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Tourism Stipend Programme Re-opens for 2021 Registration

The Ministry of District Administration, Tourism and Transport is re-opening registration for the tourism stipend to assist Caymanians who worked in the tourism sector and have lost their employment due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Displaced tourism workers who have not yet registered to receive the tourism stipend will have another opportunity to do so between Tuesday, 26 and Friday 29 January 2021.

Starting 9:00 am on Tuesday, 26 January, displaced tourism employees who have not yet registered with the Ministry of Tourism can access the registration link at stipend.ourcayman.ky. To qualify for the stipend, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Caymanian, Residency and Employment Rights Certificate (RERC; married to a Caymanian), or Permanent Resident
  • Worked in the Tourism sector
  • No longer working full-time
  • Have not applied already

The registration period closes at 5:00 pm, Friday, 29 January 2021.

Once the deadline has passed the verification process will begin. Applicants are encouraged to respond to missed calls, voicemails, and emails as representatives from the Ministry and Department of Tourism may be in contact for further information.

The Ministry would like to remind persons who already receive the stipend that they should not reapply as their stipend payments will be automatically extended through to June.  Anyone with questions about the programme, the call centre will be open from 9:00am – 5:00pm throughout the registration period.

Call centre numbers are as follows:

526-1252

526-1254

526-1276

526-1290

526-1291

The tourism stipend programme has been extended to June 2021.


National Heroes Day Celebrations

National Heroes Day in the Cayman Islands will be celebrated over three days this year with full ceremony and events on Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac, yet respecting existing COVID-19 protocols.

One main difference this year from previous years’ celebrations will be limits on numbers of who can attend, with attendance by invitation only.

However, to accommodate the general public, the plan is to provide live coverage on Government’s YouTube channel from both Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac. The link to the channel is :  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGVlgTtKrEQHpXgoGNH_e7w/live or http://bit.ly/govkylive.

The 2021 event aims to help the Islands “reflect on the national heritage” and simultaneously be “inspired for the future”. Celebrations will include parades by uniformed contingents.

Cayman’s seafaring heritage takes centre stage this year. Additionally, three National Hero busts will be unveiled at Heroes Square. Meanwhile, a number of Caymanians will be recognised for their contributions as exceptional members of the Islands’ community.

Yet another significant feature this year will be the honouring of the first eight recipients from the newly established Order of the Cayman Islands. Four Officer and four Member awards will be conferred during the investiture ceremony.

Parades will take place at all the events on both islands and also specially curated exhibits will provide historical insights on both Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac. However, there will be no post-event entertainment this year at Heroes Square or Pedro St. James.

A dress code of business attire is required for all attendees at all events. However, members of the CI Seafarers Association are asked to wear their Association polo shirts and hats. Attendees with ceremonial medals are advised to wear them.

Celebrations start on Cayman Brac and continue on Grand Cayman over the weekend.

Cayman Brac: on Saturday, 23 January 2021, 1 pm, Aston Rutty Centre:

  • Three contingents from the Police and Fire Services as well as the National Cadet Corps will participate in the parade.
  • An exhibit will be on display at the hall next door of the Veterans and Seamen Society of Cayman Brac and Little Cayman.
  • There will be light refreshments available.
  • All attendees are to take their seats by 12.15 pm.

Grand Cayman: In order to be able to accommodate as large a gathering as possible, celebrations are scheduled to take place over two days this year:

  1. Sunday, 24 January 2021 at Pedro St. James, Savannah – from 4 pm for award recipients from Bodden Town, North Side and East End.
  • Attendance is strictly by invitation to the awardees and guests at the event to ensure numbers restrictions for COVID-19 are not breached.
  • There will be limited parking at the Pedro venue and also along the route, as directed by officials so that normal movement on the road and nearby feeder roads are not impeded.
  • Also, four contingents from the Fire and Prison Services, the Pathfinders and the National Cadet Corps, led by the Police Band will participate in the parade to start off the celebrations.
  • Light refreshments will be available at Pedro but there will be no post event entertainment.
  • There will be a photo booth for awardees to take official photos.
  • All attendees are to be seated by 3.15 pm.
  1. Monday, 25 January 2021, on National Heroes Day public holiday – at Heroes Square in town centre, George Town; from 9 am – for George Town and West Bay recipients.
  • To limit social gathering, attendance here as well is by invitation only.
  • Four contingents from the Police, the Cayman Islands Regiment, Scouts and the Girls Brigade, led by the Police Band will participate in the parade.
  • There will be no post-event refreshments or entertainment at this event.
  • An official photo booth for awardees will be available at Constitution Hall (former Town Hall).
  • All attendees are to be seated by 8.15 am.
  • As part of the celebrations, there will also be an exhibit to commemorate this year’s seafarers’ theme at the CI Seafarers Hall in Prospect, curated by the National Museum. The exhibition will be open to the public from Tuesday, 26 January 2021 for a month.

