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According to the Cayman Islands General Insurance Association, claims for damage
caused by Hurricane Michelle have exceeded CI$23m. Of this figure, over $13m
went to Government (of which $6m was for damage to the George Town port, $4.7m
for damage to the Turtle Farm, and $1.7m for the dock in Cayman Brac). Almost
$10m has been paid to owners of homes and businesses. It is thought that a number
of properties damaged were not insured, so the real value of the damage caused is
likely to be higher. Insurance premiums are set to rise, with owners of coastal
property likely to see increases in premiums of between 25% and 30%.
Construction of the new Ritz-Carlton continues, with a show suite due to be open
in January 2002, and the hotel opening for business in October 2003. When
completed, the development will house a 365-room hotel, over 70 condo/apartment,
two olympic sized swimming pools, five restaurants/grills, a nine-hole golf course
designed by Greg Norman, lighted clay tennis courts and a 20,000 square foot
gym and spa. For more details
In other hotel news, the Sleep Inn now advertises itself as the Cayman Inn and
Resort (but still uses the Sleep Inn e-mail address!) and Comfort Suites is
now signed at the Sunshine Suites by Wyndham's.
The first stage of the new Crewe Road by-pass opened just before Christmas.
The western end meets the existing road by the Esso Garage near the runway, and
the eastern end starts at a new (large) roundabout near Tropical Gardens.
Commute times into town had been significantly reduced.
Just as the Islands were getting used to a new radio station (Vibe 98.9) another
station has been launched. Ocean 95.5 intends to distribute credit-card sized
radios pre-tuned to their station to visitors in fun-packs to be given out at
the airport. The radio station intends to feature continuous talk-free music.
The Government has announced some major changes in it's budget for 2002. Hardest
hit are the banks, who see their licence fees increased significantly, but proposals
are likely to hit many professions and residents/visitors on the island.
Government seeks to raise $2.5m by increasing the licence fees also paid by the
legal and accounting firms. For example, Hunter & Hunter will have to pay $0.5m
for it's five partners, but on a per lawyer basis this is two to three times as much
as some of the larger firms will pay. The budget also saw proposals to introduce
parking charges in George Town of C$2.50/hour.
The Government has awarded the contract to provide consultancy services in the
liberalisation of the telecommunications sector to LECG Ltd of London. Plans
are on target for the establishment of an ICT Authority in February 2002, to
be operational by June 2002. The phased liberalisation of the telecommunications
market is expected to commence in August 2002.
In other Government news, more
details of the new Authority to oversee shipping were announced. The Cayman
Maritime Safety Authority would bring together a number of maritime matters
currently handled by a number of ministries, including safety and shipping
Government also intends to move all of the cargo operations away
from the George Town port to a new dock in the East End, probably in the
Half Moon Bay area. This would free up the George Town harbour to focus purely
on cruise ships.
Plans are underway to bring about 100 New York fire fighters, rescue workers
and members of families who lost loved ones during the recovery efforts following
the terrorist attack to the Cayman Islands from February 19th to February 23rd.
Cayman airways will lay on a special flights, Texaco will pay for the fuel, and
hotels are providing the accommodation.
Other bits & pieces;
Customs Officers have completed a course on reading body language to help spot
The Turtle Farm recovered their first breeding turtle after Hurricane Michelle.
During the storm they lost about 250 of their larger turtles, and, as the farm
are offering a reward of CI$4/lb for each turtle recovered, one lucky West Bay
resident is now CI$1,000 richer.
The annual boat Parade of Lights was won by Purple Boat, with Red Sail Sports
second and Mantis third. Many of the houses on South Sound Road chose to decorate
their houses in red, white and blue Christmas lights, including Stars and Stripes lights.
The biggest display of lights was at the Crighton household in Red Bay.
Apparently it takes them three weeks to set up the lights/displays and they get
no rebate from CUC for all the extra electricity they use.
Hobbies and Books have opened two new stores at Grand Harbour (Hurley's); a new
book store (Books by the Bay) and a toy store (Discover Toys).
Red Sail Sports now have a tie-up with Tortuga Divers at the East End; make your
booking (and payment) through the Red Sails dive shop, and then make your own way
to Morritt's (East End) to see some different dive sites.
Even though Hurricane Michelle didn't hit the islands, the storm had a devastating
effect on the south and west coast of Grand Cayman. In George Town, some store windows
were completely broken and stock was floating in the middle of the roads.
