(CMR) The Chamber of Commerce, supported by several businesses, has called for members and the wider public to fully support the Government’s effort to safely reopen the country's borders by getting vaccinated.
Mike Gibbs, President of the Chamber of Commerce, said, “It is imperative for the whole community that we are able to safely open our borders as soon as possible and restart the sectors of our economy that have been stagnant since our borders first closed.”
With the initial vaccine delivery due to expire early next month, and no new stock confirmed, time is running out to receive the first installment of the vaccine.
“The Cayman Islands has been very fortunate in that all residents have had easy and free access to the Pfizer vaccine. This is an opportunity that has not been available to many around the world and an opportunity we should not squander,” President Gibbs added.
Several other member firms and private sector associations support the Chamber's position for the community to meet or exceed the government’s 70% vaccination target as quickly as possible,
Cayman Society of Architects, Surveyors, and Engineers (CASE) Board stated, “The COVID-19 pandemic has been very disruptive to the economy of the Cayman Islands, with many businesses and persons impacted. Our government has done an outstanding job of dealing with this crisis by instituting an island-wide vaccination program. CASE supports our government’s efforts to open our borders, revitalizing the service and tourism industries.”
Cayman Contractors Association (CCA) Board said members also support the government’s plan to safely reopen the border, ensuring the survival of the local economy.
“The Cayman Islands Government have and continue to act in the best interest of the people of these beautiful islands. The countrywide vaccination program has been properly administered, and continued diligence is required to safeguard all residents,” the CCA stated.
Marc Langevin, CITA President, General Manager at The Ritz-Carlton, and Chamber of Commerce Council Member, said the tourism industry also supports vaccination efforts.
“The Tourism Industry fully supports the proactive approach to vaccination efforts in our country as we understand how critical it is to finally put the pandemic behind us. We are very fortunate that almost our entire population has access to the vaccines and to have a government that has had such a cautious and safe approach to the re-opening of our borders,” he said.
Langevin continued, “Now, it is in the hands of the population to take responsibility and reach those vaccination goals to reopen our destination and bring back to life the Tourism related industry that supports so many families in our islands. From the hospitality perspective, we are confident we have the appropriate tools and resources to continue to keep our islands safe and continue to support our government’s efforts in ensuring that our community’s health and safety is always a top priority.”
Shomari Scott, Chief Business Officer, Health City Cayman Islands and Chamber of Commerce President-Elect, also encouraged the community to get vaccinated.
“The vaccines are the only way to help end the Covid-19 pandemic, not only in Cayman but globally. The vaccines have gone through rigorous screening processes by independent bodies before being approved. They are safe and highly effective in preventing COVID-19 and are the quickest way for us to reopen our borders and for life to return to normal,” Scott said.
Nelson Dilbert, Owner of Cayman Spirits Company and Chamber of Commerce Vice President, also urges persons to support businesses that are suffering as a result of the pandemic by getting vaccinated.
“As Chamber of Commerce Vice President, I would like to thank everyone that has chosen to get vaccinated. This not only protects you but the most vulnerable in our community. The vaccine is our way out of this pandemic and reopening our borders. As I am sure you know that the Cayman Islands have 2 major sources of income, one being the financial industry and the other being tourism. Show your support to the business suffering in the tourism sector by getting vaccinated today and kick start our economy back into full gear,” Dilbert stated.
“As a business, Cayman Spirits Co. would like to thank everyone who has decided to get the vaccine. To show our support for the people who have and will get the vaccine, a FREE THIRD SHOT (of rum) at the distillery.”
RBC Royal Bank said, “the government's vaccination efforts are proving to be the cornerstone of what will get the Cayman Islands back to normal and open for business. RBC Royal Bank congratulates the Government of the Cayman Islands on the strength of their vaccine rollout, which – combined with preventative measures and good practices – will be essential to open our beautiful islands back to tourism.”
Dart also expressed its appreciation for the country's vaccination program, stating that the company “encourage people to take the opportunity to be vaccinated for their own health and safety and for the sake of the wider community. When our borders reopen, it is inevitable that COVID-19 will re-enter the community. Vaccination provides us with the greatest protection and is the best chance for us to learn to live with this virus in the future.”
Doses 1 and 2 remain available to all persons over the age of 16, regardless of surname. Photo IDs are still required, however proof that persons are ordinarily and legally a resident is no longer needed. The deadline for receiving dose 1 is June 9th.
The vaccine schedule now includes more evening hours and additional locations in the districts – as well as Camana Bay and Owen Roberts Airport. For further information, visit www.hsa.ky.