Sun | Jul 5, 2020

Stranded in the Cayman Islands

Published:Saturday | May 30, 2020 | 12:18 AM


I AM a Jamaican citizen in the Cayman Islands. Due to the recent pandemic, I have lost my job, like many of my fellow countrymen and countrywomen.

Living in Cayman is not cheap, especially without having a source of income to deal with expenses. Many are desperately trying to save the little they have while still paying their bills and taking care of their living expenses, yet we don’t know what the future holds.

It has been a few weeks now since the Jamaican Government implemented the re-entry programme to assist Jamaican nationals hoping to return home. It is a system that I believed is flawed and clearly not effective in performing its intended purpose on a timely basis.

I, for one, submitted my application on May 5, 2020, and have yet to receive any form of follow-up regarding the status of the application.

We have no way of contacting the Government as the support email provided by the Government website is useless. Emails sent to this address are responded to with auto-reply messages.

The Jamaican consulate was contacted on two separate occasions out of hope to request some useful information about the process. To my surprise, not even they were able to provide any information as they themselves were unsure of what was happening.

This is very sad and disappointing, to know that everyone around you is being assisted to leave to their home country, yet our Government seems content to get to the matter when it’s suitable to them, no urgency applied. In almost three months since the island has been on lockdown, I’ve yet to hear news of even one flight being arranged for those who desperately want to leave.

It’s obvious that the measures they have in place are not effective, and the Government needs to find new ways to deal with this situation.

We understand the severity of the situation. However, that is no reason for the Jamaican Government to abandon the country’s citizens in the process.