People need time to adjust, says Panton

| 20/09/2021 | 146 Comments
Cayman News Service
Premier Wayne Panton at Friday’s press briefing

(CNS): Premier Wayne Panton has said the community needs time to adjust to the idea of living with COVID-19 after many people reacted with shock and fear when Cayman’s coronavirus-free bubble burst some 12 days ago. He said the pause in reopening would allow the government time to build up public confidence that the country can manage the return of the virus and not see any significant surges or high levels of sickness.

While government leaders have often said the phased reopening would see COVID return, it still came as a surprise, coming sooner than expected. Speaking at Friday’s press briefing, Panton said the resulting pause is not indefinite and the border could still reopen before the end of the year, but whatever day is set, the country needs to be in the best possible place regarding the vaccine and public must be comfortable with the virus being among us.

The reaction by some to the return of COVID and the response by others to the decision to delay reopening is polarizing the country, but the premier is seeking to use this outbreak and pause to the border reopening plan to build up the confidence that is clearly missing after Cayman has lived for more than a year with no local transmission, a rare situation around the world.

“This pause gives us an opportunity to strengthen some of our controls so that we reduce the likelihood of a surge of COVID-19 cases that puts lives and all commerce at risk,” Panton said on Friday, adding that this would give government a better sense of the way forward and the people time to come to grips with the virus return.

He said the government also wants to test the resilience of institutions to the current outbreaks and to focus on containing and managing it and seeing how it affects local children.

Panton was clear on Friday that government will not lift any quarantine restrictions, as previously planned on 14 October. This could happen sooner than the end of the year but a date was difficult to pin down until the impact of the current outbreaks have time to play out.

“We are looking to pause for as much as to the end of the year but we have to have the flexibility,” he said, explaining that it depends on how confident we can be about lifting quarantine because everyone now accepts we must reopen.

The premier said he was reassured that most people who have become positive from community transmission remain asymptomatic or are suffering only mild symptoms.

But he said he was aware that the reaction to the outbreak was driven by emotion, which is why he believes the country needs a little more time to adapt and get used to the idea of living with the virus before the government moves to Phase 4 of the reopening plan.

“We need time for society to adjust and to make sure we understand what was involved with this current outbreak,” Panton said. “We still don’t know how it happened and no evidence… it happened because of a traveller, so we are still looking around for the possible… sources of this… We have been in this cocoon for 18 months,” he noted, adding that coming out of it has created a level of shock that government could not ignore.

Panton explained that before we relax controls further, government wanted to see how the vaccines, public health experiences, the strategic planning, continuity of operations, school bubbles and people in general react and work together to prevent a surge of cases.

“We have all known that COVID-19 would reach our shores and enter our community. We all knew, both those who believe we need to open the border and learn to live with COVID-19 and those who believe otherwise,” he said, adding that with the virus already here, the government has no intention of implementing a mandated lockdown but was keen to have an organised managed response.

“I believe we can get through this if we all do what we are supposed to do,” he said as he outlined the well-worn COVID protocols of masks, distance and sanitizer, plus the vaccine. “This pandemic requires us to balance the economy and the society, and we are as far as possible putting our people first in these circumstances.”

He said PACT was in unanimous agreement about the values that will guide the decision-making but there was no “playbook for COVID-19. We need to stick together as a community and adapt as circumstances change,” the premier said.

Opening was always going to see the virus return, but combing “our collective efforts we can get through this” and open the borders without going back to lockdown. He warned it will always be impossible to eliminate the risk but the aim was to manage the risk in the community with confidence.

See the full conference below on CIGTV:


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Category: Health, Medical, Politics

Comments (146)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    A whole population being held hostage by political gamesmanship. Tell us which of your members have threatened to cross the aisle if you open the border Wayne.

    • Anonymous says:

      They are getting to be ridiculous. WE hear science for 2 years now we hear panic and bulls. You adjust Panton you are not the only Caymanian here.

    • Hubert says:

      What is required are mandatory vaccinations for all Cayman Islands Government workers as well as all health care workers.

      It is lunacy to just single out work permit holders only for vaccinations.

      The sooner everyone gets vaccinated the sooner we will be able to open up.

  2. Galts Gulch says:

    Who is John Galt?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Now the post office closing again. Sweet baby Jesus what is wrong with these people?

