NEW APPLICATIONS FOR THE CORONAVIRUS BUSINESS ASSISTANCE GRANT

Press Release

 

NEW APPLICATIONS FOR THE CORONAVIRUS BUSINESS ASSISTANCE GRANT

 

The Ministry of Finance Investment and Trade wishes to advise the general public that during the period 1st to 5th October 2020 the Ministry will be accepting new applications for the Coronavirus Business Assistance Grant. Persons who previously submitted applications need not apply.

 

To be considered for the cash grant a small business must submit a completed Coronavirus Business Assistance Grant Application Form along with the following supporting documents:

  • a copy of its business license for 2019/2020;
  • copy of last national insurance contribution paid to February 2020, to show proof of number of employees;
  • banking details; and
  • any other documents as required.

 

Self-employed persons must submit a completed Coronavirus Business Assistance Grant Application Form and the following supporting documents to be considered for the cash grant:

  • two forms of Government issued ID;
  • a copy of its business license for 2019/2020;
  • If under the age of 60 years, a copy of last national insurance contribution paid to February 2020, to show proof of employment as a self-employed person;
  • banking details; and
  • any other documents as required.

 

The cash grant is available to micro, small and medium enterprises that are:

  • not wholly or majority owned or subsidiaries of a larger company;
  • majority owned by Turks and Caicos Islanders;
  • registered with the National Insurance Board as at 31 March 2020;
  • registered under the Business Licensing Ordinance;
  • located in the Turks and Caicos Islands;
  • operating an existing business; AND
  • not recipients of any other financial assistance available under the Coronavirus (Covid-19) stimulus package.

 

A small business that is not registered with the National Insurance Board as at 31 March 2020 shall, upon confirmation of such registration, be eligible for a cash grant of $1,000.

 

A micro enterprise that is owned and operated by a sole proprietor, on whose behalf national insurance contributions are being paid, may be eligible for a cash grant of $2,000.

 

The cash grant may be accessible by self-employed persons that are:

  • citizens of the Turks and Caicos Islands;
  • legally resident in the Turks and Caicos Islands;
  • if under the age of 60, registered with the National Insurance Board as at 31 March 2020;
  • located in the Turks and Caicos Islands;
  • registered under the Business Licensing Ordinance; AND
  • not recipients of any other financial assistance available under the Coronavirus (Covid-19) stimulus package.

 

A self-employed person under the age of 60 that is not registered with the National Insurance Board as at 31 March 2020 shall, upon confirmation of such registration, be eligible for a cash grant of $1,000.

 

To submit an online application form please visit the website of the Department of Trade, Industry and Consumer Affairs at: www.gov.tc/trade/stimulus.

 

ENDS

 

 

PERSONS CHARGED WITH HARBOURING

 

MINISTRY OF IMMIGRATION, CITIZENSHIP, LABOUR AND EMPLOYMENT SERVICES

IMMIGRATION DEPARTMENT

GRAND TURK,

TURKS & CAICOS ISLANDS           

BRITISH WEST INDIES                    

TEL: 649-338-2921

FAX: 649-946-2924

E-mail:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

29th September 2020

 

 

BEGINS

 

PRESS RELEASE

 

PERSONS CHARGED WITH HARBOURING

 

The Ministry of Immigration, Citizenship, Labour and Employment Services, in collaboration with the Immigration Department would like to advise the general public that Haitian National, Neltha Jean-Francois Hosse, was charged and taken before the Magistrate Court on Providenciales to answer to the offence of harbouring in accordance with Section 106 of the Immigration Ordinance Revised 2018. She has resided within these Islands for several years.

 

Ms. Hosse pleaded guilty to two (2) offences of harbouring illegal immigrants and was fined US$1,000.00 for each offence. The Court gave her seven (7) days within which to pay the fine, failing which she would be imprisoned. Payment became due on March 21, 2020, which she paid. The Court also recommended deportation at the end of the sentence. The right to appeal was also explained to Ms. Hosse.

 

On 11th September, 2020, Ms. Hosse was issued with the Deportation Order and subsequently deported to Haiti on Monday 28th September, 2020.

 

The public is reminded that a person who is found to be in contravention of the Immigration Ordinance and commits an offence of harbouring is liable on summary conviction to a fine of $20,000.00 or to imprisonment for a term of four years, or to both.

 

In addition, the Enforcement Unit within the Immigration Department also arrested and charged four Dominican nationals and one Columbian national, for remaining in the Islands beyond the permitted time.

 

These persons were taken before the Magistrate’s Court where they pleaded guilty for the mentioned offence.

