Cayman facing expat exodus in wake of covid-19

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Cayman facing expat exodus in wake of covid-19

The Cayman Islands is facing an unprecedented exodus, as covid-19 induced layoffs coupled with the shutdown of the tourism industry are combining to cause many of the jurisdiction's residents to leave.

Almost half the 68,000 population of Cayman is expatriate, with many working in the financial services and tourism industries. 

Last week Premier Alden McLaughlin warned the British Overseas Territory could be "at least three to four months." A minimum 11,000 of the total 31,000 expats on the islands are estimated to be already preparing to leave, having lost their jobs. 

Last week Premier Alden McLaughlin warned the British Overseas Territory could be "at least three to four months."

McLaughlin said the jurisdiction will commission Cayman Airways to take these people out of the country.

The Cayman government has set up an emergency travel hotline for those expats seeking to travel. The number is 244 3333.

Companies in the Cayman Islands have been putting in place urgent measures resonding to the crisis. Last month Cayman-based Butterfield Bank said it is automatically defering all residential mortgage and personal loan payments for the next three months to help customers through financial difficulties caused by the covid-19 crisis.

 

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Christopher Copper-Ind

Christopher Copper-Ind is editor-in-chief of International Investment. Before this, he was editorial director of The Business Year, from 2014 to 2017.