The waterfront has completely been washed away with all the landing areas
badly damaged and the port fencing all down. Large sections of road way
have been removed. There were reports of major damage (especially to ground floor
rooms) at Grand Old House, Blue Parrot, Sunset House, Seven Mile Beach Resort,
Treasure Island condos, Grandview, Beach Club and others... but none have had
to close (probably due to the current low occupancy rates after 11th September).
The Turtle Farm has been very badly damaged with many of the
turtles killed when they were smashed on the rocks by the storm. Some turtles
were washed up in the middle of roads. The farm opened as an attraction (but on
a limited basis and reduced admission fees) about two weeks later. See details at
for more details.
The East End of the island was unaffected by the storms, and dive boats were out
on the Monday as usual.
For comprehensive local reports (including photos) check out
On October 30th the CIBC and Barclays banks signed an agreement to combine
their operations in the Caribbean.
Implementation of this agreement is still subject approvals from government,
regulatory authorities and shareholders. Once all is finalized the merger
should be completed by the first quarter of 2002.
The new bank will have 87 branches, and over 120 ATMs, with operations in
15 Caribbean countries.
A year after elections to the Legislative Assembly, two key figures (Leader of
Government Business, Kurt Tibbetts, and MLA Edna Moyle) have been ousted from
the Executive Council after a motion of no confidence in them was passed. They
have been replaced on the ExCo by Dr. Frank McField, and Gilbert McLean. A new
political party, the United Democratic Party (UDP), has been formed and was the
driving force behind these changes.
The feedback I've had is that this is seen as being bad news; Kurt Tibbets was
viewed as being an experienced politician and doing a good job, and the way in
which this 'coup' was done was not viewed as being helpful to the island's
reputation. There has been talk that Edna Moyle is considering taking legal
action and calls for new elections to be held.
British Airways flight to/from Grand Cayman now depart/arrive at London's Heathrow
Airport - Terminal 4. In other airline news, Cayman Airways has a new Chairman,
Roy McTaggart (Managing Partner with KPMG), following the resignation of former
Chairman Sheridan Brooks-Hurst. CAL now come under the Minister of Tourism
American Airlines will reinstate its third daily flight from the US to Grand
Cayman into it's regular scheduled service with effect from 31st January 2002.
They will also be running a three-flight schedule, due to increased demand,
between 3rd December 2001 and 5th January 2002.
It has been announced that the new Governor will be Bruce Dinwiddy when the
current Governor, Peter Smith, retires in May 2002. Mr Dinwiddy is currently the
UK's High Commissioner in Dar es Salaam (Tanzania).
The Government announced plans to liberalise the Telecommunication Industry.
They are to negotiate termination of the current exclusive agreement held by
Cable & Wireless since the early 1990's and seek renegotiation on a more
liberal footing. It is expected that a new ICT Authority will be up and
running by June 2002, that negotiations with C&W will be completed by July
2002 with August 2002 as the target for the commencement of a phased
liberalisation of the telecomms sector. The Government hope that with a more
liberalised telecomms environment, IT will become the third leading industry
in Cayman's economy, behind tourism and finance.
Government has announced plans for the Quincentennial (500) anniversary of the
sighting of Cayman by Christopher Columbus. Events for 2003 which sponsorships
are being sought, include a Tall Ship Festival in May, a major George Town
Renewal Project, an IT (Information Technology) conference with international
speakers as well as a trade show, and international sporting events, in
football and cricket, as well as a celebrity golf tournament. Special
commemorative coins and license plates are already planned. A logo for the
year-long celebrations on all three islands - the number 500 over a bright
background above a line of waves has been launched.
Air Canada have started their winter season of flights from Toronto to Grand
Cayman. They will fly the route on Sundays and Wednesdays. Flight time is about
four and a half hours.
A man from the Cayman Brac who was diagnosed as having viral encephalitis
at the end of August is expected to make a full recovery. Blood samples sent
to the US for testing identified he was infected with the West Nile virus - the
first occurrence of this in the Cayman Islands. The Mosquito
Research & Control Unit have sprayed the area around the patient's house and
neighbours and continue fogging spraying there and in Grand Cayman. Mosquito
samples caught in the Cayman Brac and Grand Cayman since then have found not
to be carrying the virus.
The economic down-turn continues in Cayman. Cayman Airways have layed off two
pilots and five cabin crews following the cut backs in their services. They have
also announced a voluntary pay cut for all staff, including pilots, from the
start of November.
