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T&T relaxes more COVID-19 measures as borders remain closed

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley says the borders of the twin-island republic will remain closed as long as health requirements related to COVID-19 remain in place.

Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago Dr Keith Rowley (Photo: Trinidad & Tobago Guardian)

Speaking during a media conference in Tobago on Saturday, Rowley said while some Caribbean countries have started to reopen their borders, his administration is determined to take a cautious approach.

“We want to keep our borders where it is because the pandemic is raging. The closure of the borders is not meant to penalise anybody, it’s not meant to lock us in here and make us prisoners. It’s meant to keep the virus out, and the virus travels by way of people. It is normal common sense,” he said.

As it relates to travel exemptions, the Prime Minister added that priority will be given to those citizens who left temporarily to work abroad or receive medical treatment.”

An aerial view of Port of Spain Trinidad and Tobago. (Photo: london.ac.uk)

Meanwhile, as of Monday, bars, beaches, rivers, casinos, private members clubs, cinemas and gyms will resume operations, as the country moves into the next phase of the gradual reopening of the economy.

Restaurants will also be allowed to restart dine-in services. All establishments will be required to close at 10 pm (local time). 

There will also be a full reopening of all malls including food courts.

A residential area in Trinidad and Tobago’s capital city of Port of Spain (Photo: World Nomads courtesy iStock/jaysunlp)

 In addition, the zoo and amusement parks will reopen, while team sports will recommence without spectators. Horse racing will also resume, but physical distancing rules must be observed.

The details were released by the Prime Minister who also said that educational institutions will only be allowed to reopen for the purposes of examination. However, day cares and pre-schools will remain closed until September.

He also said transport will now operate at 100 per cent capacity, while congregation in public spaces will be increased from 10 to 25 people.

To date, Trinidad and Tobago has recorded 123 positive COVID-19 cases. There are currently six active cases.