His Excellency the Governor, Nigel Dakin, chaired the 24th meeting of Cabinet on Wednesday 25 August 2021 at the Office of the Premier on Grand Turk.
All members were present with the exception of the Hon Minister for Tourism and Hon Deputy Governor. Mrs Khalila Astwood-Tatem was also present as Acting Attorney General.
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:
a) Positive cases, in particular hospitalization of unvaccinated persons,
b) Recent death cases,
c)Specific breaches of Regulations, and
d) Progress with the vaccination programme, now standing at 69% fully vaccinated and future introduction of booster shots.
Approved amendments to the Public and Environmental Health Control Measures Regulations coming into effect from 1 September 2021, unless otherwise stated, including:
i. No person shall host an event consisting of 50 persons or more without approval from the Chief Medical Officer or Chief Environmental Health Officer. (Definition of Event: Something that happens at a given time and place including Hotels, Bars, and Restaurants – e.g. show, party, karaoke, music festival, house party, private banquet, ball, dance, etc.),
ii. Work permits/temporary work permits should not be granted to performers for the purposes of hosting or performing at social events,
iii. All night clubs and bars should reduce occupancy to 50%,
iv. Patrons at night clubs and bars must provide proof of being fully vaccinated,
v. Bars/clubs to be responsible for verifying the identification and vaccination status of all participants and a logbook kept with the same, and shared with the Ministry of Health and the Environmental Health Department every Monday, and
vi. We require the introduction of a customer tracking system (manual or electronic) be implemented for all events going forward from 14 September 2021.
Approved a planning application PR 14707 for the renovation of an existing pier on parcel 60906/238 (adjacent), Providenciales.
Approved a planning application PR 15057, for the development of a Farmers Market on parcel 60602/272, Providenciales.
Were updated on the Turks and Caicos Islands Beach Vending and Coastal Vending Policy to include application processes, fee structures, vending zones, capacity of zones, enforcement and the building of appropriate facilities where required. Members also agreed a moratorium on new applications for specified categories of business licenses and activities.
Approved the proposed short, medium and long term solutions to address the issues at the Sapodilla Bay. Members also agreed to work towards the relocation of vendors at the Sapodilla Bay location by 1 December 2021 after which no vending on the beach will be allowed.
Approved guidelines for the operations of the existing Floating Bar/Restaurant also known as “Tiki bar” in the Turks and Caicos Islands ensuring safety of navigation, safety of life, protection of the marine environment and application process. Members also agreed a moratorium for new applicants.
Approved amendments to the Schedule of the Ports Authority (Stevedores, Fees and Charges) Regulations 2008 to come into effect on 1 September 2021.
Approved the appointment of Mr Deveraux Malcolm as Director of the National Insurance Board for a period of two years with effect from 30 September until 31 March 2023.
Discussed proposed amendments to the National Health Insurance Ordinance and agreed next steps.
Approved a proposal for the renewal of a lease agreement and expansion of office accommodations for the Ministry of Health and Departments, Grand Turk for a period of five years, with an option to renew.
Approved a COVID Works Program Policy under the Ministry of Physical Planning and Infrastructure Development to come into effect on 1 September 2021.
Granted approval for a waiver against the first time work permit moratorium in accordance with the policy.
Approved the appointment of Kitchandra Mcdonald as a Member of the Immigration Appeals Tribunal with effect from 30 August until 31 March 2023.
Noted a paper covering guidelines supporting the amended Public and Environmental Health Arriving Passengers Travel clearance Regulations
Approved amendments to the Citizen Stimulus Programme to allow: a) persons currently overseas for medical reasons, to have their cheques deposited into their bank accounts, and b) up to 25 persons who had applied for the Stimulus payments within the required timeframe, but for technical reasons with the portal, their applications were not processed, to be able to reapply.
Discussed the Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism (Taxation) Ordinance 2019 and agreed steps required.
Were updated on issues surrounding business licenses where external shareholders are involved.
Was updated on issues related to the Ministries of:
3.House of Assembly, and
4.Office of the Premier.