Border opening date a ‘moving target’

| 22/06/2020 | 209 Comments
Cayman News Service
Air Traffic staff at Owen Roberts Airport (Photo by Paul Tibbetts)

(CNS): The chances of Cayman opening its borders on 1 September appear very slim after the date was described as a “moving target” by Premier Alden McLaughlin on Friday. Over the last week or so, the premier has outlined on a number of occasions the challenge of opening up the Cayman Islands to visitors while protecting the community from another more virulent strain of COVID-19 entering these shores.

McLaughlin explained at the most recent COVID-19 briefing that the border opening date had been set by government as something to aim for but it did not mean that the airport would formally reopen. Given that no one has the answer yet on to how we best manage the return of visitors safely, the likelihood is that the borders will not open until December.

Government is mulling all possible options, including rapid testing and limited quarantine, but the premier said that officials “haven’t figured it out yet”, as he told the country that this is now the biggest challenge facing Cayman.

McLaughlin said government would continue to be cautious, given the efforts made to contain the virus here, but the way the pandemic was being handled in the United States, where most of the guests would come from, is not “doing us a great deal of favours”.

McLaughlin explained that a date had to be set for opening the borders to give government something to work towards but it did not mean that it would see the return of tourists.

The premier explained that a two week quarantine was not a welcoming plan for tourists but government was actively researching what is available for rapid testing and a safe means to bring people back.

“I wish I had answers but nobody in the world does… at this stage. We are still looking at every possible angle and researching every lead we get as to how we can safely reopen,” he said. “But as long as the virus is raging around us, it is going to be very difficult to open the borders to regular tourist traffic.”

McLaughlin said he believed that the government could manage the return of those people who have second homes in Cayman with proper planning. But commercial traffic would be much more difficult because of the numbers involved, and as yet there is not a reliable enough quick test available that could help to manage the risk of allowing tourists to return.

But the premier said his government was working on all of this and now that the local epidemic was under control, they could turn their attention and resources to this challenge, as he warned that Cayman could not keep the borders locked down forever.

McLaughlin has also stated that he does not believe that cruise ships could be allowed back until next year but he has been hopeful that Cayman could find a way to minimise the risk of a more virulent strain of the virus arriving here via the return of tourists before the end of the year.

See the press briefing on CIGTV below:


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Comments (209)

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  1. Lulu says:

    Keep washing your hands the best preventative measure. Make sure places have hand wash facility this will help significantly the spread.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    A moving target, just like their plan

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    • Anonymous says:

      and your plan is?

      Armchair quarterbacks on Monday.

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    • Anonymous says:

      How can you have a plan when Florida and Texas are totally out of control with the coronavirus? Most of our tourists come through Florida and Texas airports.

      Until America has a NATIONAL strategy for the virus we are screwed. While buffoon / idiot Trump is in power we are screwed just like America.

      Only hope is to open up to UK and Canada where politicians do not have the high level of stupidity on public health policy like in America.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    Judging from the comments slagging the Premier I have to wonder if those posters actually read the CNS article on which they are alledgely commenting. CNS might as well published “X” with instructions to get on your favourite soap box.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Nobody, not the scientists not the politicians are reliable about any coronavirus facts other than how many cases there are and even that is flimsy.

    On world meter you can go to the US statistics and go right down the list of states listed from highest to lowest in confirmed cases. In so many instances there is no correlation between infection and death.

    For example, Tennessee has 35,500 cases and 531 deaths. Right below it in the list is Minnesota with 33,000 cases and 1460 deaths. Nearly 1500% difference in death toll with essentially the same number of infections.

    Everyday the experts and the armchair experts confidently tell us what to expect and they are wrong regularly.

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    • Anonymous says:

      All these months later and you still haven’t figured out that death is the wrong yardstick.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Deaths are the only yardstick! Do you count how many people have pneumonia or the 2,500,000 that die from it?

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        • Anonymous says:

          Well, take for instance that nobody dies of HIV, HPV, or Herpes, and think about why nobody is crusading for herd immunity with those. This isn’t the flu. There is so much unknown about this new virus that breaks all the rules, impacts the entire vascular system, and does necessarily go away.

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          • Anonymous says:

            SO…..
            50% to 80% of people have the Herpes virus of some type
            And
            HPV can cause cancer BUT there is a vaccine that can prevent some THAT took over 10 years to develop! In USA its estimated 50K of people develop cancer a year from HPV!
            And
            HIV can leads to AIDS that after 30 years there is still no vaccine for! – Globally over 500K of deaths a year

            All of the above you have with you for life in general ( Maybe not HPV ) BUT COVID-19 you have for say a 7 to 21 days and in MOST cases is like a flu and has a very small death rate.

            I would gladly infect my self with COVID-19 over the 3 you listed!
            And when my Anti Body test comes back confirming I have had it WELL then Im 100% certain that COVID-19 was a better choice than your 3.

            Whats your point?
            Mine is we can NOT stay closed until a Vaccine is available we must find a way!

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          • Anonymous says:

            That may be the dumbest comparison I’ve ever heard. Anyone advocating lockdown and bankrupting the economy to avoid HIV or HPV?

      • Anonymous says:

        What yardstick should we be using, or was that sarcasm?

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    • Anonymous says:

      I saw on CNN last night that European countries are opening their borders, but guess travellers of which countries will NOT be welcome? AMERICA, first, then Russia, and Brazil— all countries with out of control Coronavirus cases .

      Open our borders? Our prime tourist market is American.

      One commentator noted that Jamaica had suffered a setback in its Coronavirus cases following a plane load of arrivals from the US.

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    • Anonymous says:

      14 Deaths in Chicago last weekend alone from people shot in the head…. And probably 1/2 of those were Covid-19 related deaths.

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    • Anonymous says:

      No the doctors and scientists are not wrong. In America they are not testing enough.

      If you live in America tell your American friends to practice social distancing and wear a mask. The second wave is coming and Americans need to start using their brains.

    • Hubert says:

      No the doctors and scientists are not wrong. In America they are not testing enough.

