Recent travellers to China will not be allowed entry into Trinidad and Tobago

From left to right, Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh, Minister of National Security Stuart Young, and Minister of Communications Donna Cox 

Individuals leaving China will not be allowed to enter Trinidad and Tobago for fourteen days after their departure from the Asian country.

This was announced by Trinidad and Tobago’s Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh during a recent Post Cabinet media briefing.

As a preventative measure against the Coronavirus, Cabinet took the decision to restrict people who are presently living or have visited China regardless of their nationality from entry into Trinidad and Tobago for fourteen days after leaving China.

“To effect this travel restriction, we have to do certain legal niceties. The Attorney General is currently doing that. We have to do a legal notice to give effect under the Ministry of National Security for the Chief Immigration Officer to effect this. If you left China on the first [of February] you will not be allowed entry into Trinidad and Tobago until the 14th of February regardless of nationality. Why fourteen days? The incubation period for the coronavirus is currently seven to 14 days… That is how you interrupt transmission of the coronavirus,” Deyalsingh said.

He added that the Ministry of Health under the Public Health Ordinance will now designate the coronavirus as an “infectious disease” and a “Dangerous Infectious Disease” similar to what was done with the Ebola in 2014.

The travel restriction will come into place once the legal notices are done.

“Once the legal notices go out, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of National Security and the Ministry of Works and Transport (under which the Civil Aviation Authority resides), these measures will come in place with almost immediate effect,” Deyalsingh said.

Minister Deyalsingh said Trinidad and Tobago has the capability to deal with the coronavirus in the event the virus reaches the country. He also indicated that airport screenings have been implemented to mitigate the spread of the virus. The Health Minister also said that Carnival 2020 will not be cancelled at this time.