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TT Borders Closed: 35 Elderly Trinis Land in Barbados on Monday

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THIRTY- FIVE elderly nationals of Trinidad and Tobago will land in Barbados from London on Monday afternoon and will not be allowed to return home because of the Covid-19 lockdown.

Of the 35, there are 30 who are over 60 years. They left for a tour on February 25 and landed in Dubai and were supposed to return on March 27.

But National Security Minister Stuart Young announced on Saturday that all TT borders will be closed from midnight Sunday (March 22) and no planes will be allowed to land as part of the fight against the Covid-19 threat.

Their local travel agent said when they arrived in Dubai, they spent three nights there and then started a cruise to South Africa.

Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, they were only allowed to stop off in three ports including Oman on March 5. Then for the next 17 days they were on the ship and docked in Cape Town on Friday and were allowed to disembark on Sunday (March 22).

They are now travelling from Cape Town to Dubai and then onto London from where they will leave and reach Barbados at 4.05 pm on Monday.

The travel agent is asking for permission from the National Security Minister Stuart Young to have the 35 be allowed to land at Piarco International Airport.

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But when contacted, Young said TT borders will be closed as part of the fight against the Covid-19 threat.

He said, “Our borders are closed from midnight tonight (Sunday). The reason for this is to stop the importation and spread of Covid-19 in Trinidad and Tobago.

“It is a fact that the most risky places for the contamination and spread of Covid-19 have been international airports, cruises and resorts as advised by the medical experts.

“We had warned that travel should be limited to essential and emergency travel only. Unfortunately, we have to close our borders to stop the possible spread of the virus.”

 Related stories:

Barbados AG: TT Declines to Take Its Elderly Citizens

 

Returning Home During the Covid-19 Pandemic

2 People in Tobago Quarantine Rushed to Hospital

 

 

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72 Comments

  • Where are these citizens to go? This is their home country. Is this an infringement on their constitutional rights?
    These are elderly people who have paid their taxes. Do we not have enough space to quarantine them? Can we not test them immediately and not wait for signs in 2 weeks. If we test then we don’t have to pay for quarantine for all. Pls reconsider Mr. Minister. This could have been your parents.

    • Oh please Sandra. They were warned before going on a cruise and disembarking in one of the few Covid hotspots in Africa. The entire country and its healthcare professionals do not need to be put at risk because of the ignorant entitlement of a few.

      • You could not have said it better. My family and I were scheduled to travel, we cancelled choosing rather to loss our money than to compromise our health.

        I do pray however, for their safety and that someone gives them shelter until the borders reopen.

      • Oh please, RealityCheck. When these people left in the last week of February, the TnT government was literally boasting about how safe it was to travel. Remember Carnival on February 24/25? They were insisting it was completely safe to let thousands of people from all over the world into Trinidad! The cruisers WERE listening to their government. When Covid-19 exploded the world over, their ship was not allowed to dock anywhere until South Africa. They immediately started to make their way back to Trinidad. The Trinidad government is misdirecting and deflecting again as it always does. Thank you to the Barbados government for its humanity!

        • The person who organised that cruise was very irresonsible to take elderly people out there when cruise ships were being denied entry, what, they weren’t looking at international news or maybe the fake news got their attention. Thank God there are no Carnival related cases, all so far were imported. Allyuh wld have love to blame it on Carnival. Too bad.

    • Do we not understand what is meant by “borders closed”
      Other countries are doing the same in order to prevent the virus from spreading. Elderly or not it is safer for them to remain where they are and I am sure arrangements can be made to have them placed in suitable accommodation via travel insurance. I don’t want to believe persons can travel on cruises which are very expensive and unable to have emergency coverage.

      • Borders are NOT closed to citizens ONLY foreigners….TT are your borders closed to commerce? Are you not accepting goods and foods from foreign countries? PLEASE do right by your people!!

        • Smh on you, you really not understand what’s going on right about now sorry to say but let them STAY OUT

    • Sandra, my exact sentiments

    • If you test them immediately and they were infected within the last week, enough of the virus will not have built up in their system and a false negative is highly possible.