      If you live in America tell your American friends to practice social distancing and wear a mask. The second wave is coming and Americans need to start using their brains.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Does Alden actually know what’s happening in the US apart from what he sees on the TV?
    Most places in the US have much lower per capita infection rates than cayman, most Americans who have died are unwell anyway and they actually have treatment protocols for this virus now, which overall is nowhere near as deadly as was first advertised and in fact, there are many other things that will kill you before COVID19 has a chance to. You need to remember this is a huge election year in the US,that is what the media is all about and they are manipulating the public. Let’s not forget other caribbean islands have been open for 3 weeks now and we’re not seeing mass deaths….

    Stop buying into the unnecessary fear and give the islands a chance to recover and rejoin the real world. You also need to consider all the people on island who are being refused the right to have family visit them. That alone will get really old really soon and many will just leave.

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    • Autonomous says:

      Sincerely,
      A regular imbiber of Trump Kool-Aid

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    • Anonymous says:

      The EU is going to ban all American citizens visiting the EU as things are getting totally out of hand, health wise, in Florida, Texas, Arizona and California. Suggest we do the same thing and only open up to U.K. and Canadian tourists. Trump has truly mishandled this whole situation in the USA.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Because we get so many UK and Canadian tourists. That’s not going to solve the hospitality industries problems. One thing worse than having no tourists and shuttering your hotel. Opening and have all the running costs, but insufficient room nights to pay the additional costs of opening.

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      • Anonymous says:

        UK and Canadian tourists, you say 5:21 pm? The UK ranks fifth in the world in Coronavirus incidence, and Canada is In top 20.

        Don’t think so. There goes the rest of our tourist market.

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        • Anonymous says:

          You obviously have not looked at the stats for Florida, Texas and Arizona the past week Florida us the new world epicentre for the virus.

          The stats for Canada and the U.K. are made up largely of March and April stats before social distancing and mask wearing went into full affect. Problem with southern American states is that Trumpian Governors are acting as everything is normal. Just look at Trump yesterday in Arizona and Trump in Oklahoma last Saturday. Public Health care INSANITY.

          Florida is by far the worse place of all for health policy stupidity.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Cda was in the top 10 for deaths until a few weeks ago. UK is about to get their ass kicked again.

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        • Anonymous says:

          As of today Canada is 22nd.

        • Dizzy says:

          And 80% of those Canadian deaths were very elderly seniors with pre-existing health conditions, as a result of covid outbreaks in long-term care homes. Currently, there are few active cases, and the numbers are going down daily. By September, Canadians will be safe tourists to admit.

    • Anonymous says:

      With the EU looking at a total ban on Americans maybe Alden has something right?

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      • Anonymous says:

        What about those in the US who have followed the rules and stayed in? What about those who do not live in high risk areas? There are a lot of people in the US who do not live in Florida, Arizona, California.etc

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    • Anonymous says:

      2:31, Just look at the stats. America now has 25% of all the worlds coronavirus cases, 122,000 deaths and 25% of all the coronavirus cases at 2.4 million cases. The situation in large parts of America is NOT / NOT getting better thanks to an idiot President letting individual states do their own thing. NONSENSE.

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      • Anonymous says:

        The US has also tested a lot more people than anywhere else, hence the higher number of cases. You must look at the per-capita statistics not the headlines, not that the MSM will point that out.

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        • Anonymous says:

          According to worldometer they are 26th in the world for testing per capita, 50% less than Russia, behind Spain, UK, and us, what’s your point? They are also 9th in the world for deaths per capita and 12th in the world for infections per capita. Not the worst, not the best, but probably in the top three for new infections.

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        • Anonymous says:

          You have bought the Trump party line hook line and sinker. America is no where near being a top per capita tester. Stop watching Fox News and get your facts straight Trumper.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Happy to have you leave

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  6. Greek God 77 says:

    Alden I applaud you!!!

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  7. Bertie : B says:

    Sept is the time that all of North America is expecting the start of the second wave of this curse , Many say it will be worse than the first wave .

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    • Anonymous says:

      You have to love informed comments! What absolute trash.
      Who says that:
      1. It will be all of north america?
      2. It will be September?
      3. It will be worse that any first wave?
      4. Who are these many that you speak of?
      5. It will happen at all?
      Stop scaremongering. We have enough problems to deal with without this type of comment!

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      • Anonymous says:

        Not one of our local geniuses predicted the first wave, but they can all predict the second.

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      • Bertie : B says:

        4:25 , You are an idiot , do you follow the news at all ? Dr Fauci and centers for disease control , not to mention the damned World Health organisation and Multiple other scientists from around the World SAY WHAT I POSTED . Try reading the reports . I DID . S.M.H . Sept is the beginning of Regular flu season up north , Covid will make that look like nothing . I am Right ,and You are not very well informed .

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        • Anonymous says:

          I trust your grasp of the science is a little better than your grasp of capitalisation, punctuation and grammar.

          • Bertie : B says:

            I can build homes from the footings up to the roof and all the finishing on the inside . I dont give a damn about grammar ! Whats your specialty genius ? Grammar ? good luck with that in this world . Mr or Miss or Mrs 8:38 .

    • Anonymous says:

      The first wave is vamping up in the US. Not over yet. Then the second wave to come.

      Carry on, Mr Premier.

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    • Anonymous says:

      BS!
      If you can predict this let us know what day to prepare for a hurricane!

  8. Marvin says:

    Listen i want to go to my family so i want to know wen flights going to jamaica

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  9. Anonymous says:

    Listen i want to go to my family so i want to know wen flights going to jamaica

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  10. Anonymous says:

    I agree we need to open up.

    But don’t open the borders and NOT expect the cases to jump dramatically and put the entire island back into lockdown because of tourism.

    Take one step forward and two-step backward.

    If Alden did all of this with 1 death how do you think he’s gonna react with higher numbers?