Chief of Protocol, Ms Meloney Syms, who is leading the planning, as well as coordinating volunteers, commented, “We are very happy to be organising National Heroes Day celebrations, which this year, despite COVID 19, is an expanded event over the long weekend. It has called for greater planning and execution and I am truly grateful for all involved who have risen so well to the occasion in the preparation and organisation of all events on both Cayman Brac and Grand Cayman. I invite all to participate in all events, whether by invitation in person or by viewing on CIG’s live online presentations.”


New COVID-19 Regulations Issued

Two new COVID-19 regulations and a notice to extend by three months current inter-island travel and boating regulations were gazetted Wednesday, 20 January 2021.

They bring changes to some sections of the regulations issued late last year as well as the notice of boating and travel regulations, all of which will be valid until 15 April 2021.

The principal change in the new Prevention, Control and Suppression of Covid-19 Regulations, 2021 will be to the numbers allowed for outdoor public gatherings, which has been expanded to 1,000 people from the current limit of 500 persons.

However, there will be no change to indoor gatherings, which remains limited to 500 people at any indoor event.

Where a venue hosts simultaneous, separate, and unrelated indoor and outdoor gatherings, the total number permitted to gather there is a maximum of 1,500 people, with the break-down as 1,000 maximum gathering outdoors and 500 maximum gathering indoors for the event being held in those respective areas. For viewing the full regulations, visit http://gazettes.gov.ky/portal/pls/portal/docs/1/13042501.PDF.

The amendments also include extension to 15 April 2021 of current boating regulations as well as around-island and inter-island travel by boat and air. These were set to expire on 31 January. See http://gazettes.gov.ky/portal/pls/portal/docs/1/13042503.PDF and http://gazettes.gov.ky/portal/pls/portal/docs/1/13026581.PDF for the actual regulations which are now extended to 15 April.

Additionally, processions and parades involving a uniformed service or a youth organisation will be permitted.

Under the new regulations, a uniformed service is defined as a naval force, including Coast Guard, a regiment, police force, fire service and prison service; and a youth organisation is specified as (a) Cayman Islands Scout Association; (b) Girls’ Brigade Cayman Islands; (c) Cayman Islands Cadet Corps; (d) Girlguiding Cayman Islands; and (e) Cayman Islands Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Pathfinders. To see the regulations, visit http://gazettes.gov.ky/portal/pls/portal/docs/1/13042502.PDF.

Other protocols that remain unchanged from the previous regulations continue to be in force and need to be followed to ensure that COVID-19 is well managed in the Cayman Islands. This includes a ban on visiting or having contact with anyone in quarantine, mandatory testing before visiting a residential care home or prison, wearing of masks when using public transportation, businesses being prohibited from allowing hookahs, shishas or water pipes, and restrictions on rental of certain scuba and snorkelling equipment. For details, visit exploregov.ky/coronavirus at policies and action.

Public transport operators are again reminded that all persons travelling in a taxi or omnibus should be wearing masks when inside the vehicles, including the drivers.


Chamber Introduces 2021 Leadership Cayman Class

Leadership Cayman (LC) welcomed 25 participants for its 2021 programme at its traditional Orientation Dinner held at Ristorante Pappagallo on January 20, 2021. The candidates were selected from a field of 48 applicants based on their roles in the community, business and professional involvement, skills, and assets, along with their passion for knowledge.

The Leadership Cayman programme is an intensive six-month course, introduced by the Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce, that enables class members to develop new skills and learn vital information about the Cayman Islands’ community and business sector.  The class attend bi-weekly seminars on a range of different topics, learning from expert and local leaders, government officials and keynote speakers.

Chamber President-Elect, Mike Gibbs welcomed the class of 2021 and shared his experience as a graduate of the programme. LC Programme Chair, Nicholas McLean, outlined what the class members should expect over the next six-months.

Eight Planning Committee members who are alumni were also in attendance to show their support for the new class.

