Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Trinidad and Tobago closes air and seaports through at least April 30; commercial and movement restrictions in effect through April 15.

This alert affects Trinidad and Tobago

This alert began 04 Apr 2020 17:27 GMT and is scheduled to expire 01 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: COVID-related restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Through at least April 30
  • Impact: Travel, transport, and business disruptions

Summary
As of April 2, authorities in Trinidad and Tobago have ordered the closure of all of the nation's airports and seaports to passenger aircraft and vessels through at least April 30 to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The edict does not apply to cargo shipments.

Authorities additionally ordered the closure of all nonessential businesses, prohibited all public gatherings of more than five people, and closed all beaches through at least April 15. Supermarkets, pharmacies, banks, hardware stores, and other essential businesses are permitted to remain open under the order. Restaurants are permitted to operate on a pickup and delivery basis only; seated dining in restaurants is prohibited. Vehicles used for public transportation may carry no more than half their passenger capacity. Violations of the measures are punishable by fines up to TTD 50,000 (USD 7,400) and/or incarceration for up to six months.

The government could expand its preventative measures and movement restrictions with little notice.

Background and Analysis
The measures taken by the government of Trinadad and Tobago correspond with similar actions taken by other regional governments in recent days in response to the spread of COVID-19. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Advice
Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments. Plan for queues and delays at available shopping centers.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

Resources
World Health Organization (WHO): who.int

Ministry of Health: health.gov.tt

Travel and movement restrictions: moc.gov.tt