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Turks and Caicos Coronavirus COVID-19 Vaccine Update

All travelers to the Turks and Caicos must obtain travel pre-authorization via the TCI Assured Portal.

Read more about TCI Assured →

Residents: Go to the Ministry of Health COVID-19 Vaccine Registration Portal →

Vaccinations Have Started

Governor Nigel Dakin receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at 3:16 PM on 11 January 2021 at the Cheshire Hall Medical Center, Providenciales.

As of 11 September 2021, 28,305 people have been vaccinated in the Turks and Caicos against COVID-19 (at least one dose). This is approximately 64% of the total Turks and Caicos population (total population includes children not eligible for the vaccine, although immigrant children aged 12 and up are mandated to take the vaccine or leave the islands).

All resident adults in the Turks and Caicos are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine free of charge. For more information or to register, see the COVID-19 Registration Portal.

For information on current number of cases and information for tourists, see Turks and Caicos Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update.

For information on where to get a COVID-19 test, see Turks and Caicos Coronavirus (COVID-19) Testing.

The Turks and Caicos began vaccinating the local population against the Coronavirus (COVID-19) on 11 January 2021. Governor Nigel Dakin and then-Premier Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson were amongst the first to receive the vaccine in an effort to encourage persons to take it.

The initial batch of 9,750 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus (COVID-19), enough to vaccinate 4,875 people (approximately 11% of the population), arrived in the country on Thursday, 7 January 2021, via the London to Providenciales British Airways flight.

Cumulative COVID-19 Vaccinations in Turks and Caicos

Background

Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at the Cheshire Hall Medical Center in the Turks and Caicos
Unpacking the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at the Cheshire Hall Medical Center on the island of Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos.

The Turks and Caicos Government accepted the offer of the United Kingdom for doses of the vaccine in November 2020 shortly before it received regulatory approval from the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in the United Kingdom.

The Turks and Caicos, along with the Cayman Islands and Bermuda, were the only British Overseas Territories in the Caribbean to receive this initial batch of vaccines from the UK. This was attributed to the Turks and Caicos having the required infrastructure to maintain the vaccine (requires cooling to -70 C) and distribute it effectively.

Roll-out Plan

The Governor on 23 December 2020 announced details on who would be vaccinated first. The first priority group would be the elderly, health care workers, those with underlying medical conditions, and residents and workers at long-term care facilities. This would be followed by front-line workers at an increased risk.

Vaccine Mandatory for Many People

Shortly after the first batch of vaccines arrived in the Turks and Caicos, the Government stated that the vaccine was not mandatory and no one would be required to take the vaccine. However, this is no longer the case.

On 22 April 2021, the Governor announced that persons on work permits who (by choice) decide not to receive the COVID-19 vaccine will not have their work permits renewed and will be required to leave the islands.

On 14 May 2021, the category of persons required to take a COVID-19 vaccine was expanded to include most types of public service vehicle (PSV) operators. Most categories of transportation drivers are now required to have the vaccine in order to drive. No exceptions are provided for persons unable to take the vaccine due to health reasons or if a doctor advises against it. Drivers who were not vaccinated when this law took effect are effectively unemployed for a minimum of 5 weeks (3 weeks between shots, and two weeks after second shot to meet the Government's definition of 'fully vaccinated').

On 19 May 2021, the Government partially reversed the 14 May 2021 legislation regarding the prohibition of some classes of unvaccinated drivers from picking up passengers. This reversal was likely due to negative feedback received from the public, as the Government did not conduct any public consultation or notice on the law before it took effect (immediate effect), and the legislation itself was poorly drafted and contained worrisome oversights (such as no exemptions for persons medically unable to take a COVID-19 vaccine).

On 22 July 2021, the Government announced that vaccination for members of the TCI Regiment will be mandatory.

On 31 July 2021, the Government legislated that all persons applying for a work permit, permanent residence certificate, a residence permit, and Government contract workers would be required to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination with their application. This includes any children ages 12 and up, who must receive a COVID-19 vaccination or they will be required to leave the islands.

All resident adults in the Turks and Caicos are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine free of charge. For more information or to register, see the COVID-19 Registration Portal.

arrival of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in Turks and Caicos
The arrival of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in the Turks and Caicos on 7 January 2021.