(and more new measures)
The Government continues to intensify measures to address the range of challenges and changed circumstances resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the latest moves, arrangements are being put in place for returning students and there’s more support for the business sector.
Hundreds of Caymanian students studying overseas have been returning home with a huge influx expected this coming weekend especially from the UK.
Under current policy to suppress the spread of COVID-19, they are required to self-isolate for 14 days.
As explained by Hon. Premier Alden McLaughlin, “Since all returning students should self-isolate and so should their families and all those who visit them, this could become a significant logistics issue, particularly if essential services personnel like firemen, nurses, doctors and police officers should be part of their family.”
In this regard, he said, Government in conjunction with National Emergency Operation Centre (NEOC), is putting into place a central facility at a local hotel to where they can self-isolate for 14 days free of cost.
This facility is being made available for those who need to self-isolate if unable to do so at their homes.
Similarly, such a free stay will be available at another hotel for the same period for essential services personnel who are family of returning students, if they consider it prudent to be in a separate accommodation as a precaution.
Premier McLaughlin thanked the key partners in providing this service in conjunction with Government, describing it as “another stellar example of public-private sector partnership, one of the foundations for Cayman’s continuing success.”
Students and essential services workers requiring such accommodation should contact the NEOC on 1-800-534-6555.
FURTHER BUSINESS ASSISTANCE
Due to the economic impact of the virus and the measures Government are taking to constrain its spread, a onetime emergency COVID 19 stipend will be made on Tuesday 31st March of $600 per person to anyone who operates a 15-seater bus, taxi or tour bus or dual taxi-tour bus and water sports.
This would be to cover the one month closure of the airport. Additional tourism sector groups could be added depending on need.
The Government has also welcomed the decision by Butterfield Bank to introduce a three-month automatic payment deferral programme for all residential mortgages and personal loans in good standing.
Premier McLaughlin expressed the hope that other banks will follow their example and he urged persons who would benefit from a deferral to contact their bank to make the necessary arrangements.
The CICSA Credit Union are also working with their customers to provide waivers of payment or refinancing and members who want to avail themselves of this service are to call (345) 949 8415 and speak to one of the loan officers.
Hon. Joey Hew, Minister for Commerce, Planning and Infrastructure confirmed that Government are in contact with the Small Business Association and the Chamber of Commerce to agree on tangible solutions to support businesses during this unprecedented time.
Mr Hew announced the fast-tracking of the Cayman Islands Centre for Business Development.
The Centre which will begin providing services on Monday 23rd March will provide training in the following areas:
• Smart Measures for Business Continuity
• Best Practices for Handling a Cash Flow Crisis
• Conducting a Business Impact Analysis
• Business Model Innovation
• Social Media Marketing
• Online Freelancing Opportunities
The Centre will also work with small businesses to prepare them for renegotiating existing loans with commercial banks or to request and access a period of moratorium on loans.
However, because of the importance of social distancing as a means of combating the spread of COVID-19, the Centre will operate by appointment only.
To make an appointment call (345) 244-3451 or (345) 244-2498 between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 pm and (345) 926-5771 up to 10:00 pm.