Trinidad and Tobago bans non nationals from entering the country

Keith Rowley

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad — The Trinidad and Tobago government announced on Monday that only nationals would be allowed into the country for the next 14 days as it seeks to establish a sterile environment in a bid to curb the rise in the number of cases associated with the new coronavirus (COVID-19).

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, speaking at a news conference following a special Cabinet meeting, said also that his administration would be embarking upon several other measures, including the closing of bars and schools as the twin island republic comes to grips with the virus after having so far recorded four positive cases within a 48-hour period.

“We have taken the decision that Trinidad and Tobago will cease to encourage and facilitate for the next 14 days, except under exceptional circumstances, the entry of persons who are not nationals of Trinidad and Tobago,” Rowley told reporters.

He said the exemptions will come from the Minister of Health through the Minister of National Security.

Rowley said among those likely to be given exemptions are employees of the Trinidad-based Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), which is the main agency conducting tests for most Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries on the virus, as well as health personnel, “and similar essential persons who we need”.