Evacuation flight to Manila next weekend

| 17/05/2020 | 94 Comments
Cayman News Service

(CNS): The governor’s office is continuing to help organise evacuation flights into and out of the Cayman Islands. But from next Friday, 22 May, any work permit holders returning to Cayman will need to pay for the mandatory 14 days quarantine at one of government’s isolation facilities themselves, though what that cost is has not been revealed.

At Friday’s press briefing, Governor Martyn Roper said there would be an evacuation flight to Manila in the Philippines via British Airways next Saturday, 23 May. This flight is for Filipino nationals wanting to get home but will not bring anyone into the Cayman Islands. The flight, which costs US$1,850, will stop at London but no one can get off there.

People who have registered with the travel hotline about a flight to the Philippines will be sent details, and the governor discouraged anyone from calling the hotline now as the flight is expected to be full. He said that all passengers are encouraged to wear masks.

Roper said his office is in discussions about another air-bridge flight from London, which will likely happen in early June, and they were also looking at more flights in June, July and particularly August because of students needing to travel to the UK to get back to school or university.

The governor’s office remains in contact with Indian authorities about a flight to India, he said. They also expect to help organise more flights to Miami but not to any other destinations in the US, so people needing to go elsewhere in the US are encouraged to find a connecting flight.

Everyone returning from overseas, including those travelling on to Cayman Brac or Little Cayman, must isolate at one of government’s mandatory isolation facilities on Grand Cayman. But while work permit holders must pay for this themselves, there is no cost for Caymanians and permanent residents, government confirmed in a release on Friday.

As has been the practice for several weeks, at the end of the 14-day period everyone isolating will be tested for COVID-19 and must receive a negative test result before they will be allowed to leave the facility or go on to the Sister Islands.

Anyone heading to Cayman Brac or Little Cayman following quarantine and having tested negative, must then head directly to the airport.

See Friday’s press briefing on CIGTV below, starting at the governor’s remarks:

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Category: Local News, Transport

Comments (94)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Part of the application request for a repatriation flight, should be a mandatory affidavit which attests if they have a dog or cat or not, and if yes, what provision they have made to surrender that pet to someone/somewhere for long term forever care – and/or if they would like help with that. Far too many departing permit holders seem to open their sliding door and just wish fido and/or mittens the best of luck. We can’t be doing that with 15,000 pets. I don’t understand how anyone could do that, but it obviously happens with thousands of animals.

  2. Rick says:

    If everyone can be tested for the virus and results obtained within hours, at most two days, why is it necessary to be quarantined for 14 days?

    • Robert Mugabe IV says:

      Pay attention Rick, have you not learnt anything at all about this virus.

      CNS – Has Alden confirmed that the repatriation fee (which is included in the price of any permit) is being deducted from the price of these flights (or any other flight where ex-pats choose to leave.)

      CNS: I don’t think so but don’t know for sure. Apologies.

  3. Anonymous says:

    The writing is on the wall and everyone that comes to Cayman is supposed to be able to read English: the writing says – we are in a crisis and stop believing that Cayman has a bottomless pit of money. If you have no job or cannot sustain yourself then go. You can’t be “riding it out” in someone’s else country! Simple.

  4. Grapes of wrath says:

    What’s happening!
    Once upon a time, if my memory serves me well, was it not required for all arriving work permit holders to have a return ticket home, or their employers set aside repatriation fees, what happened? Employers who bring workers to these Islands must take financial and moral responsibility for their well being, especially when things go pear shaped. It’s all very well, importing labour, and in most cases paying inferior wages lining their own pockets, they should make sure their employees have the means to leave the Islands when situations such as these arise. Perhaps in future employers might consider all the financial implications of importing foreign unskilled labour to these Islands and pay a living wage, supporting our local workforce.
    Government will most likely have to pick up the tab to repatriate many at our expense.
    Or am I wrong?

    • Anonymous says:

      I thought that repatriation fees were part of the expense of getting a work permit and that the Government held these funds for use in cases like this. Am I wrong in thinking this?

