With Covid19 numbers slowly decreasing, government will now be able to repatriate nationals stranded abroad in a more frequent manner.
According to National Security Minister, Stuart Young, repatriations of these nationals will continue on a steady basis as approximately 450 rooms in the parallel healthcare system have become available.
During Saturday’s media conference, Young said that as at October 6, there were 5,284 exemptions granted to persons wanting to come into Trinidad and Tobago and 7,208 exemptions granted to persons leaving Trinidad and Tobago.
He also pointed out that for the period August 31 to October 6, 1,952 exemptions were granted to persons arriving in the country and 977 were allowed to leave the country.
Young said applications for exemptions for those returning have increased and all will carefully be considered.
However, he said the priority is to get back those persons, who unfortunately due to this global pandemic, found themselves stuck out all over the world from March of this year.
With this in mind, flights will now be carried out at ten-day intervals.
Young said “We actually now have a fairly stable rotation taking place. Flights from the United States every ten days rotate between New York and Miami. We have also been running a number of flights through our state airline, Caribbean Airlines from Barbados. Persons have been making their way to Barbados and we are repatriating them back from Barbados. We have also been doing some flights from other countries like Jamaica and other countries where we’ve brought back persons.”
“In this coming week, on Tuesday we have a flight from New York, Wednesday we have a flight from Toronto, Friday we have a flight from Barbados and we are going to put on, within that ten–day period, a shorter period, another flight from the US.”
He noted that there were “mischief makers,” offering ways to speed up the exemption process to stranded nationals. However, claims like these, he said, are without basis. Additionally the use of pre-action protocol letters to speed up the process, he said, will not be effective as the Courts have recognised the system by which repatriations have occurred.