Caymans government pledges to assist expats as well as locals

Published:  31 Mar at 6 PM
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Tagged: Visas, Citizenship
Expats in the Cayman Islands are to get governmental assistance if needed.

Following his controversial announcement that governmental assistance will be offered to trapped foreign permit holders without mentioning the islands’ expat communities, the Cayman Islands' PM was forced to confirm that any foreigner in dire straits would also be supported. His initial comment may have been influenced by islanders’ social media posts saying foreigners should not receive assistance as there were high numbers of locals in dire need even before the virus struck.

Having taken the point, the Premier is now in absolute agreement that every person who needs help, either because of the pandemic or for other reasons, should receive governmental support regardless of their residency status and ethnic origin. The government, he said, is now accepting this situation is a humanitarian crisis, adding that those trapped on the islands for whatever reason will have shelter, food and healthcare access. For expats and locals needing urgent assistance, he suggested an application to the Needs Assessment Unit would result in their needs being met.

Given the mad rush to clear supermarket shelves in many other countries hit hard by the pandemic, the Canaries’ scheme for shopping hours is innovative, to say the least. Rather than creating shortages due to hoarding, shopping hours have been designated for groups, with the disabled and elderly along with pregnant women allowed to shop daily between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m or 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. For government staff, daily shopping hours are between 5 and 6 p.m, and all those not covered by the special time zones will be given three-day a week slots according to their names in alphabetical order, enabling expats and citizens to plan their regular shopping trips.
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