BERMUDA: SAME-SEX MARRIAGE AT PRIVY COUNCIL
Judgement has been reserved at the Privy Council in the case in which the Bermuda government is appealing the enactment of same-sex marriage in the laws of that Overseas Territory.
The government is seeking to have it removed from the laws after Bermuda became the first country in the world to legalise same-sex marriage.
The controversial decision has gone through a series of legal hurdles and challenges since 2017 when it was first enacted, the subsequently repealed and then reinstated.
A 2016 non-binding referendum had resulted in a vote against same-sex marriage.
The Privy Council hearing which was held over two days earlier this month will decide the constitutionality of Bermuda’s 2018 Domestic Partnership Act which replaced the same-sex marriage law.
A separate case from the Cayman Islands is also on the Privy Council agenda to be determined this month.
Legal scholars say these cases are historic and could determine the future of the same-sex marriage issue in the Overseas Territories.
BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS: PAY HIKE PROMISE
Civil servants in the BVI could soon be in for a pay raise.
Premier Andrew Fahie says he has ordered a review of the pay scales of all government employees.
“People have to start to be paid what they are worth,” declared Premier Fahie whose ruling Virgin Islands Party (VIP) has been conducting a series of high-profile community meetings across the islands giving rise to speculation of early elections.
Stressing that the review won’t mean an increase in the number of civil service posts, the Premier explained that “It means those who are there will get their worth."
"That’s a government working for you the people,” he declared.
Mr Fahie led the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) back to power in 2019.
MONTSERRAT: COVID SPIKE ON QUARANTINE BREACH
Just days after launching its Remote Workers Programme to much global media acclaim, Montserrat has been forced into lockdown over a sudden surge in COVID-19 infections.
A breach of the territory’s quarantine regulations has resulted in a spike in cases not seen since July, the last time that Montserrat had a positive COVID-19 test result.
So far, five cases have been confirmed since a returning traveller and several residents breached the quarantine rules to visit the home where he was staying.
Ongoing contact tracing has so far tested over 30 persons with whom they have come into contact.
Another 40 people, including staff and students at a school, are also being tested after a student became infected.
The government of Montserrat has imposed severe restrictions on community movement initially until February 21st.
Up to last July Montserrat had recorded only 13 COVD-19 cases and two deaths.
Meanwhile, Montserrat also started it’s vaccination campaign against the virus this week with a shipment of the UK-provided Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.
ANGUILLA: COVID VACCINATION STARTS
Anguilla has rolled out its COVID-19 vaccination programme.
The territory last week received its shipment of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine from the UK.
Anguilla’s new Governor, Dileeni Daniel-Selvaratnam, said in a statement posted on the Facebook page of the Governor’s Office that “the arrival of the Astra Zeneca vaccine in Anguilla is a huge step towards a return to normal."
She said she was "very hopeful that Anguillians will make the informed choice to get vaccinated.”
Governor Daniel-Selvaratnam, arrived in Anguilla mid-January and underwent a 14-day quarantine before formally starting her duties.
She was one of the first to take the Oxford University/AstraZeneca jab when the vaccination programme started on February 5th.