Where is the prime minister? asks PPM

  • Cayman News Service

(CNS): The opposition leader has accused the current government of a lack of leadership, especially when it comes to decisions to reopen the Cayman borders. In a press conference at the Progressives’ offices on Crewe Road Tuesday, Roy McTaggart urged the government to reopen September 1st as the reopening date. He claimed they had enough time to seek the advice they needed and to realize that vaccinating the country will have achieved levels of herd immunity to COVID-19 by that date, reopening borders and timing the country Tourism sector allows to work towards it.

So far, the PACT government has not said what it will do about reopening the borders. Now that the priorities of finalizing vaccine stocks and securing more vaccines have been addressed, Premier Wayne Panton said on his last public appearance on Radio Cayman that the next step is likely to be to reduce the quarantine period to five days for those who have been vaccinated to shorten before a complete opening of the border.

It has been more than a month since the new government called a press conference to address issues surrounding the next steps.

Once the vaccination program resumes, it won’t be long before everyone who received a dose can get their second vaccination and teenagers who are not approved for the Pfizer vaccine can start vaccinating. The PPM leader said he believes that by then 75% of the population will have reached full course and the government must now set a date for the borders to reopen.

“The government must now create the conditions for tourism to recover while helping unemployed tourism workers,” said McTaggart. “The government cannot proceed without leadership on this and related issues that require urgent attention and decision-making.

He said tourism would take time to return. During the transition period, the government should extend the unemployment tourism worker grant until the end of the year, increasing it to $ 2,000 per month. McTaggart also called for the pension contribution leave to be extended until the end of this year, as it currently expires at the end of this month, although it is clear that tourism employers and workers will not be able to contribute for a few more months.

“I know the PACT government is inexperienced and trying to handle the demands of its ministry roles and responsibility to govern and lead our country,” said McTaggart. “However, they have had ample time to seek advice from seasoned experts from the Government, Public Health England and the private sector to make sound judgments about the reopening and resumption of tourism and then inform the country of those decisions. But time is running out. “

He said the PPM wants to encourage the government to share its plans with the country this week, adding that it is time for PACT to “make real decisions and speak to the country”. He accused them of keeping silent about most things, but said the silence about the reopening “creates real concern for people and businesses that need to plan and have real hope of a restart of tourism this year”.

While tourism continues to suffer and stakeholders are still hearing nothing from the government about a path to reopening, “we heard exceptionally little from the prime minister other than a brief appearance by him and the tourism minister on talk radio,” McTaggart said when he said about Panton’s allegation hit back that when PACT took office there was no plan for reopening. “Apologies for their inability to agree on a way forward are unacceptable. In view of our current situation, there is no reason to hesitate any longer. “

McTaggart aimed at Tourism Secretary Kenneth Bryan and asked where his plans and ideas were to breathe life back into tourism, and Health Secretary Sabrina Turner, who in his opinion had also been particularly silent on Cayman’s position on a safe reopening.

He urged Panton to assemble his team, “get them together and make some decisions” to rebuild the stay in tourism and start a public discussion about the future of the cruise industry. McTaggart suggested that any further silence could jeopardize a successful reopening and the recovery of tourism.

Former Prime Minister Alden McLaughlin also criticized the government for hesitating too long to make a decision and accused it of being paralyzed with fear. “The decision should be obvious and easy to make,” as there is “very little risk of the virus establishing itself in the community” once Cayman hits the 75% immunization rate, he said.

While the PPM was criticized while in power for having no plan, which Panton has confirmed, McLaughlin denied that claim, saying he had repeatedly set forth the plan to the Unity administration. He claimed that it was always based on a safe number of people vaccinated and that when Cayman hits about 75% of the population’s vaccination rate, the borders will be reopened.

See the full briefing on the Progressives’ Facebook page.

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