Expat workers in the Caymans now stranded due to COVID 19 crisis

Published:  19 Mar at 6 PM
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The Cayman Islands are now in a humanitarian crisis due to the coronavirus.

Expats and locals alike on the ever-popular Cayman Islands archipelago are now submerged in a humanitarian crisis due to the rapid spread of the pandemic. Thousands of expats working in the tourism sector are now unemployed due to restrictions on restaurants and bars as well as the closing of all international air and sea borders. As with the vast majority of other popular visitor and expat destinations, the COVID 19 crisis has the potential to wreck businesses and local economies.

PM to the Cayman Islands Alden McLaughlin told local media the government is examining every aspect concerning the plight of the large number of unemployed expat workers with legal permits now trapped on the islands with no jobs and no pay. Calling the pandemic a humanitarian crisis, he stated those affected must be taken care of by the state as well as by their employers, especially if there’s no way as yet to get them back to their home countries. The major problems are the worldwide closure of airports coupled with travel bans.

Expat workers now affected, he said, still need secure accommodation, food and other necessities of life. The government is undertaking an assessment of how many are affected and, using employers’ input, the right solution needs to be found. As the airport is now closed and cancellations growing, accommodation for affected expat workers may well not be an issue as empty hotels can be utilised. Employers are being urged to contact the government should their employees be in difficulties, and the PM is stressing that anyone taking unscrupulous advantage of the situation will be severely dealt with.
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