• Evacuation flight to Jamaica - I am delighted to report we arranged a first evacuation flight to Jamaica on Thursday 4 June operated by Cayman Airways. The passenger list for the outbound flight was compiled by the Jamaican Honorary Consulate to prioritise compassionate cases. Travellers wishing to travel on subsequent flights are encouraged to register on the website www.jamcovid19.moh.gov.jm. Please contact the Jamaican Honorary Consul with any queries. This flight also brought back a small number of stranded Caymanians, all of whom will be subject to 14 days in quarantine on return.
• Thank you to Dr. Lee - I have got to know Dr. Lee well in the last few months. He has consistently demonstrated the very best public service values - integrity, care for our community, passion for his work, compassion and resilience under immense pressure. He is a calm and reassuring presence as CMO. Thank you Dr. Lee.
• 67th anniversary of the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II - June 2 marked the 67th anniversary of the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey. What an inspiring monarch who has served us all for so many years and still continues to do so. A much needed symbol of stability and continuity in our institutions.
• BA flight - The BA flight to London Heathrow on Friday 12 June is now fully booked but there are still seats on the flight from London to Cayman on Thursday 11th June. If you are interested in future travel to or via the UK please register with the travel helpline. Pleased to report BA has confirmed all passengers can now take two pieces of hand luggage.
• Flights to India - My office is discussing final arrangements for two flights to India – one possibly to Chennai and the other to Delhi. We will announce flight details as soon as we have them.
• Kite for Covid – On Wednesday afternoon, three students from Cayman Prep and High School did a “Kite for Covid” in aid of Cayman’s ARK - Acts of Random Kindness. Jake Fagan, Zach Brooks and Ben Coke, who are all 12 years old, kitesurfed 22 miles - the length of the Cayman Islands! They’ve already raised CI$12,000 and are aiming to double that amount. A.R.K are currently providing $10,000 worth of food vouchers per week and over 1,800 meals per day to our community. Further details are available on Cayman ARK’s website or Facebook page and if you make a donation, please reference ‘Kite for Covid’. A wonderful example of Caymankind from our youth!
• Isolation facilities - As a reminder, my office is leading on negotiations with foreign governments for flights, but is not in charge of the Isolation facilities or the policy on returnees to Cayman. This sits with the Cayman Islands Government. So, if you have any queries please contact email@example.com
• Hurricane Season - As we all know the hurricane season began on Monday 1 June and next week the Royal Navy ship HMS Medway and Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship Argus will be visiting Cayman, remaining off-shore to provide helicopter cover for the next two weeks and carrying out their annual disaster management preparations. I will have more information on that on Friday.
• Test results - 850 results over the past couple of days. 10 positive is disappointing. We shouldn’t be overly alarmed. They are from our screening programme and apart from one were all asymptomatic. But as we heard from Dr Lee, the symptomatic case is a child. Reminds us we must not let our guard down – there are still isolated cases of community transmission. Many people are asking for restrictions to be relaxed at a faster pace. But we should hold our nerve and keep going with the gradual, phased approach to opening up. We are all agreed and united on the panel, including with Dr Lee, that we have the right strategy. That unity is one of the strengths of our response. As we learn how to live with the virus in a ‘new normal’ - we must maintain social distancing, basic hygiene and wear masks – that is all fundamental as we go forward.
• Reopening of economy - Our screening of front-line staff continues to put us in a good position as we open up more of our economy. The construction industry went back to work on June 1 and all retail and real estate businesses returned also. All need to ensure social distancing, mask wearing and basic hygiene. They also need an exemption from Curfew time. Open air non-contact sport (eg. golf, tennis) is allowed. We are taking the opening up step by step. More restrictions will be lifted on Sunday 7 June as announced on Friday – restaurants and bars can open outside for groups of up to 6 from different households. Night curfew will start at 1000pm until 0430am. The hard lockdown of the beach on Sundays will end and you can shop at gas stations and mini-marts on Sundays regardless of surname. A copy of the detailed regulations is on the Government website. By 21 June, if results reflect a low number of isolated cases, we hope to lift many more restrictions including allowing childcare, domestic helpers and hairdressers/barbers. Thank you for your continuing patience. Together we are beating this virus!
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