The successful candidates for 2021 are: Patricia McTaggart Duval Uncle Bills Home Improvement Centre, Jody Ebanks RBC Royal Bank (Cayman) Limited., Emma-Jane Fisher Sunset House, Micah Coleman Cayman Islands Government, Steve Bull EY Cayman Ltd., Kate Bosman Deloitte, Melissa Whorms Cayman Islands Government, Kimberley Dangerfield Clearly Cayman Dive Resorts, Roderick Pierson Dart, Diksha Sahni Baker Tilly (Cayman) Ltd., Marco Miranda Cayman Islands Government, Wilberlee Range Cayman Islands Government, Jennifer Williams CTMH Doctors Hospital, James Robinson Jr. EY Cayman Ltd., Rolna DaCosta Cayman Islands Government, Kelsey Halley Deloitte, Kate Ryley Property Cayman, Amy Hubble Helix Advisory Services Ltd., Deirdre Billes Acme Privae Fund/Billes Family Office, Caitlin Mathiassen Kensington Management Group, Daniel DeFinis Davenport Development, Nicole Ebanks Department of Education Services, Jodie Hooper Broadhurst LLC, Jennifer Leach-Tippetts CAYS Foundation, and Nelson Dilbert (Cayman Spirits Co.).

Special thanks to our major sponsors: Cox Lumber, RBC Royal Bank (Cayman) Limited, and Wheaton Precious Metals.

 


Free Advice Available to Small Businesses

The Cayman Islands Centre for Business Development (CICBD), in the Ministry of Commerce, Planning and Infrastructure, will collaborate with the University College of the Cayman Islands (UCCI) through the Student Consulting Programme to provide free and confidential advice to small businesses.

The ten-week programme, which begins in February 2021, will partner small businesses with upper-level business students at UCCI. The students will provide advice to business owners to solve a particular problem or reach a specific goal.

Director of CICBD, Althea West-Myers said that the programme, which has been running for over ten years through the Ministry, is part of combined efforts to support small businesses. “The Centre was set up to improve small business viability through increased access to finance but also for training, business counselling and advice. So this programme is prefect alignment”, she noted.

Minister of Commerce, Hon. Joey Hew stated that small businesses are a vital part of the local economy and ensuring that entrepreneurs and small business owners receive the support they need is one of the most important priorities for the Ministry, especially at this time.

He further noted, “Government, through the CICBD, has so far implemented a number of measures for micro and small businesses valued over $14 million. This package included grants, loans, technical assistance and training targeted at assisting our entrepreneurs. This programme with UCCI is just another way in which we continue to encourage and develop businesses”.

UCCI Programme Coordinator, Annette Murphy stated that the programme will benefit all parties. “The reason this programme has been so successful is that everyone involved takes away something of value. Business owners will gain free advice and move their enterprises forward, and the students will put their knowledge into practice,” she highlighted.

To participate in the Student Consulting Programme, businesses must:

  • Be an established business;
  • Have a clear problem; a specific area such as accounting or marketing;
  • Express an interest in solving a problem and improving business operations; and
  • Be willing to spend the time and effort with the student team.

The deadline to apply is Friday, January 29, 2021. Interested business owners should email thais.ducent@gov.ky for information.


CPI Minister Tours NiCE Work Sites, Thanks Workers

Minister of Commerce, Planning and Infrastructure (CPI), Hon. Joey Hew braved inclement weather to undertake his National Enhancement Project (NiCE) tour (Wednesday, 20 January 2021).

The scaled back site visits took in two areas of George Town, namely Windsor Park and the Broadwalk on South Sound Road. At the former, NiCE workers cleared roadside verges, cut bush and cleared fly-tipped refuse from the neighbourhood. Accompanied by the Acting Director Public Works Department, Mr. Troy Whorms; the Deputy Chief Officer of Ministry of CPI, Mrs. Leyda Nicholson-Makasare; and NiCE Project Manager, Mrs. Lois Kellyman; Minister Hew spoke to the teams and thanked them for a job well done on behalf of his Ministry and the general public. Minister Hew also asked workers about their experiences on the programme.

“Seeing the quality of their work, it is clear that many NiCE workers take pride in ensuring that the community can enjoy well-maintained roadsides, parks, cemeteries and beaches,” he said.

“Each year that we have run the programme, the Ministry has tried moving it forward with the help and support of our partners including WORC, Department of Environmental Health, National Roads Authority, Mosquito Research & Control Unit and Public Works Department. We hope to expand NiCE, in the future, by working in partnership with other agencies for longer periods of time and using it as a hybrid work initiative, including elements of a second-chance, rehabilitation or an on-the-job training.”

This month’s two-week NiCE initiative ends on Friday, 22 January.


Cayman Islands Hospital’s main entrance will close to facilitate construction works

The main entrance of the Cayman Islands Hospital will be closed on Sunday, 24 January and Monday, 25 January to facilitate the removal and replacement of the entrance’s canopy and other structural upgrades.

During this two-day period, patients, including those visiting the Pharmacy, Dialysis Unit and Specialist Clinic, in the hospital’s atrium will be directed to use the MRI entrance close to Accident & Emergency on the side of the building.  