 

The Court has recommended: Deportation for three of these individuals in addition to a fine, the other two were given seven (7) days to leave the Islands, where their names will be added to the Stop List of the Turks and Caicos Islands.

During the year 2019, a total of (103) cases were taken before the Courts by the Enforcement Unit compared with (77) cases the previous year.

 

Honourable Vaden Delroy Williams, Minister with responsibility for the Ministry of Immigration, Citizenship and Employment Services in commenting on the matter stated; “that with our borders now re-opened, I take this opportunity to remind the General Public once again, that in accordance with Section 32 and 33 of the Immigration Ordinance of the 2018 Revised Laws of Turks and Caicos, permits are authorized by the Director of Immigrations, the Board or Commissioner of Labour, for persons to reside or engage in gainful occupations and these permits are issued with conditions or restrictions set out therein.“

 

The public is further reminded of the following Immigration offences:

In accordance with Section 102 (d) of the Immigration Ordinance of the 2018 Revised Laws of Turks and Caicos, it is an offence to remain within the Islands beyond the time permitted by an Immigration Officer.

A person commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of $10,000.00 or to imprisonment for a term of two years, or to both; and if the offence is a continuing one, to a further fine not exceeding $100 for every day or part of a day on which the offence has continued.

 

A person commits an offence in accordance with section 19 (1) (g) and (2) of the prescribed ordinance, which states that a person shall not engage in any gainful occupation in the islands unless in the possession of a valid permit issued under section 31,39 or 40, which a person shall not employ whether on his own behalf or on behalf of another person whether under a contract of employment or a contract for services who under subsection (1) is prohibited from engaging in any gainful occupation.

Employers are to note that if you terminate a work permit holder during the period of airport closure or any other time, you are still responsible for the individual until it is possible for that person or persons, to leave the country.

Employers must also ensure that they are in full compliance with section 106 (2) of the Employment Ordinance, by ensuring that their employee/s are still in housing until they depart the Turks and Caicos Islands.

 

Self-employed, and employed persons are reminded of their obligation to adhere to the conditions of their Work Permits as imposed by the Immigration Board.  Anyone who fails to comply with the conditions contained within their Work Permits in accordance with Regulations 35 and 42 commits an offence and is subject to prosecution.

 

Hon. Williams went on to say; “I want to make it clear, that if you fall within any of the following categories, please leave the Turks and Caicos Islands as soon as possible or face the consequences of your actions.”

 

These categories are:

  1. Persons whose work permit has expired and the current employer does not intend to renew;
  2. Persons whose work permit has been cancelled;
  3. Persons who are currently unemployed, and will be unemployed for several months after the curfew has been lifted;
  4. If your temporary work permit has expired;
  5. Persons whose visitor’s visa has expired and you remained in the country illegally;

 

In closing, the Hon. Williams reiterated that our borders and that of many other countries are opened to international air traffic, all persons residing and or working in the Turks and Caicos Islands illegally should make plans to return to their home country or to any other country, which would welcome them or face legal consequences for their actions.

 

The prime responsibility of the Enforcement Unit is to increase compliance with the Immigration Law of the Turks and Caicos Islands. Through its enforcement operations, the Unit is responsible for the investigation, detection and prosecution of Immigration offenders and breaches of the law.

 

The Enforcement Unit continues to partner with the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force, Customs Department, Planning Department, Business Licence and the Department of Employment in joint operations to regulate migration in line with government policy. Such joint operations continue to yield valuable intelligence and have resulted in arrests for various offences.

 

The Ministry of Immigration, Citizenship, Labour and Employment Services is appealing to the public to assist with any information that could lead to the apprehension and arrest in similar instances and thank the public for its support over the years.

 

The Ministry of Immigration, Citizenship, Labour and Employment Services Department, would like to thank everyone in advance for their full cooperation and continued compliance.  

 

ENDS

Ministry of Tourism, Environment, Heritage, Maritime, Gaming and Disaster Management Provides Critical Updates on TCI Assured Portal

BEGINS

 

NEWS RELEASE

 

Ministry of Tourism, Environment, Heritage, Maritime, Gaming and Disaster Management Provides Critical Updates on TCI Assured Portal

 

GRAND TURK, Turks and Caicos Islands (September 21, 2020) - The Turks and Caicos Islands Government, in preparation for the reopening of its borders, introduced the TCI Assured Travel Authorization portal. The TCI Assured Travel Authorization portal is a risk mitigation tool, developed in light of COVID-19 to reduce the risk of importation of COVID-19 positive cases into the country.