    • Anonymous says:

      Govt employees get their salaries come what may, so any excuse to take time off will be grabbed, as it will not affect their pay.

    • Big Bobo In West Bay says:

      Most Post Office employees are not vaccinated. That is why we need to shut it down.

  4. Anonymous says:

    If 10 people aren’t mentally prepared than it’s time to get the facility up and running so they can stay in a room there.

  5. Telomeres says:

    Telomeres and why they are important.

    https://www.news-medical.net/news/20210111/Study-finds-association-between-severity-of-COVID-19-and-shorter-telomeres.aspx

    Plant base diet (fruits, vegetables and nuts) can protect and lengthen the telomeres.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=how+to+protect+the+telomeres&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en-us&client=safari

    Why antibodies has to be well maintained even though vaccinated.

    https://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/how-robustly-will-individuals-respond-covid-19-vaccine-and-how-long

    Whether vaccinated or not we still have to main healthy immune system as the effectiveness of the vaccines wane overtime, hence the boosters.

    • Anonymous says:

      I wonder why there aren’t any good wholesome foods like potato chips, white sugar and sweetened condensed milk on that list? Jut remember, heavy cake is made with a vegetable so it should be one of your go to 5 a day🤣

  6. Anonymous says:

    Honestly, I see no point to continue rationalising with greed-driven individuals beating their gums over the borders that use irrational opportunistic behaviour to exploit the Cayman Islands. They use dirty tactics like weaponising citizenship, anchor babies, and limiting resource access without any remorse or understanding how their selfish actions negatively effect anyone other than themselves.

    Cayman has always graciously given a slice of the pie to anyone in genuine earnest, even outsiders in need. However for these fools, the fair slice appears to never be enough until it is the whole pie and anything else that comes with it. As a result, locals are left out to pasture: feeling dirty, used and taken advantage of.

    The unfounded entitlement and narcissism over our belongings by recent outsiders (especially from neighbouring impoverished Caribbean countries that only have themselves to blame) is only intensifying and we have hit the fork in the road.

    Local Caymanians will be comfortably accommodated and afforded the highest possible level of prosperity in the Cayman Islands before any outside interest can dictate over any leftovers that may exist. This is a statement that is not up for any level of “discussion, debate or compromise”. Period.

    It is no different for Americans in America nor the British in Great Britain, as it should be. Caymanians in the Cayman Islands are no different to this reality.

    If you don’t like these ABCs, leave at your earliest expedited convenience. If you are willing to make it an equitably beneficial joint venture with locals instead of facilitating an exploitative modern-day slave trade, you are more than welcome to stay. Simple ultimatum.

    Just like taking the vaccine, the choice has always been yours to make.

    The crocodile tears are no longer an acceptable excuse to fly by the seat of your pants, spit in our faces, and fall flat on yours.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Perspective: COVID impact on children (data link at bottom). Relax.

    The CDC’s data indicate that from January 2020 to Sept 15, 2021, there were 439 COVID deaths for persons under 18 years. For that same 21 month period, there were 56,092 deaths from all causes for persons under 18 years.

    There are 74 million persons under 18 years in the US. 439 deaths out of 74 million is .000593%.

    Total COVID deaths in the US are 658,000. Under 18 years represent 0.067% of total COVID deaths. In other words, over 18 years, as a group, had 1,500 times more deaths than under 18 years, as a group.

    There are lots of serious things to worry about if you have children, but COVID thankfully isn’t one of them. This is just “science”.

    Link to CDC data set: https://data.cdc.gov/widgets/9bhg-hcku

  8. Anonymous says:

    wayne…you had a plan but ditched only to create further fear and panic.
    you stopped trusting in medical science and now base your plans on peoples fears and anxietys…..
    time to resign.
    and time for the governor to take charge for the next 6 months.

  9. Concerned Citizen of George Town South says:

    I whole-heartly agree with what the Honorable Premier, Wayne Panton is trying to accomplish with the re-opening of the Cayman Borders. He has all of the Cayman people at heart. Like him or not he is so much more professional that the previous Premier. All he was worried about was the likes of the rich and famous. You know who I’m talking about. He never had the Cayman people at heart. Was too full of himself to even care about his own people. Want to still be in control but that will never happen under our watch. I’m glad he’s not in control anymore. The Hon. Wayne Panton is very approachable, even just watching him on the Press Briefings, he is so composed and relaxed. He does not look scared to deal with the issues that Cayman is facing.
    Kudos to the the Premier, and his Government. They are doing what is best for Cayman. If people cannot wait until the Borders open in 2022 then just pack up and leave. It’s not all about money. It’s having the Cayman people at heart and what is best for them.

