• Cayman is 6th in world on tests per population - Our extensive testing is putting us in a better position than many other countries to take evidence-based decisions on further easing of restrictions, closely aligned with Dr. Lee’s medical advice. We are now up to 6th in the world on number of tests per head of population. A significant achievement. Our screening of front-line staff, largely focussed just now on the construction sector, gives us confidence that it is safe to open up in a gradual way. This will help to kick-start the local economy. Lots of discussion underway about how we move safely from suppression level 3 (moderate) to suppression level 2 (minimal suppression) at beginning of next week.
• Opening up of more businesses - We will make announcements on Friday concerning opening up of even more of the local economy, provided the test results continue to go well. It will be a new normal. For foreseeable future we will all have to practise social distancing, undertake basic hygiene and wear masks in public places. As the Premier has already said, amongst other measures, we hope to be able to open up more shops and possibly outdoor restaurants. Our strategy remains on track. Our extensive testing enables us to beat this together.
• Flight to the Philippines - I am extremely pleased with Saturday’s air bridge flight to the Philippines. We were able to assist approximately 280 people to leave the islands. We were very fortunate that on this occasion we were able to fund travel for some of the most needy. Some passengers who were registered with the Needs Assessment Unit (NAU) and/or those with cancelled or expired work permits had their tickets funded via two very generous anonymous donations. Without those donations some of those passengers wouldn’t have been able to travel so I do want to send particular thanks to the donors. My thanks also to the Philippine authorities, airport staff, NEOC staff, the UK Embassy in Manila and my outstanding team who led and ensured this flight happened.
• BA flights and flights to India - We are arranging more BA air bridge flights and details will be announced as we have them. We are on track for a flight to the UK in the first half of June. My team are also making good progress regarding a flight to India and I hope to be able to make an announcement on that soon.
• Miami Flights - Cayman Airways have added two more dates for flights to Miami - 12 and 26 June. These are outbound only and won’t bring people back in. Contact Cayman Airways on 949 2311 or Caymanairways.com for availability.
• Tribute to RCIPS - We’ve been in this situation for over two months now. On 22 March we closed our borders and on 24 March the first curfew began. I would like to pay particular tribute to the Police Commissioner and his team, CBC and the Special Constables. Not only have they performed fantastically throughout, our law and order situation remains very stable which is extremely good news.
• Shout out to charities - I also want to give a shout out to our charitable sector including; Acts of Random Kindness, Meals on Wheels and Resilience Cayman which is a newly formed community organisation partnering with the Chamber of Commerce. They are all doing really important charitable work, particularly around providing food kitchens and meals and many of our restaurants have stepped up to support them in doing that. My thanks to all of those involved.
• General Elections - The Cayman Islands General Election will be held on Wednesday, 26 May 2021. In just over twelve months Cayman Islands voters will go to the polls, exercising their democratic right to vote for elected members. This is the second General Election to be held under the one person one vote, Single Member Electoral District.
• Thank you Cayman - We are successfully driving the virus out of our Islands. Going in hard and early with tough measures has paid dividends. That would not have been possible without the outstanding cooperation of everyone on the islands. Thank you.
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