Airlift to Jamaica begins this week

| 01/06/2020 | 51 Comments
Norman Manley International Airport, Jamaica

(CNS): After several weeks of talks between the Cayman Islands Government and the Jamaican authorities, the first airlift to help repatriate hundreds of stranded workers to Jamaica will leave Grand Cayman on Thursday. Officials confirmed Monday that Cayman Airways will operate this first repatriation flight between the two countries, and an outbound passenger list has been compiled by the Jamaican Honorary Consulate to prioritise compassionate cases.

“The Jamaican Honorary Consulate will be contacting those passengers who have been cleared to book on Thursday’s flight,” officials said in a release Monday. “The return leg will carry a small number of Caymanians seeking to return home, all of whom will be subject to 14 days government quarantine.”

There appears to be plans for more flights in the future but only people authorised by the Jamaican Honorary Consulate after registering via the JamCOVID website will be eligible to return to Jamaica. People wishing to travel to Jamaica on subsequent flights are encouraged to register on the website now.

If anyone has any queries about the flight, they should call the Jamaican Honorary Consul and not the Cayman Islands Governor’s Office.

Those cleared to return to the Cayman Islands will be contacted and should not call the Travel Helpline.

Jamaica has been reticent to allow its own citizens home during the COVID pandemic, given the size of the Jamaica diaspora and the limited capacity the country has for quarantine. But the country is now planning to re-open is borders in general.

On Sunday Prime Minister Andrew Holness said the country’s air and sea ports were scheduled to re-open Monday to Jamaicans and to non-nationals on 15 June.

Jamaica has confirmed 586 cases of coronavirus and nine people have died. The country currently has 266 active cases, including two critical cases and five new cases today. Although Jamaica has tested over 12,000 people, with a population of almost three million, that represents only a tiny fraction of its people.

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Category: Local News, Transport

Comments (51)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    To Anonymous 03/06: 12.26pm – There is at least one moron out there, Jamaican or not, who clearly knows nothing about how remittances from Jamaicans overseas (that means anywhere other than Jamaica) support the Jamaican economy to a large degree. That moron can’t correctly interpret what they read and without any basis presents false accusations of “hate, bitterness and jealousy towards Jamaicans” where there was absolutely none! That moron is YOU!

    My post contained no negative or prejudicial aspersions towards Jamaicans or anyone else, just my observations and opinion of the J’can Government’s actions based on some facts – Jamaica’s GDP reliance on remittances and high unemployment which exists there – these are undeniable! Nothing I said was specific to Jamaicans in Cayman alone, learn to understand what you read!!

    • Moron says:

      Jamaica’s GDP is comprised of services, agriculture, and industry….services being all activities which does not produce a good. In 2017 services was 71.9%, not sure of the percent now. Services would include remittances and other intangible material goods, obviously. Remittance is 20% of Jamaicas GDP according to a report dated January 27, 2020, FYI. Services excluding remittances sits at 50% give and take according to the year we’re looking at. You failed to answer my question of what percentage of the GDP is remittance and opted to label me as moron, smh. Jamaicas economy has a heavy reliance on SERVICES as a collective group and not remittance as a single contributor, hence my comment to check your figures.
      Did you somehow confuse service and remittance and not know that service was the main component and remittance is included in service?

      You know which country has a heavy remittance to GDP %? India. You know which country experiences massive brain drain annually? India. India experiences the departure of their skilled workers in a similar way to Jamaica. Thus a positive correlation can be made between the volume of ppl who leave and the volume of remittances inflow. I just want to know, moron here don’t kill me, should ppl living and working overseas stop sending money home? Or is it just the Jamaicans you’re antsy about. Depending on your answer, I can confirm if you’re bitter/jealous/not.

      Now, as you’ve stated I’m a complete moron for not knowing how remittances support Jamaicas economy. Thanks for telling me as I never knew that I never knew. Being the fool I am I reread my post trying to pinpoint exactly where I proclaimed that remittance DOES NOT help the economy. Guess what? Couldn’t find it. Seems you’ve added an argument that was never established. My only point in my original post was that the GDPs reliance on remittances is overstated in your POV because deep down you ARE bitter towards Jamaicans for one reason or another.

      Perhaps the one who should learn to interpret is you. Make sure you comprehend as well as it goes hand in hand with interpretation.

      O yes, what is the globally accepted rate of “high” unemployment? I like to use accepted facts and numbers and not opinions especially when using quantitative words.