  10. Sheriff says:

    The border MIGHT reopen before the end of the year. Yeah, right whatever. Bookings have been canceled and people are not going to rebook AGAIN. High season 2021 is lost, and it is very likely the months of spring break in March/April are also a loss. Who is going to risk booking to come here when there is no confidence in anything the government says?

    I know some of you do not care about the tourism industry or the ability to get on and off this island easily and at a reasonable cost but the time soon come that other sectors of the economy will suffer.

    We are no longer in a “covid free” bubble…and news flash, the world is not coming to an end and everyone on island isn’t dropping dead.

  11. Anonymous says:

    #November 15TH. The Cayman compromise date.

    The “openers” and “closers” would both be slightly disappointed in this date. Any compromise which both sides feel they didnt get exactly what they wanted is characteristic of a good deal.

    -enough time for last willing holdouts to get vaccinated
    -vulnerable persons and willing over 50s can get boosted by then
    -saves the heart of tourist season, and allows families to be reunited in Cayman over Christmas.

    Most tourism activities post Nov 15th would be outdoors anyway, including evening dining.

    #November 15th.

  12. Pickled Pepper says:

    What a joke. So the reversal of the opening plans is blamed on the emotional reaction to the inevitable importation of cases and nothing else? Nothing will change between now and December or 2022 or forever now. If not now, when? And what will be different then compared to now?

  13. Anonymous says:

    Truly a case of the fireman who is also the arsonist.

    • Anonymous says:

      8:09pmExactly!!!!!!!!!!

      “Premier Wayne Panton has said the community needs time to adjust to the idea of living with COVID-19 after many people reacted with shock and fear when Cayman’s coronavirus-free bubble burst some 12 days ago.”

      Of course they reacted with fear……recessive levels of fear at that! The government has done nothing but hype up the fear so it didn’t surprise me that people reacted irrationally!

  14. Anonymous says:

    Can someone please do the math on this?

    Let’s take the data we have from all the other island nations that have reopened and estimate what fraction of tourism revenue we can reasonably expect to return compared to our peak that if we reopen our borders, and compare to the expected cost to our healthcare system, the restaurant industry, and so many others that will be impacted when we inevitably have to go into cyclical lockdowns, like so many other countries have had to do.

    Before we make a decision based on the assumption that tourism will just magically return to peak levels, someone should probably check the numbers.

    • Kiki says:

      It would be difficult to compare the opening of the Cayman Islands to other Caribbean islands since the vaccination rate in the Caymans will be substantially higher when they open compared to other islands.

      • Anonymous says:

        True, but similarly, there are still no approved vaccines that apply specifically to the mutated Delta/Beta VOC and others. The vaccines against Covid-classic, that many of us readily accepted, help the immune system to kick into gear, but it’s not necessarily immediate, and those vaccinated are not entirely invulnerable. It’s real world like 40-50% hopefully…YMMV.

    • Anonymous says:

      Can you do the math on the difference between our vaccine rates and other islands?

      BVI – 46%
      Bahamas – 16%
      Jamaica – 7%
      Barbados – 34%

      In Bermuda, the health minister, Kim Wilson, said on the weekend, “the vast majority of hospitalizations and 100% of patients in the ICU are unvaccinated”. In Bermuda, there is a group, called the Bermuda Freedom Alliance, that actually had anti-vaccination protests in the streets of Hamilton Bermuda this summer.

      In Cayman, our adult vaccination rate is in excess of 90%, so we are more prepared. And this is not just about tourists; it is also about having family and friends visit– many of us havent seen them in two years and now their plans are quashed unless we can open some time prior to year end.

    • Anonymous says:

      6:30 Other islands have had tourism return over a year ago…..even though those places weren’t “Covid-free” like Cayman kept claiming to be.

      ~ Tourism WILL return if entry requirements are reasonable and comparable to other places (vaccinated travelers and pre-tests).
      ~ It will NOT return if the requirements are excessive and more burdensome than other places (registering through Travel Time, no US airlines, testing throughout vacation, quarantine, geotracking etc).

