Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Trinidad and Tobago extends stay-at-home order through April 30 due to COVID-19. Nonessential business closed. Air, seaports remain closed.

This alert affects Trinidad and Tobago

This alert began 08 Apr 2020 08:42 GMT and is scheduled to expire 30 Apr 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
Authorities in Trinidad and Tobago extended its stay-at-home orders through April 30 and implemented additional restrictions to business operations, as parts of their efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The government has also recommended that all individuals wear masks over their mouths and noses when in public. As of April 8, all restaurants will be required to close until further notice. Retail and food stores will be required to close at 1800; hardware stores, including electrical and plumbing establishments, can operate 0800-1200 Monday-Saturday; and pharmacies are to close at 2000. The measures are in addition to the suspension of all nonessential business and services, and the closure of all education facilities. Violations of the stay-at-home measures are punishable by fines and/or incarceration.

International transport restrictions are also in place. Officials 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. The measures in place will significantly impact business and transport in the country, with larger than usual police presence in the streets. 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.

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): www.who.int

Ministry of Health: www.health.gov.tt

Travel and movement restrictions: http://moc.gov.tt