Severity: Critical Alert
Exit/Entry: Trinidad and Tobago extends existing restrictions on some businesses and activities through Oct. 11. Borders remain closed due to COVID-19.
Alert Begins 13 Sep 2020 03:19 PM UTC
Alert Expires 12 Oct 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 again extended the existing restrictions on businesses and public activities through at least Oct. 11. The decision to tighten restrictions in mid-August was made in response to an increase in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases. While most restrictions remain unchanged, officials have stated that public service workers are now deemed essential, and are required to return to work. As of Sept. 13, the following restrictions are in place:
- The use of a facemask is mandatory for all individuals in public spaces.
- 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. Weddings, funerals, christenings, and other ceremonies are limited to 10 people.
- Maxi-taxis and taxis may operate at 65-percent capacity.
- 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; however, some of the recovery efforts were rolled back due higher confirmed case numbers. The reopening of borders is only slated to be considered in the final stage. 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.