The construction industry has also been hit - staff have been
layed-off for at least three months. (By laying off the staff it means that the
employer doesn't have to reapply for work permits.)
CUC has decided to hold-off it's planned 2% increase for both business and
The CI Government has announced a six-month fee concessions on Stamp Duty on
Land Transfers, Building Permit and Infrastructure Fees to try to boost the
local economy. Stamp Duty will drop to six per cent on transfers involving
already constructed properties and to five per cent on all other transfers;
Building Permit Fees will have a 50 per cent cut in all fee categories for
all projects that have received planning approval within the 6-month time
frame; and infrastructure Fees will be reduced also by 50 per cent on all
projects that have received planning approval within the 6-month time frame.
The Afghan asylum seekers arrested after the 11th September attack have been
released after it was found that they had no connections with the
hijackings/terrorist attacks. Their application for asylum has also been
rejected, but they are appealing that decision.
The Cayman Music and Entertainment Association (CMEA) has announced that many of
it's members will be boycotting the Pirate's Week festivities at the end of
October. Their protest is to highlight the poor pay and conditions for local
performers against those of visiting artists. Those bands not performing include
Local Motion, Intransit, Hi Tide, Settlers, CMX International, Safari, Cayjami,
Riddem Posse, Heat, Exit, Ratskyn, Gone Country, and Footloose.
Resort Sports, the diving and watersports company at the Beach Club and Spanish
Bay Resorts, have taken over the Parrot's Landing fleet of boats, including their
catamaran. They also have a new location on North Church Street in George Town
where the are developing a PADI/NAUI training centre.
Barefoot Man has left Rum Point and now performs on Tuesday's and Thursday's
from 7pm to 10pm at the Royal Reef Resort in the East End.
The publishers of Cayman Net News have launched a new weekly magazine,
This Week in Cayman, to be published on Friday's. It will feature listings for
entertainment and sports, TV listings, and restaurant reviews.
A new radio station for Cayman and the Caribbean has been announced. Coming on
air next month, Vibe 98.9 will feature R&B, Soca, Reggae, Dance, Soul, Blues,
Jazz, World Music, Top 40 hits and more. The radio station will be based in the
Cayman Islands. The radio station's web site is at
Following the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, lots of fuss was
caused by an anonymous letter sent by a Caymanian to the local radio station,
Radio Cayman on the 29th August. The writer hoped it would be read on the Talk
Today show, but as it was incorrectly addressed, and given it's speculative
nature, it wasn't. However, the Director of Radio Cayman passed the letter on
to Acting Chief Secretary of the Cayman Islands on 6th September.
In the letter, the writer said "... we have an urgent situation with the
three Afghanistan that we have in our midsts for the past months. I have been
convinced that they are agents of Osama Bin Laden – one of the world’s
greatest terrorist – operating out of – you guessed it – Afghanistan. The
three agents here are organizing a major terrorist act against the U.S. via
an airline or airlines." He went on to say "I feel that the world will
think this is the most unlikely place on Earth to launch an attack – the
Cayman Islands. The agents are patiently organizing this attack while we
fumble and stumble over the trivial thing as their identity." and
"... we need to pass on this information immediately to the authorities
and refrain from being na´ve and complacent in this serious situation."
It should be noted that the writer didn't try to express his concerns directly
to any of the government's authorities.
The facts behind the case (copied from a Cayman Islands Government Press
Release) are that on 22nd August 2000, three men claiming to
be Afghan nationals reported that they were dropped off in the Cayman Islands,
having arrived here by ship from Turkey. They were detained by the Police at
the Central Police Station. The Immigration authorities conducted interviews
with the individuals (with the assistance of a visiting Iranian doctor who
was able to translate) in an attempt to establish their identities.
On 28th August 2000, the information was transmitted to the British Foreign
and Commonwealth Office (FCO). On 2nd October, the men were transferred to Northward
Prison from the Central Police Station, where they had been in protective custody.
On 10th October, a further letter was sent to the FCO, indicating that the
Government had considerable doubt concerning the account given by the men
about their arrival in the Cayman Islands. It appeared likely that the men
had arrived here on 20th August on a flight from Cuba using Pakistani
passports. The Government questioned the validity of the Pakistani passports
(which were never located), and the ultimate goal of the men concerning their
presence in the Cayman Islands.
Since last year, the authorities have attempted to establish their identities.
