London rep says no need to fear COVID in UK

| 31/07/2020 | 51 Comments
Cayman News Service
André Ebanks

(CNS): André Ebanks, the Cayman Islands Government representative to the UK and Europe, based at the London office, said that Cayman students and those going back to work in the UK do not need to fear COVID-19 there. However, Britain has suffered some of the worst impacts in the world, currently having well over a quarter of a million active cases of COVID-19 and more than 46,000 deaths.

Nevertheless, hundreds of Caymanian students and workers will be going back to, or arriving in, the UK over the next few weeks. As a result, the London office is doing what it can to support them and offer advice about keeping safe in the face of the pandemic there.

On Friday the office launched a digital “Welcome Pack” to provide continued assistance.

“We want Caymanians and Cayman residents coming from Cayman to the UK to know we are here for them and that, with prudent precautions, they do not need to fear covid-19 lifestyle in the UK,” Ebanks said.

“We are specifically aiming our welcome pack to those coming over on upcoming air-bridges, but the information will form part of an ongoing support network for Caymanians overseas, even in Europe and Asia, to enhance, even further, a true sense of a Cayman community — a virtual home away from home,” Ebanks said.

He added that the Cayman Islands Government Office in the UK (CIGOUK) team wants to ensure that the Cayman diaspora knows how to find them and vice-versa when necessary to provide up-to-date information “in these uneasy times when conditions and rules may shift unexpectedly”.

CIGOUK has partnered with affiliate network Cayman Connection UK to share information and include students and other Caymanians overseas in the discussion about what they may need, Messages of welcome will also be shared from Caymanians who remained in the UK during COVID-19 lockdown and the summer.

Dr Shari Smith, manager of the CIG Scholarship Secretariat, said it had maintained close communication with scholars during these unprecedented times.

“This September is not a typical university start for students and we can’t try to treat it that way or make decisions like it is,” she said. “Our team is working assiduously to provide support to our students by facilitating the implementation of alternate provisions and measures in this regard. The Welcome Pack initiative contributes greatly to these efforts and I encourage all Caymanian students to take advantage of this resource which provides useful information about moving to and living in the UK, as well as updates about the current Covid-19 restrictions in the UK.”

Meanwhile the secretariat will continue working in partnership with the CIGOUK .

Kate Kandiah, founder of Cayman Connection UK, a network for Caymanians and those associated with the Cayman Islands overseas, said she would normally be preparing for the annual reception to welcome new students to the UK at this time of year. But this year, she said, it would be a virtual welcome on the digital platform.

The “Welcome Pack” will be on social media channels through CIGOUK and CCUK and information can be found on

Watch message from André Ebanks for Caymanians and residents travelling to the UK (left) and CIGO and CCUK welcome message (right):

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Category: Education, Local News

Comments (51)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Bottom line, if you are afraid, stay yo ass home and let the rational thinkers get on with life.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I love my freedom from covid 19 curfews etc! I can now travel back to the Brac without being Tested & I can go fishing etc! KEEP IT THE WAY IT IS ALDEN=LOCKED AWAY FROM THE WORLD!BRACKA.

  3. Anonymous says:

    ……meanwhile, on Saturday Boris announced delaying the easing of restrictions in many areas by 2 weeks because of flare-us??!!…

  4. Anonymous says:

    Reassuring bullshit aside: the UK is no 4 in the world for deaths, no 11 for total cases, has among the fewest ICU rooms per capita in Europe, and has been easing into a second wave situation. It wouldn’t be on my tempting destination list right now.

  5. Anonymous says:

    The shopping trips to Miami have already started.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Travel time has indicated that these are unlikely to be running and to anticipate cancellations

    • Anonymous says:

      Is travel time an actual travel agent or works for BA? With all due respect I’ve called them and they don’t even know the cost of a ticket so I would take anything they say not to be 100% accurate and do my homework as work to figure things out.

  7. Anonymous says:

    The title of the article is misleading and should be corrected. No where did Mr Ebanks state that COVID-19 cases are low or that the threat is not real.

    Mr Ebanks stated “We want Caymanians and Cayman residents coming from Cayman to the UK to know we are here for them and that, with prudent precautions, they do not need to fear covid-19 lifestyle in the UK.”

    The above indicates that the CIGOUK and CCUK are providing support to the many Caymanians returning to the UK for their studies and act as a point of contact in case students find themselves in any problem during this pandemic. The welcome pack is super informative and provides information on what to expect with the ongoing changing regulations and advisories. Worth the read:

    • Anonymous says:

      @3:27 pm lets accept your version. How is Mr. Ebanks et al going to help anyone coming to the U.K. not be fearful? Is he capable of shielding everyone from covid? -“ be there for them“ like you have said? How exactly is the Cayman team based in London going to help a student based in Switzerland or Birmingham if they come down with covid? Is calling Mr. Ebanks the same as calling the local hospital? Will he send a private plane and a bio button to collect them and take them back to covid free Cayman?