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  11. Anonymous says:

    Hello i just want to find out when there will be a flight for cuba i been stuck over for almost 3 months and i will lovely to return home please update me

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  12. Anonymous says:

    What would be best is to open to countries like us that is virtually Covid free. I don’t know what happened to the idea of Caribbean countries opening to each other first. All the Caribbean countries do is compete against each other instead of working together. Their eyes are too green and greedy. I’m sure that there are other countries as well. Anywhere but United States and Brazil.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Some Islands have opened to inter islands travel. Idk why the same can’t be done here

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      • Anonymous says:

        It is crazy we can not have inter island travel.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Because we had so much before the virus – with the exception of Jamaica, which was not exactly in bound tourist traffic. There are basic demand factors at play here, folks. The reason airlines dont routinely fly people between here and the other Caribbean islands other than Jamaica – because of our large expat population – and Cuba – because of the end run around US restrictions – is there is not enough demand. Why on earth do you think people in other Caribbean countries would be queuing up to come here? its not because they want a holiday – surprise – they already live on a Caribbean island! And its not as if we have extensive business connections with any of them, save possibly BVI, and there is still not enough business demand on that leg to warrant direct flights. The virus hasn’t changed the basic supply and demand equation

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  13. Anonymous says:

    Yesterday, Harris County Texas (Houston), which had recorded around 20,000 cases of Texas’ 120,000 overall, posted another 2000 new cases and 7 deaths within 24hrs. That’s a 10% rise in a single day. Adult patients are now being placed into pediatric wards. We are going to have to grab some good magazines and take a seat for awhile, the USA experiment is still in its very early days.

    https://www.khou.com/article/news/health/coronavirus/texas-childrens-hospital-admitting-adult-patients-as-covid-19-cases-continue-to-rise/285-5aa0a132-a318-4a41-81b3-6659086c2ef7

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    • Anonymous says:

      No, the USA experiment was in NYC and New Jersey in March and April. They know what they have to do in Florida, Texas and Arizona however, that requires using one’s brain. Social distancing and wearing a mask. So easy but they will not do it.

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      • DLF says:

        Have any of you considered that the biggest reason for the spike in cases is because of the protest 2-3 weeks ago? Thousands of people in the streets, close together, most not wearing masks. They were encouraged to protest and applauded for protesting. The cause was worth protesting but most didn’t bother to wear masks and now these states are paying the price. It is amazing to me that the media is not pointing out the most likely cause of the spike in cases.

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      • Hubert says:

        They don’t want to do the right thing in Florida, Texas and Arizona because the senior political leadership there does not want to upset their man Trump. Therefore, people there are being led to a public health disaster like in NYC and New Jersey in March and April resulting in thousands of unnecessary deaths.

        So stupid. Sad to say, I am an American too. I am losing hope for my country.

    • Anonymous says:

      Fear Monger!

      Pre testing, Pre Screening and open to residence for a month or two to test systems.

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  14. Tom says:

    Take a look at what Iceland is doing. Aggressive testing of the entire population, isolate infected. Result is the virus is no longer on island. Opened up to limited countries who have shown decreasing cases. all arriving passengers must either submit to a ‘rapid’ test or go into 14 day quarantine.
    If Cayman is waiting for the US it is going to be a long wait. Many countries have done a much better job containing the virus and could provide a partial return of tourism dollars, or at least Cayman property owners under certain rules and from certain regions. No cruise ships until there is a vaccine

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    • Anonymous says:

      Are you prepared to take that vaccine? Just wondering.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Luxembourg and Iceland are doing a one month trial experiment, where each “rapid test” takes 5 hrs, costs USD$350 (paid for by broke Iceland gov’t) to a maximum of 1000 tests per day. At minimum that would be $350,000 per day in gov’t burn plus 14-20+ days in housing.

      It will not pick up those many travellers that would be in the 5 day pre-detection window, they would be free to go into town and reintroduce local transmission.

      How would you think it is sustainable to volunteer to warehouse incoming infected recreational travelers on the receiving end, when we can’t even manage current repatriation queues?

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      • tom says:

        which is why I put quotes around ‘rapid’. Did not suggest CIG would have to foot the bill for the test, however the average stay over tourist spends thousands of dollars, so it wouldn’t be the worst investment. Why would the government foot the bill for warehousing incoming travellers? I did not suggest that either. I think you are missing the point, opening the border does not have to be ‘yes or no’, there are solutions that can be found that mitigate risk of spread and help the economy

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      • Anonymous says:

        Open to residence and second home owners first!
        Private aircrafts and charters only to test systems.

        Im paying $200 every 7 days so I can keep traveling. Some of us have to do it!

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        • Anonymous says:

          Please explain your last paragraph. I’m sorry but I don’t follow what you are paying for and why it’s for 7 days?

    • Anonymous says:

      Wait until scientists answer these questions:

      If anti-phospholipid IgG is a major driver of clotting**, what is its prevalence in asymptomatic cases?

      Does someone who gets exposed and develops antibodies but never gets sick according to conventional criteria have a risk of developing these antibodies and developing a dangerous blood clot?

      Could a vaccine prevent someone from getting sick by CONVENTIONAL criteria, but INCREASE the risk of blood clots?

      It seems this should be monitored very carefully in the safety trials.

      ** from preprint released on June 18 by researchers from the University of Michigan.

      *Preprints are studies destined for peer-reviewed journals that have yet to be peer-reviewed. Because COVID-19 is such a rapidly evolving disease and peer-review takes so long, most of the information circulating about the disease comes from preprints.

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  15. Civil savant says:

    The answer to when we open our borders is glaringly obvious – that will be when Govt can no longer pay our civil servants and MLA’s.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Agreed, and what the government doesn’t realize (yet) is that the tourism businesses they will look to for revenue will take a significant amount of time to recover after being shut down.

      Lest anyone think that governments cannot destroy economies, look no further than the USA in the 1930’s (after the roaring twenties), and Argentina.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Elderly, Caymanians or in other countries, had a healthy start up, in the womb and after their birth. Chemical poisoning of planet Earth didn’t happen until after WWII. Introduction of chemicals in agriculture did not happen until after World War II.

    Those who reached maturity by the end of WWII(and avoided famine and concentration camps during childhood)are genetically superior and therefore physically stronger than those who were born thereafter.

    So labeling elderly as the “most vulnerable” group is questionable.
    Today’s youth, especially those born after 2000, and especially those living near (3mile radius) the Dump, are exposed to thousands of toxic chemicals every single day. Add to that exposure to man made electromagnetic frequencies during fetus development, be it from cellphones near or ON a pregnant belly, vanity 3D photos and unnecessary sonograms, and you will see who is the most vulnerable today.

