‘Snowbirds’ ask to stay in Cayman during pandemic

On 4 May, there was an article entitled ‘138 overstayers leave Cayman using amnesty protection.’ In it, Customs and Border Control Director Charles Clifford made it clear that he expects all overstayers to leave the island at the first opportunity or risk prosecution as soon as the amnesty ends, which could also make it impossible for them ever to return to the island.

There are still many ‘snowbirds’ like my wife and I remaining on the island. For the most part, we are retired people who own property here, who have our own health insurance, and who are financially able to support ourselves indefinitely. 

Forcing us to leave the island would mean we have to fly on several airplanes and pass through multiple airports, risking exposure to the virus at each step. Then, wherever we arrive, it’s likely that the virus will be much more prevalent than it is here, so we risk even more exposure. As most of us are seniors, we are in the highest risk age group and contracting the virus could be very serious or even deadly.

Besides that, as long as we ‘snowbirds’ are on the island and spending our money here, we are supporting the local economy. Sending us away hurts the economy and puts us at risk. Given the current crisis, I hope the government will reconsider and allow us to stay, at least until it becomes a little safer for us to leave.

Kenneth Gihring

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  1. Hi everyone.
    I am sure Cayman is a very compassionate and understanding community.
    As such the request by these snow birds is not unjustified and the law should surely be considerate.

  2. I agree with Kenneth Gihring, if the particular individual owns their own property, has their own insurance and seeks NO financial assistance from the Caymanian Government, due to their own financial position, they should be allowed to stay.

    In fact, Cayman when able, should allow all Property Owners back on island (as long as they are COVID free). This would be another injection of money into the local economy.

    Again, sending home people who can make a positive contribution to a very depressed economy, should not even be a point of consideration!