residents to support the efforts of the doctors and other healthcare providers.
He highlighted the level of cooperation being demonstrated between private and public sector health facilities.
Min. Seymour cited as an example, private sector doctors checking on university students who are currently self-isolating following their return from overseas.
He said the doctors joined with the government is a single important prescription to the Cayman Islands: “Stay home to save lives.”
Mr Seymour said he had noticed several vehicles still on the roads and urged the public to remain indoors “unless it’s absolutely essential to be out.”
Health Minister Seymour has also announced two initiatives in the ongoing campaign to curtail the COVID-19 virus in Cayman.
He said an online self-assessment tool is being launched so that residents can check if any flu-like symptoms they have are compatible with the COVID-19 coronavirus.
This service which is now available is an alternative and support to the flu hotline. The online test takes about 5 minutes to complete.
Wearing his hat as Minister for Culture, Mr. Seymour also launched a music jingle campaign with a theme of the COVID-19 and community upliftment.
Twelve jingles are being commissioned and the selected submissions will be awarded $KY1,200.
Deadline to submit entries is Monday, April 6th.
BANKS A TO Z
Meanwhile, it has been announced by Hon. Premier Alden McLaughlin that the banks have requested a similar arrangement to what has been put in place for supermarket customers.
Clients will now be grouped into alphabetical order for the days on which they can go to their banks.
Persons with surnames beginning with the letters A to K have been allocated Mondays and Wednesdays, and those whose surnames start with the letters L to Z are assigned to Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Fridays are open to everyone.
This system will be in place until further notice.
The Government has sought feedback on the Digital Identity bill which is to be debated in parliament. Do you support the introduction of this Bill?