    Even FDA has issued a warning: “Although ultrasound imaging is generally considered safe when used prudently by appropriately trained health care providers, ultrasound energy has the potential to produce biological effects on the body. Ultrasound waves can heat the tissues slightly. In some cases, it can also produce small pockets of gas in body fluids or tissues (cavitation). The long-term consequences of these effects are still unknown.”

    But today’s parents seem don’t care about heating tissues of a developing fetus, they can’t wait to post it on a social media. As soon as a is child born, photo sessions start immediately and continue indefinitely. Then, “suddenly” children of internet stars diagnosed with congenital abnormalities or brain tumor before they even reach 3 years.

    So don’t call elderly vulnerable. They beat many childhood infections without vaccinations, they were born to clean air and water and chemical free carrots from their gardens.

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  17. Anonymous says:

    Apart from the Premier’s repeated anecdotal presumption, is there any clinical or microbiological evidence that the mutation-resistant COVID-19 virus has somehow changed here like nowhere else on the planet? When HSA/DHH (and CARPHA) are looking through the microscope at 20,000 test samples, are they not comparing apples to apples? If this is actually what’s happened, then every epidemiologist on the planet would be wanting a sample for study and publication in science journals.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Where does the PM get off saying that we don’t want a more ” Virulent Strain “.
      Is he now a Doctor or Scantiest?
      They seem to love saying that we are in the top 3 of the world testing BUT we are number 117 in death rate.
      SO Mr PM apparently according to your theory there is 116 Countries out of 215 out there with an even weaker strain of this virus!

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    • Anonymous says:

      my 2 cents.

      #1 Controlled experiments

      Laboratories are artificial environments and researches can never be sure that the results observed in a laboratory will be obtained outside of a laboratory.

      Imagine performing the same experiments outside of laboratory, under natural light, humidity and temperature.

      To simplify it: the dreams you’d see in a laboratory would be different from those you’d see under the stars. COVID 19 would also behave differently under fluorescent light in a set temperature/humidity/ environment than in natural environment of the Cayman Islands or London.

      So different labs around the Globe arriving to different conclusions should be expected, because no labs can have exactly the same lab environment parameters.

      Now imagine all these experiments conducted in natural environment: in dry dessert with scorching temperatures, humid and hot Caribbean, rainy and cloudy Northwest etc. Add to this seasons change and you will realize that you should take scientific experiments results with a grain of salt.

      COVID 19 would behave differently in different environments, NOT BECAUSE it mutated to a new strain. This weaker or stronger “strain” of the virus will be dictated by the environment in wich it will naturally try to survive.

      So London scientists and epidemiologists should not be advising the Caribbean region on COVID 19. Unless they conduct their studies there.

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  18. Anonymous says:

    If a election was held next week Alden would be voted out of office with immediate effect. The ‘more deadly 2nd wave’ is not verified and at this point little more than fear mongering. The European countries that have fully opened are doing fine. Health Authorities world-including the CDC (US) now say masks are not effective and could be optional. The same goes with social distancing. Cayman has had less than 200 positive cases, with 2/3rds of that number asymptomatic. That leaves 1/3rd or approximately 65 positive contagious cases. How many have died? None. How many cases have required hospitalization? A handful. People here have been tricked to the extent that people drive in their cars alone wearing a mask and a death grip on the steering wheel. It’s not uncommon to see a lone bicyclist wearing a mask. Alden’s solution is now excessive and should be modified. Taking timid little steps to reopen the country is not the solution. Just as the beach closure was heavy handed and unnecessary.

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    • Anonymous says:

      It’s good that our hospitals are empty. We’ve been really fortunate so far that this hasn’t found its way into the Pines or other vulnerable community. What kind of maniac would measure health response success via body counts? Who would wish our hospitals or morgues full? Dummies. Please get on a plane and go live your freedom ideals in the USA/Canada.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Whoa! Ease up on Canada (and CIG-original poster) In Canada we have been doing pretty much the same as Cayman, and have had great success compared to our southern neighbours. My city of 1 million has had only 2000 cases and currently has only 53 active cases. All due to restrictions, masks, distancing and generally responsible behavior. It makes a huge difference

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        • Anonymous says:

          Canada is keeping the Americans out. Trudeau just extended the date for keeping them out. Next up, the EU who will announce a ban on Americans traveling there.

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    • Anonymous says:

      You ever think that people driving in the car with mask on because their next stop is only 2 min away and much easier to leave it in instead of taking on and off and contaminate it. Think!

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  19. Anonymous says:

    I say no to opening the border. Keep the Chinese virus out as long as we can. Who knows what other pathogens are being bred as we speak.

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  20. PARADISE LOST says:

    don’t open yet or in September. USA is raging and other parts of the world are seeing many deaths. if you need to go home go to your homeland and be safe. leave ours in one piece.

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    • Anonymous says:

      You do realize that Caymanians now need to travel for a whole number of reasons – school, medical, returning residents, just to name a few. Even the Financial Industry won’t survive too long without some business travel.

      Govt needs to implement a procedure to allow residents to travel and return, using it as a test run/pathfinder for allowing overnight tourists to come back soon.

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      • Say it like it is says:

        10.31am Yes it must be very upsetting for our thousands of civil servants who cannot visit Miami for medical treatment (and a little shopping thrown in), with airfares, hotels and medical bills all paid in full, and no insurance premiums to pay.

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        • Hubert says:

          All medical treatments have now been cancelled in Florida as the hospital beds are full. All focus now is on coronavirus patients who are overwhelming the Florida health system.

          Having a stupid Trump Governor has a price.

  21. Kman says:

    Absolutely pathetic and clueless to the point that its like having a donkey driving a car. For God’s sake just open the borders by 1st August and get the economy moving instead sitting around playing political football, let retired & temp residents condo/homeowners return an invest some much needed $ to the tourism industry.

    Maybe create a bubble with Canada & European countries that are about to reopen and have 3 flights a week. More Charter flights might be an option now and in the future. I believe the Government has done a good job on handling the COVID-19 crisis yet now its time to get people back to working and open the schools for the next 4 weeks an allow parents a break and students a routine, have schools closed for 4 weeks in summer.

