National Security Minister Stuart Young says they have responded to the call by nationals stuck outside of T&T to return home by increasing repatriation flights and ensuring state quarantine facilities are ready for them.
Speaking during Saturday’s media briefing hosted by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley in Tobago as he announced an easing of restrictions, Young disclosed that 5,905 exemptions had been granted to people to return to T&T to date, while 8,046 exemptions had been granted to people to leave T&T.
He said, “Exemptions granted to enter T&T from August 31 to October 22 is 2,573. The exemptions to depart T&T from August 31 to October 22 is 1,815.”
Young added that out of the 5,905 exemptions granted to people wanting to return to T&T, they had received 1,395 requests from people in the US; 258 from the UK; and 177 from Canada.
He said they were now looking at people in India, Japan, etc and permitting them to come home. “We are now at the stage where every week, within a ten-day period we have two flights, one from Miami and one from New York. We also on a weekly basis have a flight, these are all Caribbean Airlines flights from Barbados coming in, and what we are looking at are some of the other jurisdictions.”
He said additional CAL flights had been included on the roster, as he thanked the Ministry of Health for the green light to bring home more nationals.
Young commended law enforcement agencies for enforcing the law and as the country moves into yet another phase of the reopening process, he appealed to people to do the right thing and not gather in groups of more than ten.