      Moron born of a paper Caymanian (Jamaican)

  2. Anonymous says:

    Caymankind! The vitriol on these pages is obscene especially in light of the events in the US.
    So the Government isn’t free falling with revenues plummeting?…. oh that’s OK just borrow more…. they refer to a surplus in budget…ok so they generated more money from import duty & permits and spent less than expected (who even knows how ‘accurate’ a budget was prepared given the Auditor Generals comments about the “quality” or lack thereof of government department reporting….what about the 500 plus million they already owe?
    With no tourism in sight and no other published plan for economic recovery just how are CIG going to generate the funds to pay these loans, their generous government salaries, perpetual healthcare and let’s not forget their ministers need their drivers…and if you are ‘naught’ you can stay at home on full paid leave for years until there is finally a court date. Who is going to pay rent on the caymanian owned properties or fund NAU?
    Ok, so all the expats should leave? The nurses and doctors that care for your sick? The teachers that educate your children? The lawyers that attend your courts? Even cleaners and servers had to be recruited off island because too few caymanians wanted those jobs. The business owners that not only pay work permit fees and import duty but provide work for caymanians
    Wow, CIG could actually cut their staff numbers and they could work in the tourist industry instead as that would be all that’s left
    Why not vote for independence from the UK Commonwealth too and see which financial institutions would still be ‘happy’ to lend money? But then again CIG can always rely on Dart to bail them out….just sell more of the island!
    Reality check, most expats want to be here despite the blatant racism, to continue contributing to the island and providing CIG the money they need.

  3. Anonymous says:

    The majority of these comments are as racially toxic as the treatment of George Floyd. It’s repugnant and remember that every single person on this island came from another country.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Seems to me like the Jamaican Government’s decision to refuse re-entry of their own citizens over the past few months has been quite strategic and clearly with a purpose. That purpose being that if they waited long enough, many other countries where Jamaicans work and the industries in which they work would gradually re-open and thus there would be no need to return to Jamaica. Remember, Jamaica’s GDP depends heavily on the remittances which Jamaicans overseas send back home. Also, remember that just as many Jamaicans reside and work overseas as what live in Jamaica! J’can Govt. could not afford to dry-up that source too early, if at all!! Then of course, Jamaica already has staggering unemployment – what would those returning do?

    Seems like their purpose may be coming to pass. While many may return to Jamaica, at this stage, perhaps more will end up staying where they are and likely resume their employment. Crafty!!

    • Anonymous says:

      You mean they’ve thought this thing through? Wish we could say the same.

    • Anonymous says:

      What percentage of Jamaicas GDP is remittances? A heavy reliance would be from 40% upwards. However that’s not the case. Next time you want to talk about the amount of money Jamaica received from abroad check the facts. Also please remember that Jamaicans are all over the globe and the remittance portion of the GDP represents money received from every Jamaican globally….not just Jamaicans in Cayman. Check what you’re saying before you go off on a baseless rant uncovering you’re hate, bitterness and jealousy towards Jamaicans who can afford to send money home.

  5. Anonymous says:

    With that being said not all jamaicans are criminals who come here for a quick dollar or to get married for residency status. Same can be said where not all caymanians are lazy and dont want to do hard labour. Many who come here on work permits do so because they truly cannot get a better job in their local economy. Doing the same job back in their home country pays less than $1KY/Hr which cannot suffice to maintain their family. Leaving your family inorder to ensure their wellbeing only to end up in a country that rejects you because of your nationally is not an easy mental and physical burden to bare yet still we push on through for the sake of our loved ones. Reverse the roles and other nationalities would be chastised for treating caymanians on work permit in their countries in the same fashion that caymanians treat all nationalities here. You cannot just pick out the bad and not commend the good that is also being achieved. There is no one side to a table so don’t dwell on just the negatives as if the positives doesn’t apply. Not everyone is the same and even though the minority is doing their utmost best to build a better future for their children they will consequentially be bashed for the wrongs that the majority has done. Cayman is not perfect and no country is claiming to be. Alot of caymanians assume they are obligated just by being caymanian that they should just be paid and not do the work. From a business perspective , hiring caymanians who are not productive is no way good for that business but yet at the end of the week you must pay them and if you even try to fire them they have a cousin who will shut down your business and have you kicked off the island and that’s the truth no one wishes to speak. Crime will always play a major factor in every country’s society. Yet crimes that are being committed by caymanians are not being paraded as much as any that has been committed by work permit holders. At the end of it all the cold hard truth is that this country is racist towards all work permit holders especially towards jamaicans…but as the saying goes the good WILL have to suffer for the bad