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    • Anonymous says:

      1. Zero passenger demand for that. 2. Union crews won’t fly. 3. No approved magic test 4. local ICU Hospital bed capacity of <40 beds.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I hope you’re saving your pennies, for when we get locked down again when we do open the border, because IT WILL happen.

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  22. Anonymous says:

    They are developing a home saliva test I’ve read. If it works, everyone could test cheap and easy. Either way we must end this economic and mental health nightmare.

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  23. Anonymous says:

    I came up with an idea that I think it would be a high value, low cost way of attracting our guests back for the coming winter.

    Tourism is defined as a person spending money outside of their normal area of residence.

    Typical categories and how they are expressed here:

    Recreation (beach vacations)
    Adventure (diving, fishing)
    Education ( conferences, seminars)
    Cultural (Cayman Cookout, Pirates Week, Batabano)
    Medical ( anyone not a resident, coming for HCC)
    Visiting family and friends (Mom and Dad coming here at Christmas)
    Rubber Tire ( staycations or a day trip to East End)
    Snowbird, retirees

    I propose a new segment of tourism. I call it Shelter tourism.

    We have many very high net worth individuals that own 2nd or 3rd homes here in Cayman. Likely they are still working, possibly during this time they have developed the skills to work from home.

    Heading into the fall seasons “2nd wave” of the outbreak in the US, I feel that these families will want to take a step back and decide where they spend their time next winter. Do they really want to live in that Manhattan high rise and take the elevator and the train to work as before… I don’t think so. So let’s invite them to work from home… Here.

    The Shelter tourism category can be broken into several sub segments.

    1/ as mentioned the High Net Worth individuals who already own property here and are familiar with what we offer. Armie Hammer comes to mind as he elected to shelter here at his home at The Ritz.

    It Watercolors, Waters Edge, The Ritz, and Kimpton were all filled with owners for the winter instead of sitting empty most the year (let alone Crystal Harbour and the older condos on SMB) new cars would be purchased, places redecorated, new appliances purchased, jewelry shops visited, boats purchased, wine cellars stocked and all the other facets of life with someone with significant disposable income.

    2/ HNW individuals who have yet to purchase a property but that will rent for a 6 month period

    3/ A retiree of reasonable means. Someone who has a stable retirement income, perhaps they own a small home or apartment here, but also able to rent a spot, and lease a car. A professional in the US or UK who has worked their entire life and made good investments could have a retirement income or $6,000- $10,000 per month. Why not have them spend it here.

    Steps that need to be taken:

    1: invite them! Specific marketing to people we already know who own property here. Advertisements on the water, CUC, or Bank Statements would not be expensive. Specific marketing about our amazing efforts to make the country Covid-free.

    2: make it easy! I can not say for sure, but I believe a visitor gets a 30 day stamp on arrival, then they have to attend immigration to get extensions of 30 or as little as 7 days with the costs associated with it. Upon pre registration for the Shelter Visa, people can pay in advance or on departure (pro rated) at the airport. Maybe $300 a person for three months, and $150 a month up to a maximum of three additional months. $1500 a couple for six months is very fair.

    3/ toss in a little extra, they will be required (and all will have) good health insurance, but let’s dial it up by registering them at HCC so they have the option to use HCC for 24 hr emergency (it’s my belief, only pre registered clients of the hospital have 24 hour emergency access) and also provide medivac insurance coverage over and above their travel insurance.

    Of course, whatever entry protocols we have in place by the fall will need to be followed, be it quarantine, self isolation, or testing and monitoring.

    Inviting these people to winter with us provides “warm beds”. It will give us a boost in seasonal population without negatively effecting the job market as they will not take up a job here, they are either retired or working from home with their stateside job or business. They would not impact traffic as they do not need to commute. And the homeowners will employ helpers and gardeners directly, spend money in our local economy, and most will support our local charities as they do at home.

    This could be temporary legislation, or permanent. But is seasonal and not intended to replace the current residence requirements.

    Paperman

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    • Tom says:

      interesting idea!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Love it! A lot of the world will be working from home! Let’s keep the “workcation” going. I’ve seen persons from many different back grounds come to cayman for a week with their families but the entire time they are working! This is the way forward in life not work life balance but work life integration. I think many parents will opt for this option with schooling. Why stay out when you can travel an learn about a new culture every few months. Lets get ahead Moses

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  24. Anonymous says:

    I think CIG needs to give more credit to the Cayman community. Cayman has evolved almost over night to where you can get anything to your house without moving , credit to everyone as a whole. I think this should have been the case years ago. I do not think it will be as hard as they think it is for persons with 2nd homes to visit. Most of these ppl have 2 million dollar condos/ homes. I do not think they would be bothered with being in isolation until proven they are negative. These people are wealthy an will add more money to economy without taking jobs. Short term answer ?

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  25. ELVIS says:

    Opening the borders in September would basically be a massive backward step no matter what you think, USA is raging with deaths still and they will be flooding in to cayman. We will have taken ten steps forward and 12 steps back literally.
    Countries Round the world are beginning to slowly close certain businesses etc down already

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    • Anonymous says:

      Opening the borders before November 15 hardly makes sense. We’re not having Pirates Week this year (at least I sure hope we’re not!) and virtually no one comes here except for Pirates Week until around the time of American Thanksgiving. Hopefully by then, things will level off in the US.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Elvis, just over 100,000 people have died from Covid in the US since Feb. Which is a drop in the bucket to the population. Over 1 million people have died from other causes since feb as well. June 20, only 100 people died in one day. Trump is a giant dingdong, not a supporter. I’m not sure why I even have to say that when speaking with reason.

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  26. Bob Vere (Anonymous) says:

    My suggestion would be to open Cayman airports effective September 1st but initially only for flights to and from UK, Canada, Caribbean countries. USA flights delayed until October/November. I may be wrong but I believe Nassau will shortly reopen if it hasn’t already

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    • Hubert says:

      Excellent suggestion, however, let’s hope Florida gets it’s health act together before we open up to Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Tampa. We cannot possibly allow people from Florida into Cayman as things currently stand.