  15. Anonymous says:

    Expletives fail me. You “want to see how it affects children” by waiting to see how a tiny sample of infected GTP kids react? Why not look at the many peer reviewed studies that have been done. Ever heard that the plural of anecdote is not “data”?

    More flip flop theatre from the PACT. These press conferences were a colossal waste of everyone’s time even when you could rely on what was said to actually be carried out.

    PACT are in unanimous agreement about the values that will govern the reopening? What are those again? Fear, cowardice and political expediency?

    • Anonymous says:

      The American Academy of Pediatrics puts out a comprehensive weekly report on the cumulative impact of COVID on children (under 18 years). A link is at the bottom on the post.

      In their narrative summary, they indicate:

      “the available data indicate that COVID-19-associated hospitalization and death is uncommon in children……At this time, it appears that severe illness due to COVID-19 is uncommon among children”

      “Among states reporting….. 0.1%-2.0% of all their child COVID-19 cases resulted in hospitalization”

      “In states reporting, 0.00%-0.03 of all child COVID-19 cases resulted in death”

      https://www.aap.org/en/pages/2019-novel-coronavirus-covid-19-infections/children-and-covid-19-state-level-data-report/

  16. Anonymous says:

    P – Plan down the pan

    A – Accountable to anti-vaxxer and sky fairy believers

    C – Credibilty in the toilet

    T – Too late for tourism this year

    Panton, seriously disappointed in you. I’m sure you’re a lovely bloke but you’d struggle to decide what socks to wear each day.

    • Anonymous says:

      So true.

    • Anonymous says:

      Panton is a bit too smug on this “learning to live with Covid 19”. How can he be so Blaise and condescending?. I know that habits are hard to break but he had better work on that one.. It will be more like “learning to die”. Has this Pact AKA/PACK) gone completely bonkers. It is like they have thrown their hands up “while we learn to live with it. The Progressives would have never had that mindset. We are in deep trouble here.

      • Anon says:

        “Learning to die” yes that is what the hard cold true facts show. Enough with the death fear mongering.

      • Anonymous says:

        Progressives? Ha!!!!! They wouldn’t even START coming up with a plan!

        At least PACT had a plan. It was horribly disappointing that they gave in to paranoid people but at least they’d come up with a decent plan.

        Now, that plan needs to get back in motion! The whole world (except us!) has learned to live with Covid.

      • Anonymous says:

        COVID is never going away.

  17. Anonymous says:

    I happen to agree with all your points and the suggestion of November , but it would have to be a no-compromise by the government to commit .The writing might be already on the wall that TRUST has been lost with the present administration ,to stick to a commitment. Sadly, to the detriment of not just the tourism body locally & abroad. I personally know of a family that hade made bookings to come here for Christmas this year , a family of 4 adults, all visiting family here who are residents .They have had to cancel . It is very doubtful they would make a re-booking unless there were assurances on Caymans border , quarantine & airlines accommodating advance reservations. That does not currently exist. I do hope it is able to be rectified in the months ahead.

    • Anonymous says:

      They were pretty clear, over and over again, in communicating the rollout plan, that the October 14 reopening date was contingent on overall vaccination rates, what happened in earlier stages of the rollout, and what was happening globally with respect to the pandemic.

      The thing that happened in the earlier stages of the rollout is that we had an unexpected and unaccounted for cluster of cases that needed to be assessed and that caused government to put a pause on the plan, and that our feeder markets started seeing surges like we haven’t seen since the earliest days of the pandemic.

      Just because your wishful thinking only had you paying attention to the first part about our borders reopening on October 14 doesn’t mean they didn’t say the rest.

      • Anonymous says:

        7:15 Originally, they emphasized it being contingent on vaccination rates. However, they’d been saying recently that the vaccination rate was not as critical as they first believed and it wouldn’t be an obstacle to reopening.

        The truth of the matter is that the pause had nothing to do with the stated criteria! From Wayne’s own mouth, “the community needs time to adjust to the idea of living with COVID-19 after many people reacted with shock and fear when Cayman’s coronavirus-free bubble burst some 12 days ago.” Nowhere was public paranoia stated as part of the plan.

        He had a knee-jerk reaction and now realizes that he drastically overreacted! His “apology” for that misjudgment is to say the borders might still open before year-end.

        Yes, no, maybe so isn’t the way to run a country!

