Severity: Critical Alert

Exit/Entry: Trinidad and Tobago extends existing restrictions on some businesses and activities through Sept. 13. Borders remain closed due to COVID-19.

Alert Begins 02 Sep 2020 09:47 AM UTC
Alert Expires 14 Sep 2020 11:59 PM UTC

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Transport and business disruptions, increased security

Authorities in Trinidad and Tobago have extended the restrictions on business and public activities, announced Aug. 17, through at least Sept. 13. The decision to tighten restrictions was initially made in response to an increase in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases. The main difference is that as of Aug. 31, the government has mandated the use of facemasks for all individuals in public. As of Sept. 2, the following restrictions are still in place:


  • All in-house dining at bars and restaurants will be suspended. Only takeaway services are permitted.


  • Cinemas, casinos, and members clubs are to close.


  • Beaches and rivers will close.


  • Gyms and water parks are to close, and contact sports are suspended.


  • Teaching institutions will remain closed until Dec. 31.


  • Places of worship are to suspend all services.


  • Gatherings of no more than five people will be allowed instead of 25. Weddings, funerals, christenings, and other ceremonies are limited to 10 people.


  • Maxi-taxis and taxis will be subject to capacity limits.


  • Air and sea bridge transport between Trinidad and Tobago will be limited to essential travel only.


Officials continue to enforce the closure of all of the nation's airports and seaports to international passenger aircraft and vessels. The edict does not apply to domestic flights, which recently resumed, and cargo shipments. Citizens and legal residents, including students and cruise ship employees, are gradually being allowed re-entry subject to mandatory quarantine protocols. All restrictions are subject to amendment at short notice.

Background and Analysis
The measures taken by the government of Trinidad and Tobago correspond with similar actions taken by other governments globally in response to the spread of COVID-19. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic. Officials in Trinidad and Tobago initiated a phased approach to reopening the country May 11 to allow some economic recovery. The reopening of borders is only slated to be considered in the final stage. As highlighted recently, should the number of COVID-19 cases significantly increase, relaxed restrictions may be reapplied. Likewise, a continued low number of cases may result in a further relaxation of restrictions.

Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements and business appointments. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance.

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.

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