Where is the premier? asks PPM

| 15/06/2021 | 210 Comments
  • Cayman News Service
  • Cayman News Service

(CNS): The opposition leader has accused the current government of an absence in leadership, especially when it comes to making decisions on reopening Cayman’s borders. In a press briefing at the Progressives’ offices on Crewe Road on Tuesday, Roy McTaggart urged the government to confirm 1 September as the reopening date. He claimed that they have had enough time to seek the advice they need and to realise that the country will have reached a level of herd immunity to COVID-19 through vaccination before that date, allowing the borders to reopen and give the tourism sector a timeline to work towards.

So far, the PACT government has not said what it plans to do regarding reopening the borders. Now that the priorities of finishing up the vaccine supplies and securing more have been addressed, in his last public appearance on Radio Cayman, Premier Wayne Panton said that the next move was probably to reduce the quarantine period to five days for those who have been vaccinated, ahead of a full border opening.

It is more than a month since the new government convened a press briefing to address the issues surrounding what happens next.

Once the vaccine programme resumes, it won’t be long before all those who have had one dose will get their second shot and before teenagers who are not cleared to receive the Pfizer vaccine can begin to get inoculated. The PPM leader said he believes that 75% of the population will have had the full course by then and the government now needs to fix a date to reopen the borders.

“Government now need to set the stage for a tourism recovery while assisting unemployed tourism workers,” McTaggart said. “The government cannot continue with an absence of leadership on this and related issues requiring urgent attention and decisions.

He said tourism will need time to return. In the interim government should extend the stipend to unemployed tourism workers until the end of the year and increase it to $2,000 per month. McTaggart also called for an extension of the pension contribution holiday until the end of this year, as it is currently due to expire at the end of this month, though it is clear that tourism employers and staff will not be in any position to make contributions for several more months.

“I know that the PACT government is inexperienced and trying to come to grips with the demands of their roles within ministries and the responsibility of governing and leading our country,” McTaggart said. “However, they have had ample time to seek advice from seasoned experts within the government, Public Health England and the private sector to make reasonable judgements on reopening and restarting tourism, and to then let the country know what those decisions are. But time is running out.”

He said the PPM wanted to encourage the government to tell the country this week what their plans are, adding that it was time for PACT to start “making actual decisions and talking to the country”. He accused them of being silent about most things, but said that remaining silent on the “reopening creates genuine concern for people and businesses needing to plan and have real hope for tourism restarting this year”.

While tourism is continuing to suffer and stakeholders are still hearing nothing from the government about a path to re-opening, “we have heard extraordinarily little from the premier other than a brief recent appearance by him and the tourism minister on talk radio”, McTaggart said, as he hit back at Panton’s claim that there was no reopening plan in place when PACT took office. “Excuses for their inability to agree a way forward is not acceptable. Given where we are, there is no reason for further dithering.”

McTaggart took aim at Tourism Minister Kenneth Bryan, asking where his plans and ideas were for breathing life back into tourism, and Health Minister Sabrina Turner, who he said had also been notably silent on the position Cayman was now in to reopen safely.

He urged Panton rally his team, “pull them together, and make some decisions” about rebuilding stay-over tourism and starting a public conversation on the future of the cruise industry. McTaggart suggested that any further silence could jeopardise a successful reopening and tourism recovery.

The former premier, Alden McLaughlin, also criticised the government for taking too long to make a decision and accused them of being paralyzed with fear. “The decision ought be obvious and easy to make” as there would be “very little risk of the virus taking hold in the community” once Cayman has reached the level of 75% vaccine coverage, he said.

While the PPM had been criticised when they were in power for having no plan, which Panton has confirmed was the case, McLaughlin denied that claim, saying that he had set out the Unity government’s plan over and over again. He maintianed that it had always been based on a safe number of people being vaccinated and that when Cayman reached a level of around 75% of vaccine coverage of the population, they would reopen the borders.

See the full briefing on the Progressives’ Facebook page.

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Category: Politics

Comments (210)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    My sweet…its not easy when you have access to the cookie jar…and all of a sudden, someone shuts it tight on you.

  2. Anonymous says:

    So you haven’t kept yourself informed either 8:05, – just this week the UK has record number of cases since Feb, a cruise ship with vaccinated guests finds positive cases, the Gov of Florida is swaying cruise lines by making it unlawful for potential guests to have to declare whether they’ve been vaccinated or not, and David Attenborough releases a new documentary ‘Breaking Boundries’ and the devastation of the our planet earth and you’re standing up for Roy & Alden saying they have a top grasp on priorities. 🙄 The truth is this may well be the time of procrastination being a token value

  3. Anonymous says:

    PPM you had your chance and you blew it, so sit down and keep quiet.

