The Cayman Islands Government Office in the UK has been coordinating with Government officials regarding crisis communications and developing new lines of communication in the event of an emergency.
The recent earthquake and current coronavirus updates have been shared through the UK communications channels of the CIGO-UK, in partnership with Cayman Connection UK (CCUK) and the Friends of Cayman group.
Cayman Islands Representative to the UK and Europe, André Ebanks, commented: “The experiences of crisis communications throughout the earthquake, tsunami warnings and now the current threat of the novel coronavirus have shown us, more than ever, that we need to be organised and well prepared to serve Caymanians, not only in Cayman, but those travelling and living overseas. We hope that those Caymanians will register with our office so that we can be of assistance, if needed. This way we can share information promptly and directly when necessary. We find it encouraging that since 2 February, at the time of our first novel Coronavirus notice, we have received over 50 registrations from Caymanians.”
He added: “Current advice from the UK’s Foreign Office is that British Nationals are being advised to leave China if they are able, and this includes Caymanians.”
CIGO-UK has been coordinating with the Ministry of Health, Hazard Management Cayman Islands and The Foreign Office in the UK to ensure they are reaching all Caymanians in the UK with the correct messages and information.
Cayman Islands Chief Medical Officer, Dr John Lee, is in communication with the CIGO-UK to share updates from the Ministry of Health. He commented: “It is useful to better understand the mission of the CIGO-UK who are alert and aware of the Caymanians in the UK and will be of assistance to those affected where possible and necessary.”
Danielle Coleman, Director of Hazard Management Cayman Islands commented: “Prompt and well-prepared coordination between Government departments for crisis communications is vital, and it is important not to forget the role that our overseas office provides in coordinating and disseminating emergency messages. We are working with the CIGO-UK and CCUK to refine our crisis communications to include our diaspora overseas, and as such we recommend that Caymanians who are travelling or living overseas register with these entities so that they can be kept up to date with happenings in Cayman.”
CCUK, a network for Caymanians Overseas, works in partnership with CIGO-UK to disseminate information. Alanis Linwood-Amor, Cayman Connection’s Lead Alumni Ambassador in Cayman, reached out to CIGO-UK to assist with coordination of coronavirus communications through CCUK last weekend.
Ms Linwood-Amor, who also works at the Ministry of Health, commented: “My experience as a Caymanian student overseas taught me how important it is to stay connected with fellow Caymanians and with CIGO-UK. I enjoy my role as an Alumni Ambassador now that I am back home as I not only act as a point of contact for CCUK, but also keep those currently away informed and connected on what’s happening on the island. My communication with the CIGO-UK has also assisted the Ministry of Health’s efforts to share information about the coronavirus to a wider audience.”
Mr Ebanks concluded by reiterating the importance of CIGO-UK staying in close contact with officials on the ground in Cayman, and that CIGO UK stands ready to assist Caymanians overseas.
Specific guidance for Caymanians overseas is as follows:
a) Caymanians (as British nationals) who are living or travelling outside the UK (for which there are no Cayman Government Representative Offices), should register with the nearest British Embassy/High Commission, which would be their point of contact for information/assistance; British Nationals currently in China are advised to leave, and
b) Caymanians living or travelling in the UK are urged to register with the Cayman Islands Government Office UK as a point of contact for information/assistance.
CIGO UK REGISTRATION AT: WWW.CIGOUK.KY/SIGN-UP
CIGO UK WEBSITE UPDATES: WWW.CIGOUK.KY/CORONAVIRUS-UPDATE