• Huge thanks to Angela and her team at HSA - I want to send my huge thanks to Angela at the HAS lab and her team. When we look back at this time in the future, I think testing will be one of the outstanding successes of our response. Angela and her team, with Doctors Hospital and Health City, have played a crucial part. I believe we are on track to significantly ease the remaining restrictions from 21st June. We will give more information in due course. In meantime we must not let down our guard – we must keep doing social distancing, basic hygiene and wearing masks.
• New initiative - CIG Cares Community Support - The DG and his senior leadership team are launching a new initiative next week: CIG Cares Community Support. This will give civil servants the opportunity to support vulnerable communities by donating either a regular sum every month or a one-off donation from their pay packet to support Cayman’s vulnerable communities. The NAU is supporting 3000 Caymanian families and getting 60 new requests for assistance every day and provides meal and grocery vouchers, meals on wheels services and burial cost assistance. So if you’re a civil servant and want to contribute look out for more information next week. A great idea and wholly in keeping with the civil service mission to make the lives of those we serve better.
• Students returning to school overseas - Planning is in the very early stages for students who need to return to the UK for school/university. At the moment, we are thinking of two flights, one towards the end of July and another later in August but we will provide more information very soon.
For those who go to school or university in the US or Canada, the process will be handled by the Ministry of Employment/Border Control and CBC. But wherever your destination please do ensure you are registered on the travel website: www.exploregov.ky/travel
• Recruitment for CI Regiment – I am pleased to report we have had over 200 applications to join the Cayman Islands Regiment and as the Premier and I have said we are keen for this to be predominantly Caymanian. It’s my belief we are building something for Cayman to be proud of. We’re looking to have about 60 people in place by the end of August ready to assist before the peak of the hurricane season arrives because disaster management and preparedness will be their key role. The direction it takes after that will be for us to decide but we need to get it started. The UK is funding equipment including uniforms and will be sending a small training team to Cayman in July to provide the reservists with their initial training course. If you would like to apply please go to https://www.exploregov.ky/ciregiment and click on apply to join. Deadline is 21 June.
• National Emergency Operations Committee - I spoke via Zoom to members of our National Emergency Operations Committee (NEOC) who had a virtual cake to mark 100 days of work on the Covid crisis. They have played a pivotal and successful role in many areas - managing isolation facilities, establishing the field hospital and testing capacity/PPE - to name a few. NEOC has shown working from home can work and bring benefits. Always lessons to learn in any crisis but NEOC has stepped up impressively to support our community.
• BA airbridge flight in complex logistical operation - In a hugely complex logistical operation led by my office, over 300 people from 4 nations in the #Caribbean returned home this week on a BA airbridge flight chartered by the Cayman Islands Government and today almost 300 people from 35 nationalities will be travelling back to the UK to connect to their homes in places like New Zealand, Montenegro, Switzerland and South Africa. A resounding thank you to all those involved
• Queen’s Birthday treats delivered - Last Monday, we celebrated Her Majesty, The Queen’s 94th birthday. The Deputy Governor and I delivered Queen’s Birthday treats (vegetable patties, banana cake and mango slice from GH garden) to some of our front-line staff in RCIPS, Fire Service and 911. Boxes were also delivered to prison staff and emergency services on Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. I am sorry we couldn’t get round to see everyone!
• Evacuation flight to India – I am pleased to announce a breakthrough in negotiations to arrange an evacuation flight to India in the first week of July. There may also be a second if demand is there. I know this is a difficult time for many in the Indian community. We will announce details of dates and how to book soon.