      No one is digging at him as a person, his statement or advice is simply tone deaf or as 10:37am said “irresponsible”. It doesn’t matter if you want to accept it. Let’s look at it if, the Minister of Health Mr. Seymour had said these exact words, I’m sure he too would have be shredded and corrected like in the case! What’s good for the goose… you know the rest.

  8. Anonymous says:

    And once again the negativity of Caymanians when genuine support and caring is offered – it’s stomped on and turned into something completely ridiculous.

    Yes there’s uncertainty globally. But don’t start to bash this when clearly the aim is to ease students and others into a changed reality.

    There’s enough anxiety for us needing to travel so please stop with these negative comments. Always crabs in a bucket.

    • Anonymous says:

      @3:17 and &3:12 pm no one is doing anything wrong here. Mr Ebanks has made a statement that is factually incorrect. The comments on here simply stated that he should get the facts first before stating “No need to be afraid of covid in the U.K.”. If Mr Ebanks made that statement, which I take he did as CNS would not have made it up, then he’s being irresponsible AKA tone deaf! Words ought to be chosen wisely or there’s backlash as in this case!

      • Anonymous says:

        4:31 He’s not just being irresponsible he’s being criminally irresponsible – the risk level in the UK is not only still very high but the government is currently imposing selective lockdowns in some areas and preparing for a second wave.

      • Anonymous says:

        It looks as though he was actually quoted as saying that travellers to the UK did not need to fear the covid 19 “lifestyle”. Which is a different thing from fearing covid 19. So whoever wrote the article misled, not Mr Ebanks.

      • Anonymous says:

        Listen to the video. He did not say there is no need to fear Covid in the UK. So I guess it was made up. Listen foryourself.

    • Anonymous says:

      For those parents voluntarily sending your kids back to the UK you are stupidly putting them at risk. The threat is still real and online options exist.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes you are entitled to your opinion, however crassly it is put. I choose however to disagree. Everyone’s situation is different, for instance please tell me how you do lab work online? Get my point? There is also the matter of variation in perception of risk level and how it is addressed. So you do your thing and allow others to do theirs without you calling them stupid.

      • Anonymous says:


    • Anonymous says:

      How dare you generalize that it is Caymanians being negative? We are quite aware of the divide and rule mentality whose origins are unquestionable, and which you clearly espouse.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I think this is a great effort on behalf of the CIGO UK who are stepping out to make Caymanians overseas feel comfortable in difficult times, these are Caymanians who need to head back to the UK for one reason or another, and it is important that they know there is a support network there should they need. Also as a source of comfort to Parents. How could anyone see that as anything other than a good thing??

    • Anonymous says:

      COVID-19 doesn’t care about emissary comments that downplay it’s existence. We saw that movie already. The rest of us can can read the endless streaming stats, and also read the precursor UK travel policies that are spinning 180′ by the day. It’s particularly important to become sensitized to revisionist propaganda during global crises where your health, or life, may count on the decisions you make. At least that’s what the smart money is doing.

  10. Anonymous says:

    The Island government really needs to get there act together. when it comes to reopening. The UK, America? Seriously.

    You got other countries we can reopen too that is not nearly as infected, yet were letting in one of the worse countries.

    Who’s running the government 🤔.

    • Anonymous says:

      The illuminati runs every government. Why should Cayman be any different? Such a position is arrogance and ignorance.

  11. Layla says:

    What a dunce. He needs to stop misleading people and get all of his facts together. This Covid19 is no joke and it could be anywhere.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Can the government decide what is happening with flights in September/October? Commercial flights? repatriation? It is 4 weeks away and no clarity provided or discussion.

    CNS: Wendy is working on this.

    • Anonymous says:

      BA website already have normal service resumed for Sept

      • Anonymous says:

        3:31 Last week the BA website was also showing the LCY-JFK BA1/BA2 service resuming in September but they’ve just cancelled that completely. It’s an ever-shifting situation so about the only thing you can guarantee is nothing’s guaranteed.

    • 1963 says:

      BA website already have normal service resumed for Sept.

      • Anonymous says:

        Travel time has confirmed that these are unlikely to be running and to anticipate cancellations

      • Anon says:

        These are unlikely to run according to travel time and to expect cancellations

        • Anonymous says:

          Can that Cayman Islands Government please tell us WTF Is going on?

          Their bio button charade is causing untold damage!

          • Anon says:

            Agreed – people leaving on the assumption that they can now come back…new employees needing to start work.. teachers waiting to start at school.. no quarantine facilities and no flights in less than 4 weeks. What a debacle… Everyone knows that there is a pandemic but the lack of communication is unforgiveable.

      • Anonymous says:

        All websites show flights to Cayman and all websites will allow to book to Cayman even via Miami on days the airport is still closed lined in August .

