TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS POST CABINET MEETING STATEMENT - Wednesday 7 July 2021

Her Excellency the Acting Governor, Anya Williams, chaired the 17th meeting of Cabinet on Wednesday 7 July 2021 at the Office of the Premier on Providenciales.  

All members were present. 

At this meeting Cabinet: 

Was given an update by the Ministry of Health on the measures being taken to address and mitigate against the threat of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) to the country, including:

  1. Current cases and entry requirements for testing, 
  2. Progress with the vaccination programme incl. registration of 12-15 year-olds and the delivery of the 4th batch of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on 7 July, 
  3. Compliance with regulations, 
  4. The instillation of the oxygen generators at the Cockburn Town Medical Centre on Grand Turk and at the Cheshire Hall Medical Center on Providenciales, 
  5. Progress with establishing a National Laboratory on Grand Turk, and 
  6. The issuing of e-certificates for vaccinations. 

Approved the appointment of Anton Faessler (Chair) and Greschelle Been Missick a Members of the Financial Intelligence Agency Board for a period of one year with effect from 1 August until 31 March 2022.

Approved transitional amendments to the Turks and Caicos Islander Status Ordinance, following broad discussion and agreed for these to be submitted to the House of Assembly.

Were presented a recommendation for the construction of an office building on the Leeward Highway, Providenciales, for the Telecommunications Commission, representing broader benefits for the TCI Government going forwards.

Noted the acceptance of donations valued at $700 and $750 respectively, received from Sailrock Development and East Bay Resort in the form of drinking water during a time when the Reverse Osmosis plant in South Caicos was non-operational (13 May – 4 June 2021).

Approved for the production and sale of four (4) international commemorative stamps marking events relating to the Royal Family.

Approved a revised budget for the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College (TCICC) capturing funding to strengthen the governance systems at the TCICC and for the effective implementation of the TVET Program.

Discussed the 3rd Quarter Financial Report for FY 2020-21 of the Government’s Statutory Bodies and agreed next steps.

Approved proposed amendments to the National Insurance (Financial & Accounting) Board Regulations.

In line with the process under the provisions of the Public Procurement Ordinance, approved the Procurement Board’s recommendation on the award of the following contract - TR 20/42, Operations and Maintenance of TCIG Solid Waste Disposal Site on Grand Turk.  Members agreed a way forward on the tendering for waste management and disposal on Providenciales.

Approved the withdrawal of an offer of purchase of a property for the establishment of a National Hospitality Training Institute on Providenciales. Members agreed an alternative and more cost effective way forward.

Approved for the TCI Government to proceed with negotiations for the purchase of property on Grand Turk for tourism and related purposes.

Approved proposed Terms of Reference to establish a National Agriculture and Food Security Board to oversee the National Agricultural Development Plans for the Turks and Caicos Islands and an Implementation Strategy for the 200-day Strategy and other government priorities for Agriculture. 

Was updated on work required by government to execute the budget incl. (but not limited to) new legislation, policies and structures required; the establishment of a Destination Management Office; community enhancement work; the creation of a policy unit; launching the E-government initiative; road safety works; offshore financing; and filling senior government vacancies.

Approved an amendment on the appointment of Joseph Connolly to the National Insurance Board as Employer Representative for a period of three years, instead of two, with effect from 1 July until 31 March 2024 as required by the Ordinance.

Discussed recent events in Haiti and possible implications. Members agreed to call a National Security Council meeting on 9 July.

Re-confirmed approval for the extension of the current measures under the Public and Environmental Health (COVID-19 Pandemic) Regulations 2020 for a period of 3 months as follows:

1.     Restriction on visitation  

(1) Limited visitation will be permitted to— (a) a place of quarantine or an isolation station; or (b) a patient in a hospital or residential care establishment or facility, where the visitor has been fully vaccinated, proof of which must be provided by the visitor by presenting his vaccination card or a photo of his vaccination card.  

(2) Limited visitation will be permitted for a detainee in a detention centre, prison or police cell.  

(3) Nothing in subregulation (2) shall be construed as preventing an attorney from visiting a client who is in lawful custody.  

(4) Limited visitation permitted under subregulations (1) and (2) shall be in accordance the application of physical distancing requirements and protocols issued by the Chief Medical Officer from time to time.  

(5) For the purpose of subregulation (1) a person is considered “fully vaccinated”— (a) two weeks following receipt of the second dose in a 2-dose COVID-19 vaccine series; or (b) two weeks following receipt of one dose of a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine. 

 2.     Extension of the principal regulations Public and Environmental Health (COVID-19 Pandemic) Regulations 2020 (to extend the requirements of wearing of face mask when in a public place, physical distancing protocols, power of CMO to order quarantine, screening, etc. to 30 September 2020). 

3.     Closure of cruise ports 

Cruise ports shall remain closed until 30 September 2021 and no cruise ship shall be permitted to enter the Islands until after 30 September 2021, subject to guidance from the Ministry, the CDC and the cruise industry.

4.     Taxis 

Restrictions on occupancy levels to remain.

Re-confirmed approval of the draft Appropriation (2021/2022) Bill 2021 that supports the Estimates and granted permission for cost neutral adjustments and corrections.

Members congratulated the Hon Premier on his appointment as Chairman of the Board of Governors for the Caribbean Development Bank.

Members expressed condolences on the passing of the President of Haiti, Jovenel Moïse. 

Further information on these matters will be provided by Ministers in due course. 

COVID-19 UPDATE