Interpol was contacted, but had no record of any of the individuals. Because
the men claimed they had planned to go to Canada, a representative from the
Canadian High Commission in Jamaica visited the Cayman Islands and met with
the Chief Immigration Officer.
The Afghan authorities (in exile) in New York interviewed the men by
telephone, and were satisfied that they were Afghan nationals. That office
issued them temporary travel documents. These could not be used, as the
individuals still required a visa from a country allowing the individuals
entry. The men were asked to provide a list of people who might be able to
verify their identities. The list was also passed on to the Afghan authorities
in New York, but no response was made regarding the list.
Additional inquiries were made to the Pakistani Embassy in Washington, D.C.,
and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). Neither
responded. The British High Commission in Islamabad, Pakistan, has also been
unable to secure cooperation from Pakistani authorities. The numbers of the
passports believed to have been used by the individuals was recorded by
Immigration, but no Pakistani authority has verified the numbers or provided
any information about them.
Based on complaints from the detainees, and at the request of the Cayman
Islands branch of the Red Cross, the three men were moved to a less secure
area of the prison on 27th April 2001. On 5th June 2001, the Cayman Islands
Grand Court ruled that the men should be released pending determination of
their application for political asylum. In its ruling, the Court stated that
"there is no evidence that they are a danger to the public and fears as to
their possible links with a terrorist organization have long since been
dispelled." However, the Court concurred with immigration authorities
that their version of how they reached the Cayman Islands was not credible.
Following that decision, the men were accommodated in a guest house in
Grand Cayman, and have been required to report to Immigration authorities and
the RCIP on a daily basis. They have complied fully. Efforts have been ongoing
to establish their identities and potential options for relocation in the
event that their request for political asylum is unsuccessful.
In August of this year, a Chief Immigration Officer from the United Kingdom
came to the Cayman Islands at the request and expense of the Cayman Islands
government. The officer specializes in matters relating to Afghanistan and
speaks Farsi. After interviewing the three men individually, the officer was
satisfied that the men were indeed Afghan nationals. The officer did, however,
state that she too was not satisfied with the Afghans’ account of how they had
arrived in the Cayman Islands.
The person who wrote the anonymous letter did not contact the Acting Chief
Secretary or any other Cayman Islands government or law enforcement official
about the letter until 12th September, the day after the attack in the U.S.
When formally interviewed that day by local authorities, the letter writer
told them that the letter was "pure speculation" on his part.
Following the horrific terrorist attack in the U.S., Chief Secretary James
Ryan transmitted the information to Police Commissioner David Thursfield on
12th September. The RCIP Commissioner was then in contact with the U.S. Consul
on the Island and the U.S. Embassy in Kingston, Jamaica. Representatives of
the U.S. Embassy arrived in Grand Cayman on the evening of 12th September and
departed on the afternoon of 15th September. While in the Cayman Islands, the
US authorities received complete cooperation. They were provided with all
documents and relevant information regarding the case of the Afghan nationals
with a view to briefing the relevant U.S. investigating authorities.
The three Afghans have been in protective custody since 11th September and
are now in Northward Prison.
According to local press reports, the island's Mosquito Research and Control
Unit ran out of money in August, and their supplies of insecticide will soon be
exhausted. It may be worth taking some repellent with you!
The tourism industry has been heavily hit by the terrorist attacks in the US.
Some hotels are reporting occupancy levels as low as 10% (compared with usual
figures of 35% to 40% for this time of year). The main chains have started to
lay-off staff, mainly in the food/beverage area. The Cayman Islands Tourism
Association is looking at a number of measures and packages to try to boost
Cayman Airways have announced that following the attacks in the US, it's plans
to lease new aircraft have been postponed.
Government announced further funding for Cayman Airways. The airline will
sell it's Boeing 737-200 planes and buy two new Boeing 737-700s and a second-hand
Dash-8 that will be used for the Cayman Brac route.
Cydonie Mothersill of the Cayman Islands came fifth in the women's 200m
final at the IAAF World Championships in Edmonton, Canada.
Six people (none of them police officers) have been charged with offenses
relating to the burglary at the Central Police Station, in which about one
hundred pounds of cocaine were stolen.
There are plans to open a dolphin theme park (to be located in the Morgan's
Harbour area) by the start of 2002. As in other places, it will offer the
opportunity to swim with the dolphins in a range of programs.
