enfrhtptes

UPDATED GUIDANCE ON ESSENTIAL LOCAL TRAVEL

The Ministry of Health would like to remind the general public that only essential travel is permitted between the islands. This is in response to the outbreak of Covid-19 which is currently being experienced by the TCI. The public is reminded that persons should not travel between the islands unless it is absolutely essential. This is to prevent the further spread of Covid-19 between the islands.

The Ministry is updating its previous release to reflect the updated Regulations concerning restrictions on domestic travel which came into effect today 28th August 2020.

Persons are only permitted to travel for the following reasons in accordance with Public And Environmental Health (Covid19)(Control Measures)(No. 2) Regulations 2020 (Legal Notice 91 Of 2020).

12 (1) From 28 August 2020 to 5:00 a.m. on 15 September 2020, no person shall offer for hire or seek to travel on any interisland private or commercial air or sea transport that is nonessential, provided that an airline or a boat shall reduce the number of persons traveling on interisland transportation to permit physical distancing.

(2) For the purposes of subregulation (1), travel for the purpose of banking, businesses under regulation 4(3)(q)- any water, electricity, telecommunications (including internet services) or other sector encompassing the provision of electronic communications including print and electronic media, doctor and hospital visits, funeral, international travel or continuing one’s journey to an island of destination upon arrival in the Islands, emergencies and cargo shall be considered essential travel.

(3) A member of the House of Assembly may travel from and return to another island, to attend a meeting of the House of Assembly in the island of Grand Turk.

13 (4) A person who intends to travel interisland shall before undertaking such travel apply to the Ministry of Health for travel authorisation by completing the Interisland Travel Authorisation Form set out on the Ministry of Health website and subject himself to a temperature check prior to his travel.

(5) Every person travelling interisland shall adhere to all health protocols relevant for domestic travel.

Applications should be submitted within 48 hours of travel and subject caption should include the intended date of travel and purpose. Application forms should be completed clearly for review and must indicate that the purpose of travel is essential in accordance with the Regulations, otherwise they will not be approved.

Local travel authorization forms can be located on the MOH website; https://drive.google.com/file/d/1mCXMgc5ugwScoyy_EH2iZ8fc6aqCMfQU/view and completed forms should be submitted to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

NEW COVID-19 QUARANTINE RELEASE GUIDELINES

The Government recently announced the revision of the quarantine release guidelines which are being implemented in the TCI. The guidelines indicate that there has been a change in the requirement for persons to receive two consecutive RT PCR negative results at the end of 14 days quarantine before being released following a period of quarantine for COVID-19, whether that person tested positive for COVID-19 or whether they were a negative close contact of an individual with COVID-19. There are, however, retesting requirements for high risk groups.

The Ministry of Health will be reaching out to all persons who are currently in quarantine and have already fulfilled the quarantine requirements in order to formally release them. Persons are requested to await formal contact from the Public Health Team in order to be provided with the relevant information and guidance.

We would like to thank everyone for their anticipated cooperation as these individuals are released.

The Ministry of Health wishes to remind the general public to take the relevant precautions at all times to prevent the spread of COVID-19;

  1. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds.
  2. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  3. Cover your cough/sneeze with your elbow or a tissue and properly dispose of it.
  4. Wear face coverings in public.
  5. Practice social distancing of 6 feet.
  6. Stay home if you have symptoms of COVID-19 and call the health hotlines on 232 9444 or 333 091
  7. Avoid mass gatherings.
  8. Avoid non-essential travel including local, regional and international travel.
  9. Cooperate fully with contact tracing teams if you are contacted.
  10. Do not discriminate against persons suspected of having COVID-19.
  11. Stay informed-visit the Ministry of Health website for up to date information on https://www.gov.tc/moh/coronavirus/

MINISTRY OF HEALTH RE-EMPHASIZES THE REQUIREMENTS FOR ESSENTIAL LOCAL TRAVEL

The Ministry of Health would like to remind the general public that only essential travel is permitted between the islands. This is in response to the outbreak of Covid-19 which is currently being experienced by the TCI. The public is reminded that persons should not travel between the islands unless it is absolutely essential. This is to prevent the further spread of Covid-19 between the islands.

Persons are only permitted to travel for the following reasons in accordance with Turks And Caicos Islands Public And Environmental Health (Covid-19)(Control Measures)(Amendment) Regulations 2020(Legal Notice 83 Of 2020);

“essential travel” means—

  • travel for the purpose of banking, businesses under regulation 4(3)(p) any water, electricity, telecommunications (including internet services) or other sector encompassing the provision of electronic communications including print and electronic media.

  • doctor and hospital visits, funeral, international travel or continuing one’s journey to an island of destination upon arrival in the Islands, emergencies and cargo; and
  • travel by—
    • Government officials carrying out critical functions on behalf of the government, at the discretion of and with the written approval of the Deputy Governor’s Office;
    • members of the Police, Prison (including prisoners), TCI Regiment or visiting Armed Forces traveling on named duty-linked to law and order or wider National Security matters, including disaster preparedness or management, at the discretion of and with written approval of the Commissioner of Police, Superintendent of Prison or Governor (military/regiment), as the case may be;
    • members of the House of Assembly in order to visit their respective constituencies;
    • Magistrates and Judges to preside or sit in Court;
    • Attorneys to attend Court or visit a client, if necessary;
    • construction workers for construction project work, with the written approval of the Permanent Secretary, Infrastructure following approval of the Chief Medical Officer provided that they put in place such measures as may be approved by the Ministry”.

Applications should be submitted within 48 hours of travel. Application forms should be completed clearly for review and must indicate that the purpose of travel is essential, otherwise they will not be approved.

