Turks and Caicos Begins Phased Reopening; Borders Remain Closed

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Turks and Caicos Islands has begun a phased reopening of the British Overseas Territory. 

Crucially, the reopening will not yet affect travel — meaning international travel to Turks and Caicos will remain closed until at least June 1, according to the government. 

The plan, which launched May 4, is headlined by the reopening of beaches — with strict social distancing in place.  

Beaches (and individual watersports) have begun for “fitness and recreation,” however with no gathering of more than four adults. 

A limited number of “key government departments” will also reopen May 11, while all retail grocery stores will open May 11. 

Hardware stores are now permitted to open, once meeting protocols established by the government, while construction and hardware stores can reopen on May 11. 

All retail grocery stores will be able to reopen on May 11, while restaurants that choose to allow takeaway service will be able to begin operating on May 11 as well. 

And office-based services that are able to maintain “strict social distancing” will be able to operate, with four or fewer people in the office at a time. 

The measures maintain a night-time curfew in place from 8 PM to 5 AM each day, through May 25. 

People over the age of 65 will have to continue to shelter in place, with those with underlying health conditions “strongly encouraged” to do so. 

The move comes after a more than month-long shelter-in place order in Turks and Caicos. 

“We are taking a phased approach to reopen certain sectors while we monitor the impact of these sectors on the spread of the virus,” said Turks ad Caicos Premier Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson. “As mentioned earlier, this may require a quick rollback where necessary. The start date and the allowable activities in the next phase of the reopening will as always continue to be guided by Health.”

The move comes after another British Overseas Territory in the Caribbean, Anguilla, lifted its lockdown after reporting no active or suspected cases of the virus.

— CJ

 

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