Tobago House of Assembly Chief Secretary Kelvin Charles is urging T&T nationals to limit their travel between Trinidad and Tobago.
Speaking at the post-Executive Council news conference on Wednesday, Charles said the move is necessary to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus, which claimed its first fatality on earlier that day.
Tobago recorded its first COVID-19 case on Monday and the person, who was in quarantine after arriving on an international flight, has since been transferred to Trinidad for further treatment.
It has been argued that one of the best ways to prevent the spread of COVID is to practice social distancing since the virus is spread through human contact.
Charles stressed that people should now use the inter-island ferry service only if it is necessary
“For those who are travelling or who continue to travel between Trinidad and Tobago, we urge you to travel for necessary purposes. I wish to remind us that much of the world population are subjected to some sort of movement restrictions,” Charles said.
“I have been advised that Grenada has recently declared a limited state of emergency, which underscores the importance of the restriction of movements and for persons to move only when it is necessary”
He added, “We cannot overemphasise the importance of us adhering to some of these restrictions. We continue to hear and see our residents flouting some of the guidelines ... I urge us to be particularly careful as we go about our daily lives, but more importantly the restrictions that we are advised to adhere to, let us stick with those guidelines.”
Meanwhile, Secretary of Finance and the Economy Joel Jack said concessions will be afforded to tenants who occupy properties owned by the THA. He said they will not have to pay rent for their spaces during the period of the crisis.
“Properties that are owned and managed by the Tobago House of Assembly, including the Cove Eco-Industrial and Business Park, the Milford Road Esplanade, Micro Centres at Calder Hall, Argyle and Signal Hill, as well as our beach facilities such as Pigeon Point and other places, we are going to expand our Emergency Social Assistance Programme with the acquisition of several cards,” Jack said.
“We will enhance our social safety nets support mechanisms to ensure that our programmes are robust enough and that there’s dovetailing between the national programmes and the programmes by the Tobago House of Assembly.”
Jack said in keeping with the Minister of Finance’s commitment to ensure that foreign exchange is available to Tobago entrepreneurs during the COVID-19 crisis, discussions will continue to ensure the THA receives the necessary report as it relates to Tobago’s supply of foreign currency.