 

The Government of the Turks and Caicos Islands –led by Ministry of Tourism /Tourist Board, with the Ministry of Health and other key Government and Private stakeholders, is pleased to record success in the execution of the portal. The portal, which was officially launched on July 22 2020 has seen 12,842 applications processed through the portal as at 24 September representing both residents and visitors alike.

 

In accordance with the Public and Environmental Health (COVID-19) (Arriving Passengers Health Clearance) (No. 3) Regulations 2020, it is mandatory that every resident and visitor intending to travel to the Turks and Caicos Islands registers through the TCI Assured portal in order to receive authorization to enter.

 

“We look forward to continuing to safely welcome visitors to the shores of the Turks and Caicos Islands. The health and well-being of our visitors and residents are paramount and as a government the TCI Assured portal is just one component of our strategy to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Hon Ralph Higgs Minister Responsible for Tourism.

 

Permanent Secretary Cherylann Jones went on to say that; “Since the launch, we have received generally favorable responses to the portal and our team is working tirelessly to ensure that the guest’s experience is seamless and sets a positive tone for their vacation to our Beautiful by Nature destination”.

 

The Ministry of Tourism wishes to remind the traveling public of the following:

  1. The TCI Assured portal is time sensitive, as a result access to the portal is granted 5 days before travel date and not before.
  2. A COVID-19 PCR test must be completed 5 days prior to the intended date of arrival into the country by all travelers - visitors and residents alike. At this time, the Ministry of Tourism is not accepting COVID antigen tests, rapid tests, home test kits, or antibody tests.
  3. Residents should not have COVID PCR test taken in the Turks and Caicos Islands prior to travel for re-entry into the country.
  4. Travelers under the age of 10 years old are exempt from having to complete COVID-19 PCR test.
  5. Visitors and nonresidents must provide proof of health insurance that would cover COVID related illness to include hospitalization, doctors’ visits, quarantine, prescriptions and medical evacuation. Copy of insurance summary/policy page must be uploaded to the portal.
  6. Residents must have valid NHIP number included onto their application.
  7. TCI Assured application should only be completed on receipt of COVID test result and insurance policy/summary page for upload to the portal and not before.
  8. Each traveler must complete a separate application, infants and babies included.
  9. Applications must be completed and submitted to the portal 24 hours prior to departure.
  10. Travelers must have in their possession a copy of the TCI Assured certificate either soft copy or hard copy to present to the airline for boarding.
  11. Travelers must have a copy of their COVID PCR test results either soft copy or hard copy on entry into the Islands for presentation to health officials.

 

It is recommended that visitors and residents review the requirements to obtain a TCI Assured travel authorization before making travel arrangements by visiting the Turks and Caicos Tourist Board’s website. A detailed list of frequently asked questions and answers as well as the TCI Assured portal can be accessed by visiting the website at www.turksandcaicostourism.com/planning.

 

ENDS

PREMIER ATTENDED CHRIS+HOLA CONNECT 2020 VIRTUAL CONFERENCE

PREMIER ATTENDED CHRIS+HOLA CONNECT 2020 VIRTUAL CONFERENCE

 

The Turks and Caicos Islands were well represented at the Caribbean Hotel & Resort Investment Summit (CHRIS) and Hotel Opportunities Latin America (HOLA) Connect scheduled for 8 – 10 September 2020.

 

The Premier and Minister for Finance, Investment and Trade, Honourable Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson participated in an online keynote panel discussion during CHRIS+HOLA Connect 2020. The three-day virtual event included five (5) plenary sessions, eight (8) Caribbean-specific breakout sessions including the online keynote panel discussion with Heads of Government in the region, moderated by the Director General and CEO of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association, Frank Comito.

 

The discussion focused on tourism investments in the Turks and Caicos Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands; and the vision, plan, and outlook for the tourism industries in both countries, in the short, medium, and long terms.

 

The Premier, during the discussion, shared the success of the TCI Assured Authorization Portal in reducing the risk of imported cases once the TCI reopened its borders.

 

Commenting on managing TCI’s Tourism market in the midst of a pandemic, the Premier stated, “ The Turks and Caicos Islands Government did extensive Tourism industry consultations prior and acting upon the recommendations of the Ministry of Health and likewise following the advice of the major health organisations, like the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO), to ensure that when the TCI reopened its borders, the country was prepared for a worst case scenario, but we also made all the necessary preparations to   mitigate  (mitigate instead of prevent?) major outbreaks once we began to reopen, through a phased approach.