  18. Anonymous says:

    If what I read is correct (and everything is suspect!), then the jab loses effectiveness over time (in mere months). And, if you are already immunocomprised, it is even less effective. That means even if you have the jab, you can still get COVID (as we have seen reported within our borders already).

    If you read history, pandemics typically last ~3 years. So, if that theory is correct, we are halfway through this thing. That means it is not going away anytime really soon.

    One way or the other, we need to be mentally prepared for community transmission and outbreaks. It appears to be taking our government longer, mentally, than the rest of us. We knew it was coming when the vaccinated quarantine was lowered to 5 days when we all read the incubation period for COVID was 10-14 days. No surprise there!

    Get on with it.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Way to leave us all hanging Wayne.

    • Anonymous says:

      We need a firm opening date. How about October 14? We need to accept only vaccinated without a quarantine period! We need to accept the CDC card. Tourism would roll in for high season and beyond. Test on certain days if that makes you happy.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Dude is been more than a year and half… what more can we adapt.

  21. Mee Reddy says:

    It doesn’t matter if we open up next week or a year from now, we will have an initial period of high community covid transmission, especially amongst the unvaccinated.

    The entire world is cautiously moving on and dealing with life in a pandemic, but we still seem to think that by keeping the door shut and our head in the sand that we can outwait it.

    Meanwhile, we are losing our valuable tourism industry to competent competitors like the Turks & Caicos or Aruba. Our business community is not out at conferences promoting our local finance product over other strong jurisdictions like Hong Kong or BVI. It is not a sustainable approach and it is not fair to those that have followed all the advice and recommendations over the last 18 months.

    Life goes on, we need to move forward as well.

  22. Anonymous says:

    People need leadership

  23. Anony says:

    We had a perfectly good plan, THEY, the Govt panicked + over-reacted. Go back to the plan, or one similar to it. Get open BEFORE busy season or it will be trial by fire + damage our reputation for tourism excellence. People want real work, not Govt stipends.

    • Anonymous says:

      People need tourists at their establishments!

      • Anonymous says:

        When all non-essential close, and the government shutters, there are no establishments open. This is what normal looks like everywhere the borders are temporarily open, and then closed again, and then open again, and then….

    • Anonymous says:

      Cool hand Luke (Wayne) fails again

  24. Anonymous says:

    COVID isn’t going anywhere globally. In fact, at the rate it continues to spread and mutate, we’re much more likely to see a more deadly, vaccine-resistant strain develop before the pandemic is actually behind us.

    Cayman has had a real opportunity to show the world how its suppression measures (including the ones enacted in light of the most recent occurrences of community transmission) allowed it to entirely escape the virus. It has been a model of public health, and how sacrificing relatively little for a relatively short period of time in the grand scheme of things for the wellbeing of the broader community can pay off.

    Once we reopen, we will lose that opportunity forever and will become as selfish and self-involved as the rest of the world.

    • Anonymous says:

      Excellent comment! Thank you.

    • Anonymous says:

      We have been preparing for 18 months. If we aren’t ready now, then 90 days won’t help.

    • Anonymous says:

      “Sacrificing relatively little” speak for yourself. I need to find a partner and start a family and I can’t even go off island to buy clothes that fit. My best friend who visited annually was going to come in November but now can’t. We have lives to get on with, this government is stealing and hoarding the time we have to be alive, literally. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

  25. Anonymous says:

    Stirred up the CITA hornet’s nest

  26. Anonymous says:

    We’ve been adjusting for a year and a half!

  27. Anonymous says:

    Hands up all those who voted for PAniCT but are now PIssED

  28. Anonymous says:

    Excellent news coming out of Boris Johnson’s visit to the United States today – he has persuaded Biden to end the travel ban. It now means anyone from Europe and many other countries who is double vaccinated can now enter the us with no quarantine for the first time since March 2020.

    Great for people in cayman as likely gives more alternative flight routes to and from Europe via Miami and we don’t just have to rely on the BA Nassau routes as they are in such oversubscribed high demand.

    • Anonymous says:

      Other than we have to rely on (sold out) three-times-a-week CAL flights to/from Miami. Good luck getting a seat on a late November or December flight. Once all of the CAL insiders and their friends and family are given an early heads up scheduled, there will be very little posted to the CAL website (just like July and August).

      Its a shame. American Airlines had a full schedule posted from mid October, but this was all taken down by AA last week. Many people in our office had booked flights to get home for Xmas or US thanksgiving — many havent seen family in two years. Try figuring out travel/connections with CAL ghost flights.

