Press Release




The general public is reminded that to date, only one laboratory within the TCI outside of the National Public Health Laboratory has approval to carry out in country testing for Covid-19.


In addition to this laboratory, four other health care facilities have applied for and received approval to carry out testing through the referral of samples either overseas or to the approved local laboratory.


Under the Public and Environmental Health (Testing of COVID-19) Regulations 2020 which were published in the Turks and Caicos Islands Gazette on 1st May 2020, volume 171 no. 30, the requirements for testing for Covid-19 are laid out including the application and approval process for facilities who may wish to test for Covid-19 in the Turks and Caicos Islands or to refer samples overseas for testing.


Other applications are currently under review.


The Testing Regulations set out the requirements which need to be met to establish testing outside of the National Public Health Laboratory.  Such testing requirements are to ensure that all procedures are validated for in country testing and that all safety procedures are in place for the proper collection of specimens as well as processing, disposal, packaging and transportation, whether the tests are carried out locally or sent overseas for testing.


The testing for Covid-19 which is carried out by the National Public Health Laboratory is done via PCR testing which is the accepted gold standard and is carried out in accordance with the Testing Strategy which prioritizes testing samples for suspected cases of Covid-19, contacts of cases, persons traveling overseas for Treatment Abroad and Front-Line workers as outlined in the Testing Strategy.


The MOH is aware of recent developments as it relates to requirements for travelers entering the US, Canada and UK to provide negative Covid-19 test results in order to travel. Whilst, the National Public Health Laboratory does not have the capacity to carry out this level of testing, a working group has been tasked with developing testing for travelers. Information on this will be issued in due course.


Any testing which is carried out without the relevant written approval of the Ministry of Health is considered an offence in accordance with the Public and Environmental Health (Testing of COVID-19) Regulations 2020.



Hon. Attorney General Rhondalee Braithwaite-Knowles announces the appointment of Khalila Astwood-Tatem as the new Deputy Attorney General





Hon. Attorney General Rhondalee Braithwaite-Knowles announces the appointment of Khalila Astwood-Tatem as the new Deputy Attorney General


On Monday 18th January 2021, in Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos Islands, Hon. Attorney General Rhondalee Braithwaite-Knowles OBE QC announced the appointment of Mrs. Khalila Astwood-Tatem as only the second local person to be appointed as Deputy Attorney General for the Turks and Caicos Islands.


Mrs. Khalila Astwood-Tatem, a Grand Turk native, practiced for many years in the Bahamas, first as an Associate and then as a Partner at Evans & Co., before returning home to the Turks and Caicos Islands Attorney General’s Chambers where she became Senior Crown Counsel and then Principal Crown Counsel with the lead on commercial and litigation matters.  Prior to this appointment Mrs. Astwood-Tatem was head of the International Division where she led on international initiatives, such as the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) and Exchange of information for Tax Purposes, compliance with international obligations and conventions, responding to international requests and advising on various issues which touch and concern international law and international relations.


Mrs. Astwood-Tatem has 20 years of legal experience, during which time she strengthened her expertise in commercial law including Development Agreements, land acquisition, public-private partnerships, company law, civil litigation, industrial relations and employment law, probate and intestacy, real property and conveyancing, personal injuries, maritime law, combatting money laundering, the financing of terrorism and proliferation of weapons, extradition and mutual legal assistance. 


She is admitted to practice in the Turks and Caicos Islands, Jamaica and the Commonwealth of the Bahamas.


As the new Deputy Attorney General, Mrs. Khalila Astwood-Tatem is responsible to the Attorney General for the management of the legal and administrative work flow within the Attorney General’s Chambers. 


In accepting the appointment, Mrs. Astwood-Tatem said; “I am thankful for this opportunity to serve in this new role within the Attorney General’s Chambers. I look forward to strengthening the delivery of service within the Chambers, my continued representation of the Government of the Turks and Caicos Islands and engagement with others on its behalf.”


In announcing the appointment of the new Deputy Attorney General, the Hon. Attorney General Rhondalee Braithwaite Knowles OBE QC said; “over the last few years we have made great progress in developing the professional staff, legal resources and better service delivery standards in the provision of quality legal work. The professional development of the Chambers continues to improve, along with a solid reputation of solutions oriented responsiveness to the legal needs of the public sector.  As the Chambers continues to evolve, the skills of the professional staff in particular will be critical in managing our operational effectiveness.  Mrs. Astwood-Tatem’s enviable experience and expertise gained through a proven track record of quality legal expertise in practice, leadership, team building, financial and relationship management are well suited to the challenges of her new responsibilities.  As a fellow senior Turks and Caicos Islander attorney, I am very pleased with Mrs. Astwood-Tatem’s well deserved appointment and look forward to working with her in the management of the legal affairs of the Government.”


HE the Deputy Governor Anya Williams welcomed the appointment; “On behalf of the public service of the Turks and Caicos Islands, I extend congratulations and best wishes to Mrs. Khalila Astwood-Tatem on her well-deserved appointment to post of Deputy Attorney General within the Attorney General’s Chambers.