 

The Government also created its own pre-travel requisite for entry into the country through our TCI Assured Portal which was communicated first to tourism industry stakeholders ahead of the official launch to ensure that we encompassed all health protocols and safety requirements to ensure a smoother and safer entry process for our residents and visitors.

 

We have done extremely well in preventing imported cases since the TCI’s borders reopened and that is a result of our extensive preparations and our hardworking frontline workers who are ensuring that health protocols are adhered to. We are certain that our visitor numbers will continue to increase given the extent of our health protocols, which are a testament that we in the Turks and Caicos Islands indeed care about the health and safety of all who enter these islands.”

 

Invest Turks and Caicos was a platinum sponsor for CHRIS+HOLA Connect 2020 and hosted a session highlighting “Investment Opportunities in the Turks and Caicos”, the presentation facilitated by Invest TCI's Chief Executive Officer, James Bursey.

 

“We set out to let the hotel investment community know the Turks and Caicos Islands are open for business investment and that Invest TCI is ready to facilitate and streamline new investments into the country. We discussed opportunities across all islands, and especially sustainable, marine and eco-adventure focused investments. CHRIS is extremely useful to promote the Islands and provided an excellent opportunity to gain insight into current trends, and how the industry and region is coping with COVID-19.  Following this conference, there is a consensus that the tourism industry will bounce back and significant optimism that investments will flourish,” stated Mr. Bursey.

 

CHRIS+HOLA Connect 2020 is the leading event for hotel and resort investment stakeholders in the Caribbean and Latin America. The audience is comprised of hotel owners, investors, financiers, developers, hotel company executives, tourism officials, and the professional advisory community that serves the various sectors of the industry.

 

END

 

PREMIER VISITED ONGOING GOVERNMENT PROJECTS ON SOUTH CAICOS

PREMIER VISITED ONGOING GOVERNMENT PROJECTS ON SOUTH CAICOS

The Premier and Minister of Finance, Investment and Trade Honourable Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson as Chair of the Capital Board, Minister for Education, Youth, Culture, Social and Library Services, Hon. Karen Malcolm and Executive Director for the Office of the Premier, Local Government and Community Affairs, Ronlee James visited the island of South Caicos on Friday, 18 September to review the progress of a number of ongoing and completed government projects advanced under the Capital Programme and the Community Enhancement Programme.

The following are ongoing capital projects in South Caicos:

  1. Rehabilitation of Regatta Village – the refurbishment of the bathroom facility is completed.
  2. Rehabilitation of Wharf – overall completion of the project is scheduled for March 2021.
  3. Community Centre - overall completion of the project is scheduled for September 2020.
  4. South Caicos Clinic - overall completion of the project is scheduled for September 2020.
  5. South Caicos Government Office Block - overall completion of the project is scheduled for January 2021.
  6. Morgue – all works completed except for the installation of the stainless steel counter tops and cabinets. Overall completion of the project is scheduled for September 2020.
  7. South Caicos Police Station – overall completion of the project is scheduled for July 2021.
  8. Sports Facility - overall completion of the project is scheduled for November 2020.
  9. Iris Stubbs Primary School – installation of a walkway roof and play field and equipment underway. Completion of the project is scheduled for September 2020.
  10. Marjorie Basden High School –  works to the resource centre and restroom facility are completed. Works are ongoing at the new two-storey block at the facility. Overall completion of the project is scheduled for April 2021.

The Premier as Minister with responsibility for the TCI Airports Authority and Port Authority also visited both the South Caicos Airport and Port Facility to view the progress of upgrades and rehabilitation works. Ongoing works to the South Caicos Terminal and combined services building - which will house firefighters - are progressing, starting with the demolition of the old terminal building which is now complete. The project which is included under the Airports Authority Capital Programme is scheduled to be completed in November 2021.

The South Caicos Port Facility is benefitting from upgrades to enhance security. These upgrades include the erection of security fencing and lights.

The Premier also received progress reports on the Community Enhancement Programme launched under the Office of the Premier, Local Government and Community Affairs. All projects amassed a spending of over $25,000 on the island through the Community Enhancement Programme including; 65 street naming signs posted throughout the southern (more populated) side of the island; the restoration of the Cow House; the erection of a flag pole; Turks and Caicos Islands flag; and, a welcome sign.

Under this programme, phase two (2) of the enhancement and rehabilitation of the Cow House are planned, which will see fencing and information signs about the history of the building erected and works are proposed to continue enhancement efforts to the Conch Ground Bay area which will include Cedar Park.

END

 

Turks & Caicos Government

Office of the Governor

Office of the Deputy Governor

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