TT students in Jamaica rush to fly home before borders close tonight

Trinidad and Tobago nationals studying at the University of the West Indies Mona campus in Jamaica are quickly making arrangements to fly home following yesterday’s announcement that the twin-island republic will be closing its borders effective today at midnight.

The announcement, which is part of this country’s latest measures against the spread of the COVID-19 virus, was made by National Security Minister, Stuart Young. After the announcement, several students, who had first planned to stay in Jamaica made their way to the Norman Manley International Airport to try to board Caribbean Airline flights to Trinidad.

One TT student speaking from the airport yesterday declared, “I am going to get a flight to come home now. A lot of people, who got the news today just decided to go get a flight almost immediately and then just left.”

According to the student, “People came to the airport without buying tickets and just bought them, we are leaving soon.” She described an initial panic among students adding that most of her peers were able to find flights.

“A lot of people, who got the news today just decided to go get a flight almost immediately and then just left.”

She said concerns were less about the COVID-19 situation in Jamaica and more about students fearing that with both countries closing their borders, in cases of emergencies they may be restricted. The student added, “A lot of my friends and classmates found their way to the airport which is kind of crazy because a lot of people panicked. Before the borders were opened for us.”

Another student reported, “We got word that the borders are being closed so persons are frantically trying to book flights between today and tomorrow. Persons are unsure as to whether the closure of the borders to international flights includes regional flights as well.”

The student in question said the office of Trinidad and Tobago’s High Commission to Jamaica sent out forms to students asking if they were staying in the country following the announcement but was unsure of what the next steps would be.