    • Anonymous says:

      12:25pm – for God sake!! I could say s whole lot here, but I going to say it to the point. Why should we have sympathy for these people, especially Jamaicans who have destroyed their country (have you seen the news coming of Jamaica and are you keeping track of the problems they are causing us in Cayman????). I am sorry we cannot solve their problems – they were given and opportunity – how much more are we expected to do????? God has spoken – they need to go, along with a lot others.
      God knew we needed a break. Praying he keeps the hammer down!!!!

      • Anonymous says:

        Dwl how can we expect you to solve our problems when most of you cant even remember basic instructions let alone execute them. Got to love that cayman disease.

      • Anonymous says:

        These people build your country to what it is today. Remember where your country is coming from to what it is now. You did not complete this milestone on your own. Prime example, hurricane Ivan…I’ll just leave it at that.

    • Anonymous says:

      You all have your own country… go. Ok
      And stay gone. GUAF Break

  6. Anonymous says:

    This is bittersweet. Many I’m sorry to see leave and many happy to see go.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Why is CIG allowing Caymanians to return from Jamaica when there is “no room at quarantine facilities”…when there those of us stranded in Miami for months because “there is no room” and flights return empty. Liars!

    • Jotnar says:

      I think the bigger question is why they don’t book more quarantine rooms, but the immediate answer to your question is surely one of timing. If the rooms are available when the flight is organised, then fine. If they are full, then not fine.

      So you will probably find that when those flights came back from Miami the rooms were already full with people from a BA flight, the previous Miami flight and any locals who had been put into quarantine. More than 2 weeks since the last flight in, so room now available. They were not going to delay flights so that there would be room for those coming back.

      As before, the issue is not whether they were lying about the space – why do that, you think they dont want people to come back from Miami but are happy to fly them in from the UK? – but why they cant pay for more rooms to accommodate a specific flight. Flights can be hard to organise, and whilst the focus is on getting people out, doesn’t seem that much to ask the hotels to add on more rooms for a known number of passengers coming in. Sure the hotels are grateful for the business. And the cost must be a drop in the ocean compared with the $30m plus they have spent so far.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Third world vs third world

    • Anonymous says:

      Third world v third world… you talking about Jamaica? Right.

      If we are so third world what are u doing here??? SH people from SH places.

      • Anonymous says:

        Why do you fly to Miami to shop?

        • Anonymous says:

          Miami sells first quality products. Cayman buys end of run and failed inspection products from specific distributors for pennies on the dollar. These shoddy items are then sold to Cayman businesses that use the price (which is not what they paid) of inspected, guaranteed, good products. They then add shipping, plus duty, plus 30-60% profit to charge you double or triple US price on moldy, won’t work out of the box, no return products. We are captive consumers. For EXPORT ONLY means no one would buy it in the US. Send it to Cayman. Everyone makes money on the scam except the consumer…That is why I shop in Miami.

          • Anonymous says:

            I agree with your quality comment, but I shop in the U.S. mainly because Cayman doesn’t offer the variety of products available there and the ridiculous prices here. Take vitamins for example. Same bottle of vitamins is often 250% – 300% price of here. I don’t mind paying a 20% – 30% premium here for the convenience, but paying triple for that convenience. Sometimes it’s even worse. A doctor told me to take certain vitamins here. A two-month supply would have been CI$125. I buy the same thing on Amazon for US$29. The markup is more than 500% when you do the currency conversion!
            But when you shop in Miami, do you claim all purchases with their correct price with Customs? I do every single time, but it never ceases to amaze me that out of a planeload of passengers, many of them residents or Caymanians, only one or two people at most are in line with me to pay duty. I am almost always the last person on the flight out of the Immigration/Customs hall because I pay always pay duty if I’ve been on a shopping trip. And some of those passengers going right through have five or six suitcases or boxes!

        • Anonymous says:

          That’s the word Shop!!!! Not clogging up the place!

          Minimum is the other word.

  9. Anonymous says:

    How would these Jamaicans get home if Cayman Airways didn’t take them?? They are the first ones to jump ship to Caribbean Airlines…guess we see where they are now and I’m sure you won’t ever see them again..

    • Anonymous says:

      why do you all hate so much ….