    • GoodForTheGoose says:

      Maybe the US won’t accept Cayman’s vaccination proof. What’s good for the goose and all that…

  29. PACT is now only P... says:

    First they lost the T for not being Transparent

    Certainly they have lost the C due to continued inCompetence

    I don’t know what People Driven means so they can keep the P

    Surely they will be held Accountable and lose the A when they are not re-elected.

    • Anonymous says:

      But kenneth did such a wonderful job at Miss Cayman with the “speech I wrote all by myself”.

      I almost died when he said that. Dude you are supposed to be capable of writing your own speech and so much more, what do you want a cookie ?

      • Anonymous says:

        Poor Ken-Ken, always putting his foot in his mouth.

      • Anonymous says:

        I see he has appointed his campaign team member as deputy chair of CIAA Board. What has she ever done to now be second In Charge of the Airport? And do not tell me working for an airline booking and processing passengers because I will belt ya

  30. Anonymous says:

    Lawyers rarely make good leaders. For a good leader you need to have a warrior within you.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Make a plan and stick with it. Start leading mate or stand aside so someone else can.

    Maybe Governor Roper can exercise his executive authority to step-in and guide us through to a full re-opening?

    Panton is out of his depth. It becomes more and more apparent during each of these press briefings…

    • Anonymous says:

      PACT panicked. They should have waited to find out more about the outbreak at school and it’s implications (such as number of infected children) before announcing a major policy change. Waiting another 48 hours would have made no difference.

    • Anonymous says:

      Governor Roper has already indicated that his use of reserved powers was a rare instance and that Parliament will should have autonomy.

  32. Cayparty@gmail.com says:

    The problem is we have lived without C19 for over a year unlike other countries who have adjusted how they live and deal with C19.
    It’s time to just open and get on with our lives, yes different but it’s time. This government and the last are only playing politics to a small minority, who they seem to be scared of.
    Watch what happens when we open, it will be mandatory to wear a mask on the beach, we’ll have to keep 2m apart etc.
    This is all because we have lived in a bubble for the last few years.
    Those of you that refuse to take the jab, shame in you for holding the country to ransom.
    Mr. Panton grow some b@lls and open the doors, all you are doing is preventing the inevitable!

  33. Robert Mugabe IV says:

    When our Govt leader and his unanimous Pact believed the following
    “Cayman’s coronavirus-free bubble burst some 12 days ago.” AND “the country can manage the return of the virus”
    It just shows us all how gullible and blinded they became by false belief and fear (along with a large section of the population)
    Anyone who believed that we were ever in a Covid-Free Bubble after Covid arrived AND/OR now believe somehow we are getting ready for “the return of the virus” have not been thinking lucidly for at least 18 months.
    What he should do now is apologize to the majority for listening to a tiny minority and admit he made a mistake and open up. He should also apologize to Dr Lee for going against the good Doctor’s scientifically based advise.
    That is what a true leader would do.
    It might save his political career.

  34. Anonymous says:

    I would like to say that I am mentally prepared for COVID to enter the community. I have been mentally prepared for months. I have done everything that I can do to ensure my safety and the safety of my loved ones.

    I am vaccinated, I consistently encourage family/loved ones to also get vaccinated. I wear a mask and I sanitize and practice good hygiene. And stay away from large groups.

    There is nothing else that I can do. We are prepared. At this point I feel that there is enough information out there for people to make an conscious, informed, sensible decision about whether they want to take the vaccine or not.

    That’s fine. It is their decision. We all know the risks.

    There is no good reason to not re-open as scheduled.

  35. Anonymous says:

    Panton and his government don’t want the first Covid death to be on their shift. That’s what is driving this panic. They are terrified of losing votes.
    They are only thinking in the short term and don’t care about tourism, travel, or whether this island’s economy completely tanks. They are influenced by a small cohort of voters who, it would seem, made their future voting intentions known should the reopening go ahead.
    It is this attitude that is costing jobs, closing businesses, and having a catastrophic effect on mental health. But they have proved now that these things are not priorities, staying in office is.