Local travel authorization forms can be located on the MOH website; https://www.gov.tc/moh/coronavirus/resources/forms and completed forms should be submitted to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

MINISTER OF HEALTH CORRECTS MISLEADING MEDIA STATEMENTS SURROUNDING THIRD COVID-19 RELATED DEATH

First and foremost, I and my Ministry would once again like to extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the deceased. Losing a loved one is hard under any circumstance but the fact that it was sudden makes it that much harder.

I am deeply concerned by a recent misleading article in the media, which infers an intent on my part to deceive the people of the TCI. The article, which states, “a third death for COVID-19 ,which was conveniently not mentioned by the Minister during the press conference today,” was released following the joint press conference held by the Hon. Deputy Premier and myself, and my later statement informing the public of the recent death.

Let me assure the public that there was no intent to deceive anyone, nothing was “conveniently” left out. I take my duty and responsibility as your representative extremely seriously, and as a health professional myself, I am committed to informing the public with factually based information.

Given the sensitive situation and the fact that my ministry was, at that time, still conducting investigations and ensuring every possible attempt was made to locate the family of the deceased for proper notification of death, in this particular case, it would not have been appropriate to make such an announcement during the press conference.

Following a full briefing by my ministry, and taking deep consideration of the public interest, the time that had passed and the limited success in identifying the family of the deceased, the decision was made to notify the public.

The fact that it was a sudden death, and despite the individual not being known to be symptomatic for Covid-19, health professionals decided to use an abundance of caution and a swab was taken, which returned a positive result. The mere presence of a particular illness does not mean that that illness is the cause of death, so it is incumbent upon medical professionals to ensure that causes of death are accurate. As standard procedure, the Coroner would have ensured that other possible causes of death were ruled out and that COVID-19 was the primary factor in the recent death.

Our medical professionals practice the highest standards and I am appalled at the innuendo that they are anything but professional. The media should be trying to show support for the work of our professionals during this pandemic, not make misleading and damaging comments that undermines public trust. 

Everyone has a role to play during this public health emergency, and the media’s role is to provide timely, accurate and credible information to the public. My ministry is committed to assisting the media in providing that information to the best of our abilities. After all, we are all in this together. Mask up TCI, wash your hands and please remember to social distance when and where you can, or try to avoid crowded places. If you have symptoms or want information please call our coronavirus hotline at 333-0911 or 232-9444, and visit our website: www.gov.tc/moh/coronavirus.

MINISTRY OF HEALTH’S COVID-19 UPDATE #171

The Ministry of Health wishes to advise the public that as at 12am on 28th August 2020:

the Turks & Caicos Islands has continued to see considerable change in its COVID-19 position since the previous update. eight (8) new cases of covid-19 have been identified, all new cases being located in providenciales. five (5) of these cases are contacts of known confirmed cases and three (3) cases are still under investigation with no clear epidemiological link.

forty-six (46) new recoveries have been recorded, bringing the total number of recoveries to one hundred and forty-eight (148). The number of active confirmed cases in the TCI has decreased to three hundred and thirty-eight (338). two (2) confirmed cases continue to be under hospital care. The Public Health Team continues to implement aggressive contact tracing and control measures in relation to all active cases.

total confirmed positive cases identified in the TCI to date now stands at four hundred and ninety (490). No new covid-19 related deaths have been recorded since the previous update, and the total number of covid-19 related deaths stands at three (3).

eighty-nine (89) new test results have been recorded by the National Public Health Laboratory over the past 24hrs. these Results confirmed eight (8) indivduals positive and eighty-one (81) negative for covid-19. To date, the TCI has recorded a total of two thousand three hundred and sixty-seven (2367) test results, with one thousand eight hundred and seventy-seven (1877) confirmed to be negative and four hundred and ninety (490) positive confirmations. All persons confirmed not to have COVID-19, and any contacts, (if quarantined, will be removed from quarantine/observation status) are asked to continue following proper guidelines from the Ministry of Health.

The number of persons in quarantine/observation has DEcreased to 723. This includes: Confirmed cases (338), primary contacts of confirmed cases (374), secondary contacts of confirmed cases (11). Persons under observation/quarantine, that are not confirmed or suspected cases, are either not displaying symptoms or have not met the case definition.

The change in quarantine/observation numbers is as a result of the new confirmed cases and their contacts being added to quarantine/observation status; with the new recoveries and the quarantine period having expired for several indivduals released from quarantine status. To date, a total of 1,495 individuals have been released from quarantine/observation status. 

Local testing is being conducted for persons in a range of categories, according to the national testing strategy. This includes frontline workers and those who may need to travel for treatment abroad. These persons would not be reflected in quarantine numbers.

The public is strongly urged to follow all health advice and guidelines from the Ministry, especially as we progress with the phased reopening.

Please note the following definitions:

  • A suspected person is someone who meets the case definition as outlined by WHO and CARPHA - and is experiencing symptoms.
  • A person in quarantine is an individual on island who may have come in proximity to suspected or confirmed cases - and have not exhibited symptoms.

Let's continue to reduce the risk by:

  1. Washing our hands for 20secs or more.
  2. Wearing of masks required in public.
  3. Practicing social distancing.
  4. Prepare your home, office and other surroundings by following the advice of the Ministry of Health and other credible health agencies.
  5. Cover your coughs and sneezes (use your elbow or a tissue which should be properly disposed of).
  6. Keep frequently touched surfaces clean e.g. tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets and sinks.
  7. Protect those who are vulnerable in the community such as the elderly or those with underlying health conditions.
  8. Do not discriminate against persons who have or are suspected of having COVID-19.

For more information, please visit the Ministry of Health website, www.gov.tc/moh/coronavirus; email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; or call our hotline numbers, (649) 232-9444 and (649) 333-0911, if you or someone you know has symptoms or signs of COVID-19.