  4. Allan Eden says:

    If you all that was elected would try and work together Cayman would be a much better place for all to live but this ignorance of who is better or who is not for this country has been out of hand for too long.
    Now I know there is agreements and disagreements but you are all intelligent adults should at least get to a happy medium.
    Seems all of you have taken the Covid vaccine so pull up your shorts to keep your seeds in place and get on with running this country in the right direction.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Oh boy, nobody wants to make any decisions, paralyzed by fear. Logic has gone completely out the window, and i don’t mean the over priced fibre network.

    Let’s take a look at what we just heard:

    The Delta variant (new name for Indian because it’s cooler and scarier) doesn’t stand a chance against the Pfizer vaccine, its 96% effective. The reality is, your natural immune system is 99.85% effective against it. But sure, get the vax. For less protection. Bizarre.

    Vax’ing kids – seriously? The English are about to announce NOT to vax the kids under 17. Why? Because the risk to kids is worse from the vax than it is from any virus.

    The Governor saying that we’re vax’ing the kids because they’ve not being exposed to it? This is scandalous. Firstly, he doesn’t know they have not been (many have travelled, many have met people who’ve travelled, and the virus was likely here since Fall 2019 anyhow). Secondly, nobody believes or accepts that kids are spreaders of any note and certainly not vulnerable to it in any meaningful way. Thirdly – why stop at 12 Guv? You don’t know, do you? Of course not, because you’re not a bloody pandemic virologist professional.

    We are just accepting strings of words from people so far out of their depth and with nothing more than group thinking confirmation bias taking hold.

    There is no reason not to open borders now – the vulnerable are vaccinated. Nobody else will get sick in any numbers remotely close to a community catastrophe. This is simple deduction based on everything that has happened globally in the past 18 months.

    Quarantine itself is a waste of time – the 14 days was made up, some people showed positivity 28 days later. Its all smoke and mirrors.

    And to suggest masking (proven not to work) and social distancing (proven to be made up and nonsensical) again?

    We are an enigma wrapped in a riddle and twisted inside out. The gaslighting that is happening, and the willing acceptance of the masses is something to behold. Stop the nonsense. Open up and get on with your lives before it all over.

    • Anonymous says:

      Copied your quote below mine. How misinformed can you be? Do you know what 96% efficacy means? It means that out of every 100 people with actual Covid 19 disease, 96 were unvaccinated and 4 were vaccinated.

      “The Delta variant (new name for Indian because it’s cooler and scarier) doesn’t stand a chance against the Pfizer vaccine, its 96% effective. The reality is, your natural immune system is 99.85% effective against it. But sure, get the vax. For less protection. Bizarre.”

    • Anonymous says:

      A 5 day quarantine is even more of a waste of time. What is that supposed to do? If people are vaccinated there is absolutely no need to quarantine. None.

      • Live Free... says:

        Fully Agreed, I don’t see any sense in quarantining someone who is fully vaccinated, with the understanding that they are immune.

        • Anonymous says:

          Another dopey who doesnt understand that the vaccine does not make you immune. Do you read…anything? Please get a clue and stop spreading misinformation

  6. Anonymous says:

    I just finished watching the PACT briefing and i agree with their ambitions. However, i was very disappointed when the reporter asked the question of “civil servants receiving hazard pay”.. they should be very thankful that they don’t get a pay reduction much less asking for additional pay. I hope that the PACT government does not fall for this.

    • Beaumont Zodecloun says:

      I know, right? If you are lucky enough to have a steady paying job regardless of whether you are required to be at work or not, you are lucky enough.

    • Anonymous says:

      the ridiculous salary a lot of them been getting over the years has been hazardous to the Island.

  7. Anonymous says:

    If the PPM had/has a plan for re-opening of the islands to tourism…then they should have immediately answered the reporter when he asked the question of the “residents having to wear mask”? They were confused and had to make up an answer. As far as i am concerned, why don’t they publish their so called plan. Alden held it up during a briefing…or was it just the front page with blank pages inside.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why would residents need to wear masks? There is no mask mandate in the US now except at airports, in transportation, at hospitals, nursing facilities, prisons, and in large crowds. Isn’t that the same as in Cayman?