Another attraction planned for next year is "Shipwreck City". This will involve
the sinking of five new ships around Grand Cayman and Little Cayman, to add to
existing dive and snorkel sites and boost the tourist market.
Cayman Airways are cancelling some of their services during the quiet period of
September and October. On Saturdays, the two evening flights
(KX106 from GCM to MIA at 17:45 and KX107 from MIA to GCM at 21:05) are
temporarily discontinued. There are one less roundtrip flight per week to
Kingston, Jamaica and Cayman Brac. The Wednesday service to Houston is also
A seventeen-foot fishing boat was sunk when it was crashed into by the dive boat
"Galleon Diver" from the Beach Club Resort. The fisherman (George Bush) was not
hurt in the incident.
The Monetary Authority has established a new industry-wide group known as the
Cayman Islands Anti-Money Laundering Group. The group's membership includes
(amongst others) representatives from the Monetary Authority, the Bankers
Association, HM Customs and the Law Society. The aims of the groups include
raising awareness of the efforts the Cayman Islands is taking to counter money
laundering, and to make sure that all the industries involved have consistent
and relevant training programs to counter money laundering.
A Caymanian working as a customs service agent for Cayman Airways, a Canadian
and a Sweede have been arrested and charged with trying to export Ganja. 270lbs were
found in bags that had been checked in to a Cayman Airways flight to Miami on
23rd August, and over 1,000lbs of material was found in an apartment shared by
two of the suspects in George Town.
Sunworld Airlines, a Cincinnati based charter airline, has been in talks with
Government to seek a subsidy to increase it's charter flight to the island. For
over eight years they have been running a weekly service from Cincinatti, but
now want to add a further three weekly flights from Dallas, Washington/Baltimore
and Pittsburgh via Raleigh-Durham. Sunworld estimate that they could bring in
between 17,000 and 20,000 visitors a year, and are seeking assistance in their
The Cayman Islands Government are drafting a bill that will allow competition
against Cable and Wireless for the provision of telecommunications services.
Another embarrassing incident for the Police; over CI$2m of cocaine that was
scheduled for disposal was stolen from the central lock-up.
Problems at Cayman Airways. On 3rd July a flight from Cayman Brac to Grand
Cayman was aborted on the runway when engine parts fell off, and on 7th July, a
flight to Houston from Grand Cayman returned after 20 minutes when the pilot
reported engine instrumentation problems. This led to the grounding of all
their planes pending safety checks and an audit by a representative of the
UK's Civil Aviation Authority. Mr. Derek Tibbetts, Vice President for
Maintenance and Engineering, has resigned, and two engineers suspended.
The departure tax will increase on 1st August 2001 from CI$14 to CI$24. For
tickets purchased and issued before that date, the extra will be collected by
the airlines at check-in. Tickets issued after that date will include the
Air Canada will start operating a direct non-stop weekly flight from Toronto
to Grand Cayman at the end of October 2001, increasing to twice-weekly at the
start of December 2001.
After weeks of rumours, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) and
Barclays Bank are in advanced discussions which are intended to lead to the
merger of their Caribbean operations into a new bank called First Caribbean
Two US tourists were injured, one seriously, when trying to cross the road to the beach
outside the Holiday Inn. They were air lifted to medical facilities in Miami.
Holiday Inn have submitted several applications to the Planning department to
improve safety (including warning signs, zebra crossing and centre refuge),
but most have turned down by Government. They will try again following this accident.
A visitor from the US had her laptop seized by Customs Inspectors at the
airport. It was only released back to her when she agreed to leave a deposit of
20% of the value of the computer in travellers cheques (Customs wanted 30%, but
that was all she had) . When she mentioned her ordeal to various friends (and
it was also featured on the local radio and TV news), the Collector of Customs
agreed to refund her deposit. However, her ordeal didn't end there as when she
returned to the airport, the customs official on duty said they were too busy
to deal with her and sent her away again!. On a subsequent visit, her deposit
was finally returned.
This issue is likely to cause a real stir as Cayman is trying to position itself
as an e-commerce centre of excellence.
The Minister of Tourism has announced a partnership with Disney Cruise Lines
which will see "Disney Magic" visiting Grand Cayman every other Tuesday from
May 2002. Government is also negotiating with the Florida cruise industry to
upgrade the harbour facilities in Grand Cayman.
The Minister for Tourism also announced that the Sunday ban on cruise ships
will be lifted.