  13. Gray Matter says:

    Is he just a glorified Butler welcoming one home and handing you the news paper when you put on your lounging robe and slippers.
    This is utter waste of our tax payers Money. These returning students are no stupid ; I am sure they understand what’s going on around them.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Where is this dude getting his info from? obviously he does not have a handle on what’s really happening in the UK. Probably spends more time on FB & TikTok than watching real news. What a twit!

  15. Anonymous says:

    It would be reassuring if the government could announce flights for September/October so that parents and students know that they can get back.

    • Anonymous says:

      They will need quarantine facilities to welcome everyone back into, and they do not have enough. They could have, but they relied to much on their half baked bio button scheme, and now realize that it will not to work and will unnecessarily endanger the health of the entire population. They are trying to backtrack without losing face. Someone will be thrown under the bus.

      • Anon says:

        hmmm reason for no press conference today?

      • Anon says:

        The problem is getting bigger each day as more people fly out with the expectation that they can get back in following the government announcement

  16. Anonymous says:

    No sure where in the U.K. Mr Ebanks live. Under a rock?? As at today Friday 31 July 2020 –

    Please Mr Ebanks read the current news first before spouting off assurances you can’t promise.

    • Kate Kandiah says:

      We are aware that things can change very quickly and that there are areas where restrictions are no longer being eased. This initiative by the CIGOUK is to reassure returning Caymanians that they have a support network and to help them keep up to date with information. We can not live in fear and all we can do is offer our support for each other, some who otherwise may not have support overseas. I think this is a fantastic initiative of support.

      • Anonymous says:

        How much longer can BA stay in business… Would be worried about getting your child home on a flight instead of a Cargo ship.

      • Anonymous says:

        Kate, with all due respect, you can say it’s a fantastic initiative, but you are not an independent outsider like most of us reading this release (& commentating on it).
        Please state, for the record, your part in the marketing of the Cayman Islands since leaving the civil service & setting up your own company (ies).
        For the Jewish amongst us, please do not use the word diaspora in your piece, as we find the ‘modern’ use of the word insulting to those of us who had families forced out of their homeland.

        • Anonymous says:


        • Anonymous says:

          You cannot claim the word as solely applying to the Jewish religion, especially when its original usage applied to a dispersal arising after the Babylonian and Roman conquests. There have been numerous examples of wholesale population dispersal since then – including both forced and voluntary mass migrations – and to assert that one religion or population group can claim a word whose simple meaning is a dispersion of a population is rather blinkered.

        • Anonymous says:

          The African diaspora was also forcibly scattered. Most were. The Viking diaspora (my lot) rather the opposite. It’s the scattering of a people that makes for a diaspora not the reason why.

  17. Anonymous says:

    There’s that word ‘’diaspora’ again. A favourite of our MOH during our Covid new briefings. When I was growing up (I’m in my 60’s) it was usually used to talk about Jews being forced out if their homes & dispersed elsewhere, or any people forced to live away from their homeland. Immigrants on the other hand were people who chose to live in another country.
    Can someone please enlighten me on what our elected member & this civil servant are trying to say when they are using the term?

    • Anonymous says:

      LOL! Agreed!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Popularized in Jamaica to get anyone of Jamaican descent to send money back home.

    • Kate Kandiah says:

      The term Diaspora did in fact stem from Jewish migration, you are correct, and like many terms in many languages it now means so much more, our globalised society thrives on immigration, migration and diaspora networks are a vital source for home countries, in many ways. Ensuring your diaspora feel heard and not forgotten, and are valued globally is essential for any nation, and I think it is great that Cayman is doing this. Delighted that the MOH is remembering to speak out to Caymanians overseas and not just thinking about those at home in the bubble. I think a greater awareness of the importance of our diaspora is vital for Cayman on the world stage in this day and age.

      • P&L says:

        Not so fast on the correctness of the origins of the word diaspora… According to Miriam Webster

        The Beginnings of the Word Diaspora

        Until recently diaspora was thought to be a fairly new word in English to describe a very old thing (its first, and principal, meaning relates to the settling of the Jewish people outside of Palestine after the Babylonian exile thousands of years ago). However, recent research has found that the word is quite a bit older than previously thought. It can be found as far back as 1594, in a translation of Lambert Daneau’s A Fruitfull Commentarie vpon the Twelue Small Prophets: “This scattering abrode of the Iewes, as it were an heauenly sowing, fell out after their returne from the captiuitie of Babylon … they are called Diaspora, that is, a scattering or sowing abrode.” Diaspora is descended from the Greek word diaspeirein, meaning “to scatter, spread about.”

    • Anonymous says:

      Historically it may have been used as you describe but the word means scattered people; there’s a black diaspora, a British diaspora, a Caymanian diaspora etc…; there’s no implication that the population was forcibly scattered.

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