Having had the opportunity to work with Khalila over the years, I can attest to her hard work, dedication and sound legal advice and am confident in her ability to assist the Attorney General Honourable Rhondalee Braithwaite-Knowles and her team within the Attorney Generals Chambers in delivering high quality legal advice to the government and people of the Turks and Caicos Islands and in upholding the rule of law.”











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SUCCESFUL INTERCEPTION of an illegal migrant vessel


Cockburn Town, Grand Turk; The Ministry of Immigration, Citizenship, Labour and Employment Services’ Immigration Department is pleased to announce the successful interception of an illegal migrant vessel in bound for the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI).  On Sunday, 17 January 2021, at approximated 10:41 pm, the Immigration Department responded to a call from 911 informing that the Police Marine Division had intercepted a migrant vessel in Turks and Caicos Islands waters.


The vessel was tugged to South Dock, Providenciales, by the Police Marine Branch and persons were handed over to the Immigration Department Enforcement Unit and Environmental Health official for immediate assessment.


A total of twenty-three (23) illegal migrants were intercepted, which included fifteen (15) males and eight (8) females, all of which were Haitian nationals. 


All detainees will be repatriated shortly after all processes are completed.


Similarly, on Friday, 15 January 2021, there was a rescue operation to save the lives of one hundred and fifty-nine (159) illegal migrants onboard a damaged vessel off the coast of Providenciales. A joint operation spearheaded by the RT&C Police Force, DECR and private citizens rescued all the illegal migrant which include one hundred and thirty-nine (139) males and twenty-four (24) females. The illegal migrants were subsequently processes and repatriated on Saturday, 16th January 2021 and Sunday, 17th January 2021.


In commenting on this successful interception, Hon Vaden Delroy Williams said; “This vessel is the second interception within three (3) days, which is very alarming. We are very thankful for all organizations involved in the two interception. Travelling here illegally is a wasted time, as our border protection team is very strong and you will be caught and you will be sent back to your home land.  Do not risk all you have to travel here.”


The public is reminded to continue to provide tips or any information related to this or any other illegal landing. We encourage the public to submit information or tips anonymously in English, French or Spanish to or on Facebook as a fan of Crime Stoppers Turks & Caicos. Kindly note that Crime Stoppers tips are received in the USA.






The Ministry of Education, Youth, Culture, Social &  Library Services would like to submit to the general public the current changes to the Scholarship Application process 2021 as a result of the challenges posed by the global COVID-19 situation.


Applications are now be inviting from the general public. The deadline for scholarships receipt is April 30th 2021.


FILLABLE APPLICATIONS ARE NOW AVAILABLE ON THE EDUCATION WEBSITE AT:  all applications  from this point forward should be submitted with all the requirements via PDF or JPEG format to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  The Secretariat Unit will vet your application and inform of any missing information to be submitted to the unit and you will be electronically submitted a receipt. (PLEASE SUBMIT ALL OF THE REQUIREMENTS IN ONE EMAIL TO ELIMINATE NUMEROUS SUBMISSIONS AS MUST AS POSSIBLE.)


The Ministry of Education would like to remind applicants that in order to permit the Education Advisory Committee to make an informed decision, all the required information as specified in the explanatory notes must accompany each application. For example, this application season the Ministry noticed a large number of applicants did not submit the following required information: -

  • Acceptance letters from institutions applied to showing the duration of studies with BOTH; commencement and completion dates. In many cases only commencement was given.
  • Submission of tuition and accommodation invoices from institutions or proof of those tuition and accommodation invoices fees from school Registrar Office.

Students who may not have been successful in receiving a scholarship last academic year are encouraged to reapply for academic year 2021/22 now.


The Ministry of Education wishes to encourage all Turks and Caicos Islanders to further their education and enroll into Tertiary studies. As part of this mandate, the Turks and Caicos Islands Government in recent years attained full membership to the University of the West Indies. This therefore enables Turks and Caicos Islanders who are not beneficiaries of a scholarship to be able to attend any of the University of the West Indies four campuses in Jamaica, Barbados or Trinidad & Tobago and Antigua and pay a reduced tuition fee. The UWI Open Campus also provides an opportunity for students to pursue tertiary education while remaining in the country through online courses of study. For courses that are offered at the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College (TCICC), at any level, applicants will be referred to the TCICC.






Please note as of January 2018  applications will ONLY be accepted once  ALL of the above requirements are attached to your applications to be presented to the Education Advisory Committee.


Submission of all required information is due by April 30th 2021 of a given year. The ONLY exception to this rule will  be for persons not receiving the necessary information from their institution at the time of submission of their  incomplete application by June 30th  2021 which are as follows:-


  • Acceptance Letter
  • Transcripts
  • Examination results
  • Proof from institution of tuition costing
  • Proof of accommodation costing from institution if on campus OR signed lease agreement if off campus
  • Proof of duration of studies from institution; commencement AND completion date of studies


Please note for  international applicants deadline for presenting of ALL of the requirements is June 30th 2021 and for local applicants deadline for presenting of ALL requirements is August 16th 2021  as listed in this form MUST be presented to the Ministry of Education, Youth, Culture, Social and Library Services. IF your application does not have the requirements to be presented to the Education Advisory Committee your application will be returned.



Turks & Caicos Government

Office of the Governor

Office of the Deputy Governor