  5. Anonymous says:

    I feel obliged to ask whether the Gov’t will be footing the bill to repatriate the Filipinos who have been stuck here and have been laid off by their employers, whose businesses were closed as a result of the lockdown who won’t have the funds to pay for a ticket.
    If not, why not? I can only imagine that there are many such persons here (I personally know two) who have been stuck here, because of the sudden closing of the borders, who remained here in hopes that they would be able to work, but whose employers can no longer afford to pay them. They have no money and are stuck here, halfway around the globe from home, through no fault of their own. No one told them that they would be here this long and they have had to survive in this very expensive country up until now. How can any reasonable person expect them to pay US$1,850.00 to fly home? Where will they get that money from?
    Or does Government expect that the employers be required to pay for it? Because a lot of them will have gone out of business by now too and any of them that haven’t gone out of business quite possibly won’t be able to find that kind of money now too.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Honestly speaking I am a qualified Caymanian with out work now due to COVID and with no future job in tourism indefinitely.

    I really don’t care about EXPATS right now. It’s not a hate thing but when my government needs to take care of me then they can worry about EXPATS.

    There are not just Caymanians with out work but thousands from tourism sector. Ritz 700+ employees with about 50 being caymanian. Facts!

    A job that buys groceries is a job.

    I am not here to spread hate speech. I would take anything right now not to lose my house in 6 months or keep my internet on so my kids can stay in class.

    I feel really sorry for any EXPAT here right now because it’s not going to get better for you it will get worst based on what GOV is doing.

  7. Michael says:

    If a hurricane were to hit the Islands this season, where will the workers come from to fix our roofs, rip out our wet drywall, repair our power grid, get our roads clear and safe? Will we open our borders to those who may carry what we worked so hard to eradicate? It may be prudent to plan for the future and support a workforce that will work in times of crisis.

    • Tawny says:

      Caymanians are getting what they asked for! No more expats! 100% Caymanian run economy.

    • Anonymous says:

      There are plenty of caymanians in the field. We’ll be ok.

    • Anonymous says:

      Probably the same as last time – the Jamaicans that couldn’t leave!

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes and when they’re finished we’ll deport them and implement stricter sanctions for them to come to Cayman!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Heads up… simple: we did it before, and we did it so good that: that they come and don’t want to leave:- we will do it again and again if the needs be. No one came to help!! – they come to help themselves! You sound like Caymanians can’t do any thing: I ll give you a fact: most Caymanians are resilient people, we don’t wait for someone to help us!!!! Never did never will.

    • Anonymous says:

      Caymanians will have to start doing those jobs 3:58. Minimum wage too.

  8. Anonymous says:

    With a chunk of Philipinos going (who are the hardest working people I have ever met) there will be loads of jobs available for locals right? So when Sunset House..etc…etc.. all open again, it will be Caymanians serving the public? No more whining about no work available?

    • Anonymous says:

      You are in need of professional help. We are in the middle of a pandemic and this is where you want to go.

      • Anonymous says:

        It’s a completely valid point. There will be none of the ‘expats took our jobs’ excuses. It will be interesting to see what happens

    • Anonymous says:

      Stereotypes are dumb. Not all Filipinos are hard-working and not all caymanians are lazy. Cut this divisive crap out, you’re not helping.

      • Say it like it is. says:

        1.55pm Remember one of your sons of the soil, Charles Kirkconnell, and the explanation he gave for employing so many Filipinos rather than locals at Kirk Supermarket. He said it all and it still stands true to this day

      • Anonymous says:

        Must say that on Grand Cayman I never met a Filipino who was not hard working.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ha, Sunset House isn’t going to be opening for a while. Take a seat.

    • Anonymous says:

      Have you considered that many of the Filipinos actually want to go home? Many have families there that they wish to see.

    • Anonymous says:

      Please don’t let that be the case. I love sunset house.

  9. Anonymous says:

    No, at least not this year. I wonder how things will go for other caribe islands planing to open their borders much sooner. Like Aruba?

  10. Anonymous says:

    So even the cheapest hotels here i.e. Comfort Suites or Holiday Inn are $200 a night. Multilply by 14. A shade under 3 grand. And that’s before buying food assuming you get a room with cooking facilities that you can’t use because you can’t go out! Utter bollox. Let WP holders go to their own accommodation and be adult about their own self-isolation.

    • Anonymous says:

      Employer should pay. If they are needed for their work then the employer should pay, just as they do for a couple weeks when you first arrive to start employment

  11. S Ebanks says:

    Puhleeeze! Name one destination in the world that will “be getting back to any semblance of normality for the foreseeable future”. Caymanians and PRs do not have to pay and Work Permit holders can stay home if they can’t afford or do not wish to pay for the required quarantine. It’s too bad this has been announced before all repatriation flights have been arranged, because there will be plenty pf destitute, unemployed foreigners here that will choose to stay and ride it out in Cayman since they now know they will not be able to afford to come back if they leave.