  36. Anonymous says:

    Coming to your workplace soon – mandatory quarantine for all employees after one tests positive, even if they are asymptomatic and you are vaccinated. Over 7000 tests post the GTPS outbreak, and they found less than 30 people infected, none seriously ill, yet hundreds of GTPS parents are doing 14 days quarantine without even a release on early test. Just wait till they start testing the other schools.
    With this level of regulation and lockdown we may as well have the borders open. It wont just be the travellers that are in quarantine, it will be all of us.

  37. Anonymous says:

    PACT vision: “People-driven, Accountable, Competent and Transparent.“

    PACT reality: “Hysteria driven, unaccountable, incompetent and transparent only when it suits.

  38. Anonymous says:

    I personally am taking note of all the businesses pushing this with their temper tantrums and threatening to close because they aren’t getting their way. And when we do open, they won’t see a cent of my money. Nor will any that is saying “Last call for locals” implying that our time to enjoy is over and we are no longer needed.

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s all it is, empty threats, restaurants that have stayed open for 18 months are obviously doing ok, just not making as much money as before. That is the real complaint, not making more money, greed is an ugly thing.

      • Anonymous says:

        The last time I went to the supermarket, CUC, water company and doctor, those bastards had the audacity to ask for money.

  39. Anonymous says:

    MLA’S salaries should be reduced to the same stipend being issued to people that can not work until the borders reopen. Let see how quick they change their minds about the reopening date then.

    • ThIs WrItInG Is VeRy IrRiTaTiNg says:

      Turkeys don’t vote for thanksgiving or Christmas so don’t hold your breath on that one.

  40. Anonymous says:

    there was panic because this new government panicked!
    we knew this would happen so why wait?
    sick and tired of all these policies. nothing makes sense really – mandating masks for government schools, but yet public bars are crowded and no sanitary protocols in place? come on.
    who are we pleasing?????

  41. anon says:

    so the decision was made because of ’emotion’ and not on risk based data !!! pathetic

    and now he is saying the borders may open before the end of the year, what a joke : The airlines want proper information to plan not hearsay and decisions which are not kept to !! trust has gone from everyone in relation to the Govt.

    • Anonymous says:

      Elect a bunch of amateur unemployables, who don’t have a party policy, no loyalty to each other, each having their own agenda, and you expect them to act as a cohesive decision making body…?
      Wayne is a decent educated man, so is Andre. They should both walk across and join Roy to form a Macfree government. Heather will go along and JuJu will follow.

      • Anonymous says:

        “A bunch of amateur unemployables”. That’s always been our problem. Remember when one of the west bay MLAs, a bus driver, said “I recline” instead of I decline? Or when Eugene swore to her Majesty’s “hairs and graces”. Or when the father of the house from north side was a bus driver? Or when……ok fill the blanks.

  42. Anonymous says:

    This “time to adjust” should have been taking place for months already

  43. Anonymous says:

    Encouraging that they’re potentially backing away from the end of the year and perhaps we could see a shift to 1 December. This would enable us to be open for the bulk of busy season.

    The knee-jerk announcement of “for the rest of the year” was completely unnecessary. It shows that this government is not at all guided by science and has not been using its time wisely to prepare. Circumstances hadn’t changed at all between the time they made the plan and the few cases slipping through.

    Not a good look. They’ve eroded their own credibility and the confidence of residents. Even though they were quick to say they thought this would happen and that we were lucky to make it this long, they were obviously caught flat-footed. The regulations should have all been ready, there should have been a reasonable plan for quarantining. There should have been lateral flow tests ordered long ago.

    If we want society to function, how about coming up with a reasonable quarantine plan for close contacts of positive cases. We obviously can’t continue with this policy of closing down a whole school or business for two weeks at a time.

    Hopefully cooler heads will now prevail, they can set a date of December 1 and stick with it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Complete waffle and BS. Man up and open the borders. These moving dates and indecisive plans are just as bad as staying closed. It’s an absolute embarrassment.

    • Anonymous says:

      But f he told you tomorrow it was December 1, how could you trust him and plan accordingly? All it would take is a serious hospital case and further unvaxxed panic, and he would shift it again. Now he is reacting to the lash back from the tourism industry and the Compass poll; next week it will be whoever is screaming loudest then. Sad – just sad.

    • Anonymous says:

      Too late, people aren’t waiting for us to open maybe, they are booking elsewhere and probably not going to come back ….

    • Bill says:

      What I don’t get is speeches that said Covid would come but we would be ready, rapidly followed by ‘Covid is here and that’s a game changer’ how? What would they have done when they had transfer after 14th October? Now that’s a scary thought.

