Severity: Critical Alert
Entry/Exit: Trinidad and Tobago extends stay-at-home order and closure of air and seaports until May 15 due to COVID-19. Nonessential business limited.
This alert affects Trinidad and Tobago
This alert began 27 Apr 2020 11:26 GMT and is scheduled to expire 11 May 2020 23:59 GMT.
- Incident: COVID-related restrictions
- Location(s): Nationwide (map)
- Time Frame: Through May 15
- Impact: Severe transport and business disruptions, increased security
Authorities in Trinidad and Tobago have extended existing movement and business restrictions through May 15, to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The government has stated that the measures will be reviewed May 10, and the relaxation of some restrictions will be considered.
As of April 27, existing restrictions and preventative measures that will remain in effect through at least May 15 include:
- A stay-at-home order will remain in effect for all except essential and critical industry workers. Residents may only leave their homes for essential purchases and medical services. Violations of the stay-at-home measures are punishable by fines and/or incarceration.
- All individuals are required to wear masks over their mouths and noses when in public.
- Hardware stores, including electrical and plumbing establishments, can operate 0800-1200 Monday-Saturday.
- Retail services, including supermarkets, fruit and vegetable stalls, and bakeries can operate daily, but must close by 1800.
- Pharmacies can operate daily but must close by 2000.
- All bars, clubs, theaters, casinos, and seated restaurants are to remain closed.
- All schools and other education institutions are to remain closed.
- All gatherings of more than five people, including religious gatherings, have been banned.
- Officials continue to enforce the closure of all of the nation's airports and seaports to passenger aircraft and vessels. The edict does not apply to cargo shipments.
The measures in place will significantly impact business and transport in the country. Authorities will likely keep an increased police presence deployed to enforce the restrictions. 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 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.
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.