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    • Anonymous says:

      You are correct Bahamas is open to residence and home owners BUT must be tested before arrival via private flight.
      I have been going in and out for weeks being tested every 10 days or so and works fine for me.
      As of the 1st of July anyone can enter BUT must have a negative test before travel.

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  27. Anonymous says:

    classic no-plan-alden

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    • Anonymous says:

      Classic boring comment that you’ve said about 1,000 times.
      Why don’t you tell Alden to his face and maybe he’ll tell you his plan.

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  28. Anon says:

    The government is making the mistake that the tourists will return just as soon as it deigns to open the border. Not so. Tourists are creatures of habit. They find somewhere they like and go back year after year. As the rest of the Caribbean opens for visitors, those who can’t come to Cayman will go elsewhere. And lots of them will stay going elsewhere. There are very many lovely spots. Most of them less costly.
    In order to avoid a huge ongoing fall in visitors a way must be found to reopen the border.
    The island has a lot of spare tests. A negative prior to arrival and a test every day for five days should catch 99.9%.
    Better that than the loss of 100% of the tourist business

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    • Anonymous says:

      Tourists did return to hurricane damaged islands after one year. I understand your rush if you have tourism related business interests. Unfortunately that doesn’t make it sensible. More people could die and instead of opening later and staying open you will have wasted funds to open and then have to shut down again.

    • Anonymous says:

      They will not go back to a cheaper place when them or a family member get sick and experience cheAp ‘island health care’

  29. T-bone says:

    Folks, we are in big trouble 🤷🏽‍♂️ If we open up, Covid19 is waiting at the door to come in. And if we don’t open up, how long do you think government will be able to pay civil servants and the countries expenditures? WE HAVE ONLY TWO MAJOR OPTIONS: #1. Begin educating ourselves to go fishing, do trades, et cetera … like the old days. Or, #2. We open our doors to Covid19, and do business with those who open their borders too. We live with it ! And every man and woman responsible for their own health.🤷🏽‍♂️ Can you think of a third option?

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  30. Homeowner says:

    At least allow 2nd home owners to come back in Sept to look after their property. Testing before and after arrival and 14 day isolation at their property can be done.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Make them pay $2400 for the government facility.

      We dont want the virus here.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, this seems like something that could be done, especially on Brac/Little Cayman.

      The collective wisdom of our Government- along with the Governor seems to have run its course. Seems like they all are content on leaving things the way it is. Absolute lack of leadership.

      But then again, this is the same government that is crying about $$$$ yet giving more and more of it away to civil servants who are receiving full paychecks plus overtime.

      So Deputy Governor, you opened up your big mouth about what civil servants can do to help – well take the stipends/honorariums/bonuses and use it to help out Caymanians who don’t have any work. There you go another simple solution.

      I remain,

      Mo$e$ – Trump Wannabe

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      • Anonymous says:

        I want to like your comments and I usually agree with them but if you keep saying Trump wannabe, even if it’s tongue-in-cheek, it makes me pass on them.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Time for Trump racist Wannabe’s to leave and head back to Alabama, Georgia, Texas, etc. we don’t need racists here. We need people who unite not people who divide. Go home please.

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    • Just me. says:

      Unless you are planning on getting rid of pesky non voters on island, expats and their working skills, businesses that need skills and imports…..Then yes. Keep the borders closed and make your voters happy and WOW! you are doing a great job and earning your pay.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Quarantine needs to be strict. Allowing people to promise to stay home has been proved to fail.

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    • DBH says:

      Some of us with 2nd homes on-island are not in a position to isolate for 14 days. Some of us have kids in school thus we are not able to be away from home 14+ days; not that we don’t wish to be there long term but there needs to be a solution to allow 2nd homeowners to return without 14-day isolation. Testing before leaving is a good idea but in truth how effective is it? In theory, I could test negative immediately before leaving home but 3 days later I could test positive, depending upon when I was last exposed to the virus. I don’t know what the solution is but I feel putting off reopening until December will certainly excavate the negative effect on the economy.

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    • Anonymous says:

      We do not want second home owners back here from Florida, Texas and Arizona. Keep them out. America needs to get it’s health act together ASAP.

      OK with U.K. and Canadians though.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Opening the border would be a disaster and would waste all the efforts we have put in. Effective quarantine for long stay visitors staying in airbandb type accommodations is all that is needed. We can forgo our weekend trips to Miami for a couple of years if that is what it takes!

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    • Just me. says:

      A disaster for the ignorant and those who only think of themselves. Thankfully you are the most important thing in these islands.

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  32. Anonymous says:

    My local US post office told me the other day they are not mailing to Cayman till airport opens. So, does that mean there will be no international mail even past Sept.?

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  33. john smith says:

    The Premier continues to amaze me in his stupidity. Sorry for the lack of a more intelligent word, but it seems most appropriate. The virus is not going to disappear anytime soon, a vaccine will not be produced any time soon, we have to intelligently analyze the issue in a setting of reasonable common sense. Cayman relies on tourism, period. Cayman has no real other industry, the financial industry is minor to tourism. Tourism affects all parts of Cayman life and business not just seven mile hotels and stingray city. Plumbers, electricians, HVAC, grocery stores etc all benefit from tourism. Concern of people dying from covid is certainly a concern, but the loss of jobs, increased domestic violence, increased substance abuse, anxiety and depression in adults and children all have their toll.How many people are signing up for emergency benefits, how many are dependent on free food from local restaurants? These are real concerns that should not be trivialized and dismissed with the threat of everyone dying on the island if the borders open.
    Cayman will need to open the border, but why does it need to be all or nothing as suggested by the Premier’s position that any degree of opening will result in apocolyptic death. Could there by graduated opening? Limited flights progressing to a more full schedule as the environment permits. Limiting cruise ships. Requiring negative covid cultures with 48hrs of boarding a Cayman flight. Temperature screening at airports of origin. These are options that can minimize Cayman risk while starting return of tourism. For the government to not have a formal plan at this stage is pure incompetence or corruption. It is a complete failure of the government on there duty to balance safety with providing the opportunity to self sustain.
    Covid is a serious concern, but so are the effects of the present treatment. We need to move forward with a plan to balance risk of disease versus treatment.