  44. Anonymous says:

    They had 18 months to adjust. Now it is time to open the border.

  45. Anonymous says:

    Wayne either needs to put on his big boy pants or step aside.

    • Anonymous says:

      And replaced by who… Bryan LOL

      • Anonymous says:

        3.26 Not Bryan, God forbid if Bryan takes over. With Mac Saunders and Jay they will be the end of Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      Huh? You do realise that Roy/PPM and McKeeva were both issuing statements opposing a reopen plan. Curious about who you are talking about yielding better policy-making decisions to?

  46. Anonymous says:

    Politically, you probably can’t revert to the October 14th date. But clearly maybe half (or more) of the country wants to move forward with October 14th, and the other half happy until the end of year (and some longer).

    Why not split the difference? Why not go with November 15th? That would save the start of the tourist season (pre US Thanksgiving), allow for visitors over Xmas (tourists, and friend and family). This is enough time for the US airlines to stand up service, and given visitors enough confidence to preserve their Jan to March bookings.

    November 15th would give the “pro-closers” two months to mentally prepare, get the remaining willing adults vaccinated, allow the vulnerable to get boosters, allow for a supply of 15-minute rapid lateral flow COVID tests.

    Fair compromise.

    #NOVEMBER 15th!

    • V says:

      Remember, remember the 15 of November!
      Got a nice ring to it. I wish it would happen but this government is too unpredictable to pin any serious hopes to an opening date.

    • Anonymous says:

      They can experiment with Little Cayman first. Let tourists travel there where nearly everyone is vaccinated adult.

    • Anonymous says:

      You’re assuming visitors are willing to take a chance when they have SO many other options!!

      Why is no-one even mentioning the many treatment options available now and checking the out of control level of fear that the rest of the world now knows is not required?

      I know so many people not even willing to risk booking anything now with these muppets in charge!

  47. Anonymous says:

    Is this guy a complete IDIOT!

    We could reopen before the end of the year??

    Make a plan you idiot and STICK to it…I have had that many cancellations and now you say we may open.

    What a fool!
    We look like fools because of you!
    Make up your mind!
    We can not jerk out tourism businesses around this way and certainly not our clients.

    I am disgraced with this government!

    • Beaumont Zodecloun says:

      I believe you. You sound disgraced.

      You are free with the terms “idiot” and “fool”, but I wonder how many lives you hold in your hands? How many people might get sick or die as the result of your decisions?

      Yes, Premier Panton wanted this job. My small business has still not recovered to a fraction of what it was before Covid. Still, I am in favour of a measured response, a carefully calculated one.

      We can look literally anywhere around the world and see what befalls other countries/territories who have had dreams of recovery only to fall deeper than before their grand opening.

      You have the gall to call this man an idiot. You, who appear mostly concerned with your own pocket, your “cancellations”.

      I want the Cayman Islands open also. I don’t want to do so prematurely or foolishly. Only an IDIOT would espouse that.

      • Anonymous says:

        There is no need to be so condescending towards this person. I think their anger is justified.

      • Anonymous says:

        Anyone that travels around the world would see that it is opening and has and is learning to live with this.

        Only an idiot would think this is going away and continue down the path of closed borders.

  48. Anonymous says:

    Words, words and more words but still no concrete plan. How does CIG “plan” to get people comfortable?

    • Fools Paradise says:

      Maybe they need time to order more toilet paper, so we do not run out next time there is community spread?

      • Anonymous says:

        This actually seems the most plausible reason, considering how badly PACT sh*t the bed on this one. And rather than clean it up properly, it appears they’re now just rolling around in it.

  49. Anonymous says:

    Wrong. People have had 18 months to adjust. What we need is leadership not driven by irrational fear from a minority.

  50. JTB says:

    People have had 18 months to prepare FFS

    Get on with it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Just a heads up for all you “18 months” folks. It has only been six months since the election.

      • Anonymous says:

        Feels like 24 months.

      • Anonymous says:

        3:46

        The “18 months” comments are relating to Wayne saying that the opening was paused to allow people time to mentally prepare for the opening.

        The pandemic and border closure have been ongoing for 18+ months. People knew the borders had to eventually reopen and therefore his comment about giving them time to adjust it just stupid.

    • Anonymous says:

      We just need to get this muppet government to allow commercial airlines to land and take off.

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