      • Anonymous says:

        It’s what Caymanian do toward expats, especially Jamaican expats.

        • Anonymous says:

          Nice way to generalize a entire population based upon the opinion of a select few smh. Safe travels and all the best to the Jamaican diaspora returning home, wishing your families and yourself all the best

        • Anonymous says:

          It is the Cayman way with a massive insecurity complex thrown in.

      • Anonymous says:

        Not all, just a miserable lot that don’t even like themselves. I hope all goes well- take good care of yourselves. When things get better here I am sure some of you will be welcomed back.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ah yes so ppl are expect to choose mediocre overpriced service over mediocre reasonably priced service? When I travel I always go with cheaper tickets for my desired dates, anywhere I’m traveling to as all airlines offer the same subpar service these days. Just selecting the lesser of the two evils to be honest.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I don’t wan to seem prejudicial here but it seems to me that Jamaica left their citizens here on purpose for Cayman (NAU) to take care of them and only now when they have decided to open up their borders to the world that they will allow them to come home..

    Jamaica and Cayman has always been close but what Jamaica did to its citizens was wrong and the very least they can do is to refund the Cayman Government for the cost of having to take care of their citizens during this time.

    They had no issue letting in people from the USA but Cayman which is a lot closer to them were told they were not taking them back..

    • Anonymous says:

      As a Jamaican, I never applied to NAU … I used my savings to keep me here even though I am not working, I cannot go back home as my job hope to start back after June 22 once my industry reopens, not all of us have been sucking at the NAU teat, stop the generalising

      • Anonymous says:

        Plenty Caymanians suckin’ on NAU teat with BMWs in the driveway and iPhone 11s in their pockets, don’t you worry about that!

    • Anonymous says:

      Sounds like you work for NAU. Please share the number of Jamaicans who accessed this service. Thanks.

    • Anonymous says:

      You got that right 11:12pm. Just one correction: most Caymanians are not close with Jamacians. It’s an unseen connection here (ML) by some brainwashed stupid people.

      God is answering our prayers.

    • Anonymous says:

      At what point did the Jamaican government tell the Cayman Islands government that they were not taking bad the Jamaicans? I clearly remember the governor saying that discussions were ongoing. Here’s a question…..Cuba is always next door, why haven’t they been mentioned? Not even any talk of discussions being open and the Cubans here been asking about a flight home as well. Every country is doing the best they can at the moment and you have no idea of the conversations that happen between the leaders.

  11. Nigel says:

    Who will do the the actual work when all the Jamaicans and Phillipinos are gone?

    • Anonymous says:

      When there is work they will return. Others will stay and continue to work. It will only be the ones with no work for the foreseeable future that will leave, being unrealistically optimistic of course.

    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly, I charge more and won’t really clean… just push around a broom and chat on my phone.

    • Anonymous says:

      When they all gone: do you realize that means you! And if these islands didn’t have this population explosion we would not need all of these!!!! You!!!! Ok We were doing very good with out you all. Thank you!

    • Anonymous says:

      Well I’m sure the caymanians will….after all they have been most envious for the opportunity to be domestic helpers, cleaners, gardeners and all the other demeaning jobs they assign to all Jamaicans here.

  12. Anonymous says:

    There were caymanians stuck in Jamaica??!!! Oh the horror. I wonder if they were ostracized by the many Jamaicans there and told to leave?

    • Anonymous says:


      • Anonymous says:

        Idk about that. I know plenty of generational caymanian with family in Jamaica and make frequent trips back and forth. Stop being bitter.

    • Anonymous says:

      They all irie smokin’ spliffs together, mon.

    • Anonymous says:

      You can bet if there are Caymanians in Jamaica I feel sorry for them. I can guarantee you if there are two there’s plenty and I can tell you they are not on a work permit or there being a nuisance(s) or criminal. Fact.

      • Anonymous says:

        So you’re telling me that ALL the Jamaicans here are here being nuisances? What a bore. Next time think before you type.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Good news

    • Anonymous says:

      The standards of driving should improve for a while.

      • who cares? I do! says:

        The standard of driving is perpetuated by the inexperienced young people, caymanians and expats alike.

      • Anonymous says:

        Except the ones that drive terribly still hold a job…. (construction)

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes it should improve as young persons who have to sit the driving test 50 times are now afforded the opportunity to actually study and prepare themselves as the licensing is closed. Thank God. I really hope they will study hard and brush up on their mad driving techniques

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