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    • Anonymous says:

      “Cayman has no real other industry, the financial industry is minor to tourism”

      I dont really disagree with the rest o your complements, but tat is so far off reality you are either very badly informed or being deliberately mischievous. Tourism contributes way less than financial services – try looking at the the GDP statistics. That being said, losing the toursim industry would still be catastrophic – no country can afford to lose a sector providing 20_30% of its GDP without a lot of pain, especially when the impact is focused on some who have limited ability to redeploy into other areas, but coming out with complete tosh undermines the validity of the rest of your points. You would be better placed saying tourism is a material contributor to over all economic wealth, and a huge setback there has ramifications for individuals, families and businesses that cant readily adjust to other income streams. Of course, you wold still have Alden and his “it doesn’t affect real Caymanians” attitude to deal with, but at least you would get others shooting you down over you unfounded claims rather than the real issue

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    • Caymanian says:

      Youre sounding a bit unreasonable, John. Open the borders to what?! If the big countries are locked down, what are we opening the borders too? Incoming Monies ????? Of please🤦🏼‍♂️ dont even go there. Cruise ship industry won’t be up and sailing for a LOOOOOONG TIME. Bashing our Premier will not help the situation.

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      • Anonymous says:

        I hope the cruise ship industry never gets up and going again. I think they’re disgusting and anyone that wants to go on one is a cheap bastard.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I agree with you except the “amaze me” bit. Everyone is now greeting to truly know Alden.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Agree, except “the financial industry is minor to tourism”. Financial industry is a giant compared to tourism.

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    • Cayman345 says:

      You have Alot to say that everyone allready knows but i notice with no solutions, there is no way to monitor what screening is done with travelers before they arrive here..think again.

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    • Anthony Gordon says:

      Well said!!

  34. Anonymous says:

    ‘Moving target’. Good grief. So we go from September to December in the space of 3 days. Do you know what, fine but DON’T ask residents to isolate in some gulag for 2 weeks at the cost of $$$$. That has been a con from the beginning. Let those of us who haven’t seen family for a long time, go home, spend quality time there and come back and isolate without destroying our wallets. Probably would have been better if you’d just said ‘Nothing is moving until December at the earliest’ rather than get our hopes up.

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    • Anonymous says:

      To be fair, he DID say that Sep 1 was an arbitrary date and that it would like be the END of the year. But people chose to hear what they want to hear. He really should have said something like Nov 1 to appease those wishing to keep the borders closed and those wanting to let it all open up. I am curious as to what people think about cruise shippers, should we allow those back too? SMH

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  35. Anonymous says:

    “….haven’t figured it out yet..”

    That about sums up the Governments approach.

    If they do no open up the borders on Sept 1 it will be a disaster.

    Just one example – how many Cayman students need to return to the UK for studies. UK schools and universities are opening in Sept. One airbridge flight in late Aug is not going to get everyone across, nowhere near it! If the airport isn’t open from Sept 1 then others cannot get commercial flights across – ones which you can currently book. So students will miss the start of school and university.

    Open up even if only Sept 1 for the airport! Get rid of the quarantine Hotel Californias (which is what they must seem like from all stories been heard) – home quarantine.

    Wake up Alden and Dr. Lee for pity’s sake. What are you really hoping to achieve. Number 1 in the charts? For what?

    SMH.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Not to mention that NO plan seems to be in place for students returning to the US and Canada. We can’t wait until the last minute to make plans – adequate flights need to be sorted out NOW. I understand the need to be cautious about opening up to tourism, but some allowances need to be made for residents who need to go back and forth.

      CNS Note:
      The government has organised two flights to the US in July and August. Meanwhile the governor’s office is also arranging two further BA Airlifts to the UK on 31 July and 28 August for students.
      See here https://cnslocallife.com/2020/06/government-confirms-usa-flights-for-july-august/

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      • Anonymous says:

        9:26 We have to open to Countries that have a PLAN Which ONE!

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      • Anonymous says:

        Let’s dispense with the notion that there will be any semblance of a “normal” school or University year starting in Canada/USA in the Fall. Many schools and universities announced weeks ago their plans for a continuation of elearning programs as at the end of this past learning year. There is obviously no going back and forth or in and out privileges; no nipping back for Halloween, Thanksgiving or Christmas visits, so if you choose to leave, pack your bags like you could be leaving for a year. People were asked to make their choice in the springtime and are now pretending the CIG are holding them here. Get on a repatriation flight with space and get out if your FOMO pulls you elsewhere.

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        • Anonymous says:

          I’m a teacher in the US. Summer program is on and start of school is scheduled. Masks are required. Desks must all face same direction. No lunch in cafeteria. Social distancing as much as possible, etc.

      • Anonymous says:

        Get a group together and charter a plane knowing it’s going to have to fly empty in one direction.

      • Anonymous says:

        CNS, the July BA flight is of no use to students starting school at the beginning of Sept, what are they going to do for a monnth? The late Aug flight still leaves a minimum of 3 weeks and in many cases over a month, before University starts – what are the students going to do? Some have family over there, many don’t. Also one flight carrying say 400 people, including many parents, does not cover anywhere near the number of students that need to get across.

        Yes some by choice will study online, but many need to get over there as courses include lab work etc.

        The Government is simply denying the right of people to choose at this stage. Justification for their plan, if you can call it that, is flimsy at best.

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        • Anonymous says:

          You just want to complain. If toyu were listening the Governor stated on several occasions there will be more flights for students to return to University.

          • Anonymous says:

            No, I want to be able to make my own fully informed decisions. You want to live in a totalitarian community for an extended period of time, go right ahead.

    • Sonia starfish says:

      We are pretty much the best place to be in the world right now and you are still complaining??

      SMH

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      • Anon says:

        No Sonia. It is not. Truth is that no one is in your hospitals and no one has died. Get real. People need to work for a living. The Country needs to open up. What? No mail when some people get checks by mail because everyone avoids your banks!!! Your banking fees are a joke. Restrictions are too much.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Genius @ 10 02pm, why is it do you think that there is no one in our hospitals sufferinging from the virus and why no one save the unfortunate cruise ship passenger who arrived here with Covid19 has died? Meanwhile all around the world people are dying by the thousands? It’s because the Cayman Government’s approach to the epidemic has been markedly different to most other countries. Your post is, frankly, idiotic. If you want sickness and death and chaotic living,there are regular repatriation flights. I hope our government continues its sensible, successful strategy in managing the crisis in a way that most of the developed world is failing miserably to do.