  12. anon says:

    It would be helpful if the Governor’s office could clarify if outbound flights to Miami can be utilised by UK citizens to make connecting flights to London if no stopover is necessary.

    • Anonymous says:

      @ anon 18/05/2020 at 12:28 pm – why don’t you contact the Governor’s office yourself? emergencytravel@gov.ky or maria.leng@fco.gov.uk or call 244-3333 Monday to Friday, 9am to 1pm.

      • Anonymous says:

        In my opinion, contacting that email address is useless as they have no answers and more keen to get your name on a list to make you feel closer to everyone is the general gist of the replies.

        At some point the government needs to put a skeleton flight schedule in place for both Miami and U.K. Giving families, 1 week notice and then when the flight is announced, they are not accepting passengers in one direction is pointless. It’s been 8 weeks now, get a plan of sorts concerning flights in place. This bridging stuff isn’t working properly.

        • E Vac. Uee. says:

          10.13am they never answered the phone either. His office must be satffed by civil servants.

    • Anonymous says:

      Tried to get a connecting UK flight through Miami. When I applied for a new ESTA it was blocked as travelling to UK which dippy Trump blocked.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Test all returnees at the airport, if positive, isolate, otherwise let them go.

    Perform a random antibody test survey as soon as possible to get a better indication of local infection/recovery/now immunity rates. I guarantee there are many out there who have had it either without knowing or were sick to some degree.

    Protect the old and vunerable. Open up the island internally economically.

    Oh, and fix the damn dump.

    • Anonymous says:

      That doesn’t work because the onset of symptoms and detection can be 14 days or more.

    • Anonymous says:

      Those antibody tests are useless. People aren’t immune forever and maybe not at all. There was an article about sailors on a US warship that got Covid19, did two negative tests and got Covid19 again. So if you’re relying on that for protection, sorry it’s a waste of money.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Good luck to all the Filipinos that are returning to your home! Stay safe and perhaps we’ll see you back here again at some point in the future.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Note, there were 4,578 Filipino work permit holders as of Nov 14, 2019. One capacity-loaded 777-300 won’t resituate more than 368.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Does Cayman have Laws authorizing Quarantine and Isolation?

    Aren’t quarantine powers subject to constitutional limitations? Shouldn’t CIG have a strong legal basis for the restrictions?

    Does Cayman Constitution protects certain individual rights? Is the right to not be denied “liberty” without “due process” among them?

    If one is forced to mandatory quarantine in government facilities, does he have a right to demand some sort of adjudicative process to determine whether the quarantine is justified. Does CIG must prove by “clear and convincing” evidence that such confinement is justified?

    Isolation and quarantine are constitutional only when the government can show by clear and compelling evidence that THEY ARE the least restrictive means of protecting the public’s health. Self-isolation at one’s home seem to be the least restrictive compared to one at government’s isolation facilities.

    Then why CIG won’t seek to use the least restrictive means necessary to prevent the spread of communicable diseases?

    When government “detains” people, they must meet those people’s basic needs, ensuring access to health care, medication, food, and sanitation.

    If quarantine is mandatory at one of government’s isolation facilities on what legal basis work permit holders returning to Cayman “will need to pay for that” but not Caymanians?

    • Anonymous says:

      Caymanians don’t have no where to go, but work permit does. They don’t have to come back

      • Anonymous says:

        Then start working hard for shit pay. Or stop electing people who won’t raise the minimum.

      • Anonymous says:

        I have a home here in Cayman and the Government is trusting me to self isolate now but if I leave and come back they want me to stay in a Government run isolation facility? Not fair. Not gonna happen. This only means I can not leave this summer and maybe for the next year. Making work permit holders stay in Government run isolation when they have a home here is not fair. It’s just another leave and don’t come back ploy.

        • Anonymous says:

          you are only going to be there for 14 days..Suck it up and realize that what you are doing is saving lives..

        • Anonymous says:

          Life isn’t fair. Stop being such a cry baby, it is a temporary measure to ensure the safety of all in the community.

          • Anonymous says:

            It’s actually a ploy to ensure every work permit holder coming in is necessary and has a job. Likely illegal but Alden just said this on the update.

            • Anonymous says:

              Of course, No work permit holder should come back if they don’t have a job!