Renovation work at the Cayman Brac airport has now been completed. Renovations
included the resurfacing of the runway, the apron and three aircraft parking
stands, the installation of new runway lights and the installation of a
drainage system on the west end of the runway which had sometimes had been
liable to flooding.
Cayman Airways has announced that they will not fly the Orlando route
between 8th September and 15th November 2001. The airline blames poor booking
levels on this route.
The seven clearing banks have reduced their interest rates again, down to
6.75% from 4th July 2001.
Cable & Wireless now offer an ADSL for Internet access. Packages start
at CI$139/month. For more details see
Cable & Wireless have also introduced an unlimited internet access package
Prices are on the up. The Statistics Office has release figure showing that
prices rose 1.4% in the first quarter of 2001. Gas now costs about
CI$2.60/gallon, and this is having a knock-on effect on prices of groceries, etc.
The local clearing banks are lowering interest rates. The Base Rate will
drop from 7.5% to 7%. The seven banks involved include Bank of Butterfield,
Barclays Bank, British American, Cayman National, CIBC, Royal Bank of Canada
The slow-down in the economy on the islands has led to a number of companies
laying off staff; these include Chrisse Memorial Hospital, Hadsphaltic
International, Kirkconnell's and Cable and Wireless.
A minor name-change at the Ritz-Carlton; the condo development will now be
known as the Residences at the Ritz-Carlton.
Mike Flowers, the owner of the Lone Star, has opened a new outfit at the
Seaview Hotel on South Church Street. Naked Fish is serving good food in an informal
atmosphere. Various specials include a Snow Crab dinner on Friday's and Z-99
broadcasting their show 'Sunday Night Classics live.
A visitor from the US was caught at Customs with 2 grammes of Heroin. He admitted
importing the drugs for his own personal use and was fined CI$25,000 by the
Postal rates have gone up. To send a letter within Cayman will now cost
you CI$0.15. Other rates are:
The captain of a luxury yacht, "The Lady A", plead guilty to damaging coral
with his anchor and chain. A large area of healthy coral was damaged in a
replenishment zone. Scientist reckon it will take about 30 years for the reef
to recover from the damage. The captain, Terry Phillips, was fined $150,000,
and his yacht isn't allowed to leave Cayman waters until the fine is payed.
The Cayman Islands Hotel and Condominium Association and the Cayman
Tourism Alliance have merged into one body. This follows a move about 18-months
ago that saw the Restaurant Association and Watersports Association merge.
The Enterprise B&B and the Ambassador's Inn have both closed for holiday
lettings and are only open for long-term rentals.
Customs tariffs have been revised and include increases in duty of
up to 20% on dairy produce, bakery products (including eggs), purified water,
fruit (fresh, chilled or frozen) and live plants. These extra costs are likely
to be passed onto the consumer!
Financing has been completed on the new Ritz-Carlton resort.
A post-mortem on a 57-year old American diver who died whilst scuba diving
with Tortuga Divers in the East End showed that Robert Rimli died from a heart
The Central Planning Authority (CPA), gave the green light for the eastern
side of the Ritz-Carlton project on Seven Mile Beach at the end of January.
A number of conditions apply to the approval, relating to environmental impact
of the scheme.
Work is due to start in May/June on a new tarmac runway on Little Cayman. The
new site is further inland and to the north east of the present site. The new
airstrip will be 3,000 feet long, and will have lighting for night-time flights.
No jet aircraft will be permitted to land on the strip.
The results of the 1999 census have finally been published; the population of
Grand Cayman is now given as 39,410.
The Court of Appeal has decided that a young Rastafarian should be allowed to
attend public school without cutting off his dreadlocks.
On 31st January, the UK's confirmation of Cayman as a rabies-free country
came into effect. This will make it easier for owners to take their pets to/from
Europe without the having to subject the pet to six months in quarantine. There
are strict rules however before a pet can be brought in on the "Pet Passport"
scheme (they need blood tests, to be microchipped, have rabies jabs, etc).
The authorities are considering proposals to allow cruise ships to land on Sundays.
The new Maya One Fibre Optic link was launched by Cable & Wireless at
the end of December 2000. This has speeded up Internet access considerably.
A new program called Heritage One has been launched. It will allow visitors to
the National Museum, Pedro St. James , the Botanic Park and the Cayman
Turtle Farm to visit all four sites with a 25 percent saving over
paying at each site separately.
Café Tortuga has closed and reopened as Café Mediteraneo;
specialising in Mediterranean cuisine.