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Wednesday, 6 May 2020 Update

Wednesday 6 May 2020 Update

Two hundred and ninety-eight negative results were announced by Chief Medical Officer Dr John Lee during today’s (6 May) press briefing. He added that 96% of Little Cayman has now been tested.

His Excellency the Governor revealed there will be two more evacuation flights: one to the Dominican Republic and one to Miami. The dates of those flights will be confirmed at a later point.

Premier Hon. Alden McLaughlin reminded landscapers they must not fill their vehicles with employees. It is an offence under Public Health Regulations, which require persons to maintain social distancing. If a vehicle is found to be overloaded, landscapers risk being ticketed and will have their permission to operate revoked.

The Deputy Director of Pensions Amy Wolliston provided an update on changes to the Pensions Law and the process by which persons can avail themselves of the opportunities afforded by this legislation change.

Chief Medical Officer Dr John Lee reported:

• 298 negative results are reported today and no positives; 72 of these were from Doctors Hospital and 226 from the Health Services Authority (HSA).

• 96% of Little Cayman has returned negative results.

• The total number of cases now stand at 78 positives, with 8 symptomatic; 37 asymptomatic; 2 admitted at Health City and 30 recovered.

• A reminder when exercising to keep your distance. If cycling or running hard, you should extend the distance you are keeping from others, because of the potential for droplet spray as you pass.

• Thanks to people who have come forward for screening; it’s vital to come forward if you are asked to do so, in order to protect you, your family, friends and the whole community.

Premier Hon. Alden McLaughlin said:

• Mobile landscapers should make sure vehicles are not packed with employees; it is dangerous and an offence under the Public Health Regulations, for both the employees and the employer.

• You will be ticketed if you are caught overloading your vehicle. Additionally, Government will revoke your permission to operate during the shelter-in-place provisions. There will be no second chances if a credible report is received that you are breeching the law by forcing employees to operate too close together.

His Excellency the Governor, Mr. Martyn Roper said:

• An agreement has been reached with the Government of Dominican Republic and that flight will go ahead in around ten days. There are 50-55 nationals who wish to go back and there are further seats available for others wishing to depart.

• There will be another flight to Miami, both taking people out and bringing a number back in. Dates will be confirmed tomorrow.

• Discussions are ongoing with Jamaica, India and the Philippines regarding repatriation flights. This is a challenging area globally.

• Shout-outs to Girlguiding Cayman Islands who are doing a “camp at home” challenge.

• Also to John Gray High School whose staff have raised $4,000 in personal donations to provide families with food vouchers and wi-fi connections.

Health Minister Dwayne Seymour said:

• He is proud of nurses and healthcare professionals in the Cayman Islands for their efforts and the risks they take to keep us safe.

• Shout-out to those restaurants that have provided the Faith Hospital with meals during the hard curfew.

• A reminder to continue to practise proper hand-washing etiquette, wear masks where possible and keep six feet from others in public places.

Deputy Director of Pensions Amy Wolliston said:

• The pensions holiday came into effect retroactively from 1 April. It expires on 30 September unless that period is extended. Every private sector employee/employer is allowed to participate; the process is automatic. Employees/employers will still be able to contribute if they wish to do so. Such contributions will be classified as “voluntary contributions” on both sides.

• Government employees and those working for Statutory Authorities and Government Companies (SAGCs) cannot participate in the holiday or the pension withdrawal.

• The pension withdrawal provision came into effect on 1 May and expires on 31 October, unless the period is extended. Both Caymanian and non-Caymanian employees can participate.

• The amount you can withdraw is based on the account balance: you can withdraw 100% of the value up to $10,000 and 25% of the remaining balance.

• People are encouraged to replace funds they have withdrawn, if it is possible at a later date.

• There is a formal application posted on the website: http://www.gov.ky/portal/page/portal/dlphome/announcements/application-form-to-access-emergency-withdrawal-of-pensions-fund

• The updated application has been distributed to all pension plan administrator. It lays out which documents are needed (such as proof of identity, showing your signature which must be notarised if you are using a copy) and the timeframe within which the administrators must reply.

• You must sign a declaration before the form can be submitted.

• The administrator has seven days to acknowledge receipt of the application; then they have 14 days to make a decision about accepting/refusing the application. The administrator has 45 days to provide the member with the funds.

• There have been questions about persons with multiple pension accounts: you can withdraw from each of the administrators where you hold an account.

• There is a provision that allows for an appeal to the Director, if your application is refused. Use dlp@gov.ky to provide your information.

• There are FAQs on the website available at: http://www.gov.ky/portal/page/portal/dlphome/announcements/pensions-holiday-and-withdrawal-faq

• There will be a webinar co-hosted with Chamber of Commerce to explain the amended legislation further. It will take place on Friday, 8 May at 10 a.m.

For further information contact: Caroline James