              • Anonymous says:

                There will be lots of jobs for Caymanians next year. Let’s see them step up. An increase in the minimum wage is also necessary as no one can live on the current wage.

        • Anonymous says:

          2:54pm.. I am hoping thats the ploy. If you have a house and no job —- then what? It’s beyond me why you all can not comprehend what you have to do.

      • Anonymous says:

        Human capital that people bring to a workplace is the driver of any economy. There are people who are the engine of Cayman economy and those who rely on that engine.
        Be careful when you say “They don’t have to come back” or “detain” them and force to pay for their own imprisonment.
        “Pick your battles” they say. You might end up being penny wise and pound foolish.

      • anon says:

        12.30pm Only those who don’t have a British Passport.

    • Anonymous says:

      The Governor has the emergency powers during a health crisis to do whatever they decide is necessary and have the legal authority to direct the Police and judiciary to carry out their wishes. The emergency repatriation flights aren’t “get back to work”, or “take a holiday” flights. Anyone wanting to play that game, better have their credit card handy, and two weeks to sit in mandatory isolation. Take it or leave it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Another “you’ll never catch me/you can’t do that/prove it” millennial. Hoodlums like these are why our beach had to close. For legal authority, see “CONTROL OF COVID-19 REGULATIONS, 2020 (SL 19 of 2020)”.

    • Anonymous says:

      None that are democratic.

  17. Anonymous says:

    So in a nutshell, this place will not be getting back to any semblance of normality for the foreseeable future?
    Just be honest with us?

    • Anonymous says:

      Ask Alden McChavez, he seems to enjoy this just a little too much.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well, duh.

    • Anonymous says:

      What part of: there is a global pandemic and Cayman is remaining cut off from the risks associated with it for as long as necessary to preserve the lives of the people here, do you not understand?

      • Anonymous says:

        The part where it’s dangerous. The chances of you dying from covid are slimmer than you getting into a fatal car wreck here.

        Or get cancer from the dump.

        • Anonymous says:

          If you think that way then, why stay here..The Governor would be happy for you to take the next flight out..no one is keeping you here..

          There is not a country that has done as much for its expat population during this crisis as Cayman has done and it is so hard to see the the ungratefulness and hate aimed at the people of these islands..

          • Anonymous says:

            Been here more than 45 years, Mr. Shard Log. Go troll elsewhere.

          • Anonymous says:

            8:42 Precisely, it is unbelievable how ungrateful many expats are within the community. The CIG is doing their best to protect everyone, Caymanian and expat alike, yet all you hear is complaints. If where you are from is so great and doing better than the CIG, go home. No one is forcing you to stay.

          • Anonymous says:

            8:32, After exploiting them for years with a disgraceful minimum wage.

        • Anonymous says:

          Leave him alone. He is beyond help.

      • Anonymous says:

        The part where CIG no longer has the income to pay for the civil service or NAU. Financial services can only pay for so much, we need tourist $. You could be waiting a decade for a vaccine if there even is one.

        • Anonymous says:

          The airlines originating s your two main markets estimate 1/3 of their international flights to resume by the end of 2020- if things go well. It’s going to be a slow rebound for those who want to travel and those who want to host visitors. Airlines said their model doesn’t work if they can only sell every other seat.

        • Anonymous says:

          LOL, sure open up to the US and watch the numbers really rise then you’ll screw yourselves as the tourists will definitely not come then. SMH

          • Anonymous says:

            Cases are still growing dramatically in Florida and Texas. Long way from getting out of the woods there.

    • Anonymous says:

      Premier’s ALREADY said that it will not be as it was PRE-COVID! I get you don’t like that answer, but asking it over and over again isn’t going to change that. And I think by asking that question, you already know the answer. I think it’s going to be as great as can be expected under the circumstances, but it obviously won’t be as it once was, but I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else that’s for sure!

    • Anonymous says:

      @ Anonymous 17/05/2020 at 7:00 pm – obviously you haven’t been paying attention if you have to ask that question.

      • Anonymous says:

        He just one of those that keeps asking the same question over and over again until he hears one that he likes

    • Anonymous says:

      7:00pm… you got it!

    • Rod says:

      No it will not! There is a recession that will start officially in June and the world over but by sometime next year we will be getting back to normalcy it is hard all over the world now!

    • Anonymous says:

      Until we get a vaccine there will be no semblance of normality.

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