Pay or Stay! Returning nationals told to foot hotel quarantine bill at the last minute

Pay or Stay! Returning nationals told to foot hotel quarantine bill at the last minute

A number of citizens wanting to return home from New York on Wednesday were told at the last minute that in order for them to be on the repatriation flight, they would first have to agree to pay for hotel quarantine on arrival to TT.

An Express report revealed that some 20 passengers were given the news only a few hours prior to checking in for their Caribbean Airlines flight at the John F Kennedy Airport.

A total of 95 citizens arrived at Piarco International Airport on Wednesday night.
Twenty of those had to pay for hotel quarantine.

It is reported that this all stemmed from an administrative error at the Ministry of National Security, as too many exemptions were granted for people to stay in State facilities and there was no space available.

A repatriation flight, which arrived in TT last Friday, had 130 people and of that figure, 97 required State quarantine, thereby overloading the system.

The report also cited the recent temporary closure of two halls at The UWI, St Augustine, as another reason for the lack of available state space.

The UWI facilities, Canada Hall and Freedom Hall – together have a capacity of 190 people -the largest number that can be accommodated at any state quarantine facility. They will not be available because it was ordered closed from March 1 to 17 for preventative maintenance.

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