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          • Anonymous says:

            Hey genius I’m gonna go with it because everyone’s been asymptomatic and didn’t know they had it until they got tested.

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          • Margaret says:

            Agree totally, leave C.Islands as soon as possible and live where saving lives is not impt. to you. The Preimer , Governor & Cabinet have done an etraoridnary good job, what would we have done witout havinng Mr. Alden as our leader. We will survie with God’s help. He has helped our leaders thus far and will continue to give guidance and direction. Continue to trust God Mr Preimer. We love you. Thanks to all who helped to keep us safe. May God continue to richly bless these Islands.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Do you have any suggestions as to proceeding forward with opening the borders? Please state something

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          • Anonymous says:

            Have people test before getting on the plane for departure ( not during their connection flight as was suggested). Bring documentation of a negative COVID test date stamped. Mask and social distancing requirements in place.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yep. But everyone always complains about how we lost the magic of being the land that time forgot. Well, we going to revisit that if we dont have a plan. We will live in a wonderful covid free bubble, the envy of the world. We will be like Bhutan – a destination that people enviously talk about as being unspoiled by tourists or commercialism, but extraordinarily difficult to visit, the reserve of the creative with lots of time to spare in wangling access or shed loads of money to avoid commercial travel arrangements (and the lack of any surviving hotel accommodation). Our economy will be completely trashed, but we wont have COVID.

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        • DBH says:

          And imagine the large hotels abandoned and in disrepair, falling down because there are no tourist visiting, therefore no money for upkeep. Imagine everyone living in this virus-free bubble with no access to the outside world because if you find a way to leave there is no easy way to return and if you do you will be forced to isolate in a less than wonderful government facility. Imagine restaurants closing because there are not enough people on-island to keep them in business. Imagine none of the jobs in tourism returning. Without a plan to reopen the borders living in the Cayman bubble may prove to be less than paradise. These thoughts make me sad

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        • Anonymous says:

          AND DUMB

      • Anonymous says:

        If you work for Civil service for life then yes. Thankyou for only thinking of yourself. Must be nice to have the only representation on island.

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    • For crying out loud - THIS IS BIGGER THAN CAYMAN ! says:

      What do you expect Alden to do? NOW … more than 45 million Americans have lost their jobs. And as part of the easing of restrictions, many states are reluctant or slow in allowing nonessential businesses to open. 🙄 you must think Cayman is the only country that has restrictions !

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      • Anonymous says:

        That’s not actually true. People were given an incentive to be unemployed there are actually plenty of jobs available as most businesses are now open again.

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    • Anonymous says:

      My son attends university in the Uk, personally i prefer him here rather than anywhere else in the world right now,he is still doing his studies online untill the situation improves.

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    • Anonymous says:

      As Florida becomes the world epicentre for the virus why would we want to open up to Florida on September 1? Canada, U.K. and maybe NYC and Newark but certainly not Florida.

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  36. Anonymous says:

    Cayman- you need to set a firm date at some point if you want us tourists to return. We need to buy airfare in advance and book hotel and car rental. If you open in December, you can’t decide in November.
    Also, you are correct, a quarantine policy will not work. My holiday to your shores is usually 6 days and very expensive! I travel down 2 x a year. I will not spend that type of money to be stuck in a room.
    I do not mind following your social distancing/ mask restrictions. I do that in my hometown.

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    • Anonymous says:

      We will miss you this year. I hear Rio is very nice, or maybe Acapulco. Lots of options for you.

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      • Anonymous says:

        There are a lot of options and I am looking into them, but my first choice has always been Cayman. Watching closely, but will make decision for holiday travel by end of summer and it will not be to a place where I will need to quarantine.

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        • Anon says:

          1:36 Excellent, choose one of those destinations then. If you won’t abide by rules and regulations here then you are most definitely not needed nor welcome.

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    • Anonymous says:

      There is no urgency to secure tickets far in advance, for flights that aren’t for sale at any price, and won’t sell out, with airlines that may not be in business in 6 months – because all of the international travel expectations and assumptions have changed globally. Teams of stakeholders in the IATA haven’t come up with a workable global solution for protecting flight crew, and reopening this traffic, and you expect the mayor of the Cayman Islands to roll out a carpet for you?

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      • Anonymous says:

        Not expecting the mayor (isn’t he the Premier?) to roll out a carpet for me. I know that I have a set time for holiday in December. I do not want to spend those days in the cold weather if at all possible. If I can come to Cayman, I am on that plane….if not, I will be heading to another destination that has sun, beach, hot weather.

        I didn’t mean for my post to be taken as rude….I have just seen the opening dates flip-flop back and forth and it is confusing.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Sorry. We hope to welcome you as soon as possible and ask your understanding that currently the worldwide situation is as explained. A previous poster proposed “shelter tourism”. Is that something you could consider?

          • Anonymous says:

            Can’t locate the “shelter tourism” post…can you explain what that entails? I only have a week holiday at a time.

          • Anonymous says:

            I found the post about “shelter tourism”. Not a bad idea. The only thing I can add is please don’t make it for the rich. I am a professional and have been working from home since March, but I am far from rich…I am comfortable. We are expected to start back to work in August, but if we had to go remote again, I would definitely be interested in working from Cayman…..especially if our next shutdown would run thru our winter (cold) months. I could not afford the Ritz, but somewhere more reasonable would definitely interest me.

    • Anonymous says:

      How can one have a firm date when you have the current health situation in Florida and Texas? What world are you living in?

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      • Anonymous says:

        I don’t live in either of those states. I am from one of the “green” states, but I have not gone out to the restaurants or bars , have had my groceries delivered, and basically not been in contact with others except virtually or from a distance since this began. I social distance and wear my mask. Not concerned about passing the Covid test. I do not have underlying Illnesses and I have taken this issue very serious as it raged around my area and has now seemed to subside.

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      • Anonymous says:

        The US is a big country.

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  37. Anonymous says:

    Alden should really just go hide under his bed and let the rational people get on with it.

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