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Governor’s Updates #9

Government 10 Jun, 2020 Follow News

His Excellency, the Governor, Martyn Roper

Encouraging results from testing - HSA, Doctors Hospital and Health City are doing a great job. That means over 15,000 people have been tested – almost a quarter of our population which places us 4th in the world for testing per capita. That is something we can all be proud of. I share the sense of optimism from Dr Lee and the Premier about where we are in handling this pandemic. The small number of positive cases are not causing much concern. A key aspect of this pandemic has been the uncertainty of the science. That underlines why we have taken a cautious and measured approach.

Recruitment of reservists for Regiment - I was delighted to announce that the recruitment campaign for 50 part-time Reservists for the Cayman Islands Regiment has started. The Regiment’s main purpose will be to provide additional resilience for disaster preparedness. Our 5 Junior Officers are currently receiving training at Sandhurst. We have appointed the Commander, Lt Col Simon Watson, 2 senior Deputies and a Sergeant-Major. To have almost 60 trained personnel by the end of August is our ambition. UK is supporting on training and equipment. The UK Security Team currently in Cayman has also provided additional support and advice. For more information and the application and medical forms visit www.gov.ky/ciregiment. This is an exciting development and great opportunity for our youth to develop new skills that will be valuable to employers! Please apply.

HMS Medway & RFA Argus - Starting this week, the HMS Medway and RFA Argus will be here for two weeks. They will be exercising their plans to support Cayman should a hurricane or similar natural disaster occur and they are also providing helicopter cover whilst the RCIPS helicopters are off island for their routine maintenance. The exercise will include bringing troops and equipment ashore to test logistics and then checking to ensure they have appropriate communications and can carry out medical evacuations. Out of an abundance of caution and also to prevent possible infection being transmitted to the ships there will no close contact with any people on our islands.

Flights to Ecuador and Mexico - Two private individuals organised flights, to Ecuador/Mexico (Cancun) on Monday 8th June. This was for Mexican and Ecuadorian nationals only. Please contact Daniel Rodriguez darodriguez2289@gmail.com for further information.

Flight to Canada - There will be a flight to Toronto, Canada on Monday 13th July. Contact nikolepoirier@yahoo.com if you would like to join the flight. It is outbound only.

Shout out to Acts of Random Kindness (ARK) and Deckers - On Monday, I visited Acts of Random Kindness (ARK) which is providing food and vouchers for members of our community who are in need. They provide $10,000 worth of food vouchers per week and over 1,800 meals per day. Deckers is a highly committed ARK supporter and is one of a number of organisations who provide their premises to produce the food and a vast number of volunteer drivers give up their time to make the deliveries. ARK is doing a wonderful job and my thanks to Tara Nielson, Neil Rooney, Deckers and all the volunteers who do so much to help the most vulnerable in our community. CaymanKind at its very best.

Flight to Jamaica - Cayman Airways ran two more flights to Jamaica on Wednesday and today Friday. Please contact the Jamaican Honorary consulate for future flight information.

Thank you to civil servants - As restrictions are easing across the islands the Deputy Governor is starting to look at how parts of the civil service suspended due to the pandemic can re-open. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the civil servants who adapted their way of working to ensure essential services continued to operate. The plan now is to get the civil service back up to full strength as long as it is safe to do so with a vision that wherever possible services continue to be delivered remotely where a physical presence is not required. A meeting between the DG and Chief Officers to work out the way forward is scheduled for Friday and civil servants will be contacted by their respective departments in due course.

Queen’s Birthday - Next Monday is a bank holiday in honour of the Queen’s Birthday. Sadly for the first time in a long while there will be no parade or reception to mark the occasion. But as Her Majesty said recently we will meet again... just not this year.

Easing up of restrictions - We are very close to easing almost all the restrictions in just under 2 weeks. But as we do so we must still be really disciplined in terms of our interactions with others, social distancing, basic hygiene and wearing masks. That becomes even more important that we get into good habits as we await development of a vaccine.

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