Vehicles will not be able to access the driveway underneath the canopy, which will be blocked off. However, parking spaces will not be affected.

Construction work is expected to continue over the next few weekends and the Health Services Authority (HSA) will keep the public informed as the project progresses.

The HSA apologises for any inconvenience. These upgrades are essential to the improvement and modernisation of the facility.   


Proper Battery Disposal Reminder Following Two Fires

Cayman Islands Fire Service (CIFS) has been mobilised to the George Town landfill site this week for two unrelated small fires.

At a mixed waste facility, there is an ever-present risk of ignition when materials are disposed of together. In particular, the disposal of electronic items and batteries in the general garbage can easily cause fires in the landfill.

The Department of Environmental Health (DEH) has experienced high volumes of mixed waste through December and January, which increases the risk of ignition during the processing and disposing of that waste.

Residents and businesses across Grand Cayman are reminded of the important safety role they play in ensuring batteries and electronic goods are separated from mixed waste when they are disposed.

Batteries should never be placed in normal mixed waste or general recycling bins. Instead, batteries should be recycled using the proper battery recycling service provided at all major supermarkets. Batteries should be removed from broken devices and recycled separately.

If the battery can not be removed from the device, both may be recycled together using the small waste electrical recycling facility located at the George Town landfill drop off, accessible 24 hours a day.

Chief Fire Officer, Paul Walker, QFSM said “CIFS has a fantastic working relationship with DEH colleagues. It is their diligence in the early notification, the fact these were small surface waste fires and not deep-seated veins of fire and the prompt deployment of CIFS resources and firefighting equipment that has prevented further fire spread and limited the impact of these two small fires on surrounding resident and businesses. The minor excavations and damping down was precautionary and aims to reduce the chance of re-ignition from any unseen hotspots.”

“We continue to work closely with DEH colleagues as the landfill site is developed and extended to ensure this facility is as safe as possible. I encourage all residents and businesses across Grand Cayman to do their bit in segregating and recycling their waste to keep volumes of mixed waste to a minimum and help avoid further fire incidents.”


Senior Finance Manager Appointed in Ministry of CPI

The Ministry of Commerce, Planning and Infrastructure announces the appointment of Emma Linney as the Senior Finance Manager of its Centralised Management Support Services (CMSS), effective January 4.

In her role, she will serve as manager and principal financial advisor to the Chief Officer on all financial matters pertaining to CMSS which supports the Computer Services Department, Department of Commerce of Investment, Facilities Management Department and E-Government Unit.

She will be responsible for all aspects of the day-to-day finance-related functions of the departments as well as developing and preparing, in consultation with the Chief Financial Officer and Heads of Department, the budgets with objectives and performance targets for inclusion in the Ministry’s annual budget, ensuring accuracy of estimated executive revenue, entity revenues, recurrent and capital expenditure.

Ms. Linney, who is a Fellow Member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, holds a Bachelor degree in Mathematics and Economics and a Master of Arts in Management from Durham University, United Kingdom. She also has postgraduate certification in Public Sector Finance Business Partnering from the Chartered Institute of Public Sector Finance and Accountancy.

Ms. Linney joined the Ministry from a position as a fund accountant in Grand Cayman. Prior to this, she served in public sector government finance and accounting roles in the United Kingdom since 2004 ranging from audit, to financial accounting and finance business partnering, and including leadership and management roles.

In commenting on the appointment, Chief Officer in the Ministry Alan Jones said, “We are very pleased that Ms. Linney has accepted the role, from a field of very strong candidates. We are strengthening our capacity in the Ministry to support a number of our departments, and I am confident that she will be able to drive our plans forward”.

Ms. Linney noted that she looks forward to working with the Ministry of CPI team. “I am delighted to join the team and I plan to use my experience across a wide range of public sector finance functions to develop best practice in order to provide quality support to the departments CMSS serves, and to help achieve the Ministry’s objectives.”


Small Fire at Landfill

The Department of Environmental Health (DEH) reports a small surface fire at the landfill around 4.00 pm on Monday, 18 January 2021.

The Cayman Islands Fire Service (CIFS) worked alongside colleagues from DEH and the fire is now extinguished.

DEH crews will continue to monitor the area throughout the night and notify CIFS immediately if any smoke is observed..

On initial inspection, the incident appears to have been caused when a vehicle drove over a mobile phone battery or similar that had been discarded in the regular waste while compacting an area of the landfill site, causing the battery to burst and ignite.

“Any kind of battery, including those found in mobile phones, pose an increased risk of combustion and should be separated from other waste materials when disposing. For this reason, the George Town Landfill has a designated area for batteries which we encourage the public to use,” says DEH Director, Richard Simms.