Calling 2020 “the year that everything changed”, Hon. Premier Alden McLaughlin, is setting sights on better things for Cayman in 2021.
He said he is “confident that as the vaccine programmes roll out both here in Cayman and across the world, there will potentially be much more to celebrate in 2021.”
In a New Year’s message focused heavily on his administration’s past achievements, especially the handing of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Premier painted a picture of hope for the new year...with an eye on the upcoming election.
“Heading into this New Year, and into an election season, I take considerable heart that on all the main issues that matter to Caymanians, residents and investors, we continue to head in the right direction,” Premier McLaughlin, the outgoing leader of the People’s Progressive Party-led ‘Unity’ government stated.
Mr McLaughlin, who is completing his constitutionally-limited two consecutive terms at the helm also said:
“We have achieved much over this term. But we know there is still more to deal with, particularly with the pandemic and its consequences.
Notwithstanding the ongoing challenges of COVID-19 which has entered a new phase of transmission globally with a new strain spreading rapidly, the Premier sees the newly developed vaccines as the pathway out of the pandemic.
“The availability of vaccines early in the New Year offers the safest way for us to open up our country and our economy more broadly. Our first shipment of vaccines will arrive in early January and we will then roll out our national vaccination plan.”
In a carefully-phrased projection suggesting a likely timeline for Cayman fully reopening its borders especially for tourism, the Premier cautiously hinted at a Spring possibility.
“By March we hope to have successfully vaccinated and protected a sufficiently large number of our population, including all of those at most risk. If we can achieve that target, we should be able to open our borders once again,” he indicated.
Much of the message was however devoted to his government’s past achievements, particularly its handling of the COVID-19 crisis to date, its management of the economy, and projects currently in the pipeline or about to come on stream.
“The various relief programmes initiated by Government have helped many during these tough times,” Premier McLaughlin reminded.
“Rebuilding will take time and it will take resolute effort, but I have every confidence that our Islands and our people will emerge stronger from the challenges we have faced,” the Premier assured.
(You can read the Premier’s full New Year’s message in the next edition of Caymanian Times)