Premier Wayne Panton said Speaker of the Parliament McKeeva Bush’s public disapproval of the PACT government’s plan to reopen Cayman’s borders is a personal view.
Taking to social media on 8 Sept., Bush wrote, “The virus will be around and at some point, our borders will have to open. I hope not in October and not until our children can have some protection.”
When asked about whether Bush’s comments signified discord in the PACT government, Panton said, ”I did see his post. He is not a part of caucus, he is not a part of the executive, so he may have that view and it is not impossible that the government could have a different conclusion.”
Panton was speaking at a government press briefing on Wednesday, during which he confirmed plans for phase 3 of Cayman’s border reopening, slated for Thursday 9 Sept.
In his post, Bush also called on the residents of Cayman to take the COVID-19 vaccine ahead of phase 4 of the plan, scheduled for 14 Oct.
“If you’re not vaccinated, please reconsider and get it done,” he wrote.
“I was worried about being vaccinated as I’m a bariatric patient and all the talk and articles on social media against being vaccinated really had me worried – but my Doctor whom I trust said – ‘[W]hatever being vaccinated will do to us, the virus will kill us’. I [received] my vaccination.”
In a community group chat, former Premier Alden McLaughlin shared a statement which echoed similar concerns about the planned reopening.
“I do not think Cayman is yet in the place where we can reopen safely without quarantine and testing, especially given the spikes being experienced by many of our neighbours and source markets,” wrote McLaughlin, who also called on those “eligible to get the jab”.