    • Anonymous says:

      Seeing is believing Big Mac did the same think at a meeting and the women believe him lol!

  8. Priorities says:

    The Honorable Premier is giving priority to the items in his portfolio. #1 is immediate action to slow global warming so the GAM doesn’t get flooded.

  9. Anon says:

    HOT soft the press
    Please see below in detail the NEW PACT plan
    Keep scrolling


  10. The Mighty Have Fallen says:

    There are NO “seasoned experts” in Government.

    • A Camanian says:

      “There are NO seasoned experts in Government.” ….. Maybe not, and there hasn’t been any in the government in the last ten years or so! Get real !!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe that’s a good thing!

  11. Anonymous says:

    I fully understand everyone’s desire to open up the borders again, and agree somewhat. But I do wonder – having just read that there were 6 positive cases in recent travellers, what will happen when this is multiplied by the extra flights and there is no quarantine? Maybe because most of us are vaccinated, it will be ok, I don’t know…

    • Anonymous says:

      Opening up doesn’t necessarily mean no quarantine and no test upon arrival.

    • Anonymous says:

      That was literally the idea, that we could have sick people around us because we were vaccinated. It’s supposed to work. We’re just afraid of finding out.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I’m holding a prayer meeting this weekend to ask my lord and savior to save me from the virus he sent me

  13. Anonymous says:

    ahh boy..this sorry bunch got too much time on their hands now…

    just tryin a ting to remain relevant..not a chance!

    • Anonymous says:

      Buying a bigger desk could be a priority for news conferences?

      • Falcon says:

        I think they gonna need a bigger table……BTW that’s a donated table from Alden old boss Anthony Duckworth lawfirm

  14. Anonymous says:

    Marl Road Government got no plan.

  15. kaymangirl says:

    can we just cut out quarantine for fully vacinnated persons.

  16. Anonymous says:

    No countries including the USA will take flights from the UK right now. Why should we?

    • Anonymous says:

      Rubbish, Brits are jetting off to most of Europe and beyond. (Plenty of people also flying from the UK to America as long as they fit the entry criteria) These countries know that there’s minimal risk from people who are vaccinated and/or tested prior to arrival.
      None of these have had their vaccines funded by the UK tax payer either!

    • Anonymous says:

      My mind boggles with the lack of knowledge in your post but I will focus on only one point here.

      There are many flights between the US and UK every day because US citizens and permanent residents can travel between the two.

  17. Anonymous says:

    PPM saying they have a “plan” but referring to the “plan” as a vague guideline of 75-80% of the population, without being able to identify if that means the population of those eligible to be immunized, or knowledge of how many snowbirds received vaccines here and left, is nothing short of a joke. They refer to countless meetings they had about the “plan” which I’m sure is true, but if there is no DOCUMENTED PLAN which incorporates the output of those countless meetings and the input of all of the various stakeholders from across the public and private sectors, then there is no “plan.” Just words. We need to open and we need to open as soon as possible, but not without an actual plan. The plan should be published. PPM should have done this, but they did not. PACT could have done this by now, but they have not. Let’s hope that something is forthcoming very soon, but let’s not fall into some kind of misguided belief that we would be better off with the PPM because they have a plan and PACT does not. Neither of them has a plan at this point!

    • Anonymous says:

      PAC just wasted two hours of everyone’s time proving just that.

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe this and maybe that is not a plan.It’s called being indecisive. Not something leaders should be.

  18. Anonymous says:

    The honeymoon will soon be over for PACT and we shall all see the results of putting unsuccessful and untested blowhards forward to lead our Islands. You can be sure a few of them are getting schooled by Mac about all the ways to make money from politricks and not get caught. The Don has a new crewe. They soon emerge and show their true colours. Cant wait to see who they put on the Statutory Boards.

  19. C'Mon Now! says:

    We are #4 in the world for fully vaccinated.

    If the PAC can’t come up with a plan to at least signal when we might open up if things continue to improve they should all quit.

    • Anonymous says:

      Our position on the Vacc’ ladder is irrelevant by world standards , when we are smaller in population total than even an average sized small suburb or town in most of the worlds cities and urban sprawls , don’t let that imaginary number fool you.

  20. Anonymous says:

    The vast majority of people who vote want the border to open when it is safest to do so and not before. It seems to me that PACT is listening to that part of the population.

    • Not afraid of my shadow says:

      It’s very clearly the inmates running the insane asylum. The FUD cannot continue. Fear-Uncertainty-doubt

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