The Trinidad and Tobago government on Saturday announced a re-opening of its borders on July 17 but warned that foreigners who are not vaccinated will not be allowed into the country.
Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley, speaking at the weekly news conference, said that the reopening of the Piarco International Airport to scheduled flights would take into consideration three categories of persons.
“We expect to recognize three categories of people. Category One are citizens of Trinidad and Tobago vaccinated. Category Two, citizens of Trinidad and Tobago unvaccinated and Category Three, other persons vaccinated.
“The exact date in July, we expect to be Saturday, July 17 that’s when we expect to go back to scheduled services, open our borders to those categories of people,” Rowley said.
Only vaccinated and unvaccinated citizens would be allowed entry. The country would also allow entry to vaccinated non-nationals, but unvaccinated non-nationals are not going to be allowed in the country at this time.
He told reporters “non-nationals of Trinidad and Tobago, who are unvaccinated and let me repeat that non-nationals of Trinidad and Tobago who are not vaccinated against COVID-19, will not at this time be allowed to enter Trinidad and Tobago.
“Nationals of Trinidad and Tobago, who are fully vaccinated, and a fully vaccinated person is defined as a person who has received the required number of doses of a WHO (World Health Organization) approved vaccine and have been two weeks since the final dose was applied, such a person who is a citizen or legal resident in Trinidad and Tobago would be allowed to enter, having shown proof of a negative PCR test, less than 72 hours or less, such a person will be allowed to travel into Trinidad and Tobago without a hindrance and will be allowed to go home”.
But he said those citizens or residents arriving without being vaccinated “must go into state-supervised quarantine for 14 days and you must in order to enter unvaccinated you must be able to show proof of a PCR test not older than 72 hours.
He said that the state-supervised quarantine facilities would be at venues such as certain approved hotels “and that would be at your own expense”.
He said children who are not vaccinated would be allowed to enter the country once accompanied by their vaccinated parents and allowed to go home from the airport.
But Rowley warned persons who would seek to beat the system that measures are being put in place to ensure that “they feel the full brunt of the law.”
Rowley said there are also plans to follow other Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries and implement a digitalize system where persons wishing to travel could provide their personal information as requested “with an app that will be available…as you book your flight with the airline that you are using.”
The government also disclosed that it was satisfied with the ongoing national vaccination program and urged people to accept the vaccines in order to allow for the further re-opening of the country.
Trinidad and Tobago is expected to receive 4,000 doses of vaccines from St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the next few days that Rowley said Kingstown had been unable to use because of the close expiry date.