      These are the difficult decisions that have to be made when you are in power. We can criticize them when it is all done.

      Maybe CARICOM governments can work together to support their nationals on other islands but again with limited resources that is not a precedent they would want to set.

      It is difficult but more cases like this will happen and more hard decisions will have to be made for the safety of the country.

    • We can’t afford to be emotional at this time. If it’s alright for them to be granted permission, then it’s ok for us to grant access to all our citizens who are stranded worldwide. We don’t want to end up like Italy

    • All TNT had to do was let the dam plane land and let their Citizens off. They belong to there not Barbados. Barbados can refuse anyone except it’s citizens. Time TNT act right.

    • They were warned. I was supposed to get married and it had to be canceled. A lot of people took the warning seriously and canceled their trips and other engagements. The boarders are closed. No one dumped anyone in Barbados, your government made the decision to fecilitate the group . Fishing in Trinidad waters and facing a pandemic it’s two complete different things.

    • Sandra some people are to lawless. They did not look at the foreign news since late January cruise lines were being denied entry at ports especially one name the Princess. If they were my parents i wld have advised the not to go. Is better to pay the penalty for cancelling than to be quarantine and stranded in another country.

    • Yes it is s Violation of their Constitutional Rights, and also a Violation of International Law.
      My suggestion to The Government of Barbados, would be to ask leave to get a ruling on this, by the CCJ. To ascertain if it was legal or illegal to refuse entry your own Citizens.

  • They had personal responsibility to keep abreast of what is going on and come home sooner, instead they decided to stick to their schedule until it was to late. I am in full support of our Leaders call. It is to keep the us from becoming like Italy, and they are a 1 world nation we could be alot worst.

  • As much as I understand the plight of these people if the Minister allow them to come in then he will have to allow everybody else who is outside of T& T to come home making the measures put in place to look like a papyshow

  • Sorry it is what it is in a Pandemic situation its the majority that matters our nations health over yalls .
    If you all get tested in Barbados and it shows that y’all are clean sure we will make an arrangement for entry later unavoidable now is difficult.

    • Why should they be even allowed to disembark in Barbados? Are the lives of the Trini population more important than the lives of the Bajan population?

      • Thank you because I was saying!!!

  • Oh please Sandra. They were warned before going on a cruise and disembarking in one of the few Covid hotspots in Africa. The entire country and its healthcare professionals do not need to be put at risk because of the ignorant entitlement of a few.

  • I don’t understand y these old ppl can’t go bk to TNT this will only put stran on the Barbados authorities this is madness so get a dam plane in Barbados and take home these ppl there are your ppl

  • Barbados should not allow them to get off the plane

    • i can’t understand what these people in barbados doing .. acting like this is a dumping ground, putting money above people. how selfish can one government become

      • Correct I agree and Barbados is small and have a lot if people with breathing problems

      • That’s the “smart govt u guys voted for. They don’t give a jacks behind abt the residents. JS

        • So here’s some context to the situation. Trinidad’s borders have been closed for just over a week now. Only nationals and permanent residents were allowed to return. That should have been a hint of what was to come. Before Carnival there was a ban on persons coming from affected countries and advice to be careful with travel plans. All arriving passengers were being tested. When the government gave notice that the borders would be closed to nationals, this group as well as very many other Trinidadians started to petition the government. They were all told “Stay where you are” because they were not going to be allowed back in after the borders were closed. This group decided to take a gamble that if they got close to home the government would take them in. So far it hasn’t worked. If I was Bajan I would be upset. If it was my family I would be upset, but I would also be looking for ways of support my relatives. The fact is this is a pandemic and the world is operating on different protocols now. There are persons stranded all over the world and their governments’ are leaving them there. Many of us reconsidered our travel plans and chose to stay put – before this group left Trinidad there was enough happening for them to do likewise. This is just a very unfortunate and very bad situation that they are caught in. I don’t think they were being intentionally reckless even if they lacked the foresight. I hope they (and all persons in their situation) are safe until this blows over. The government has repatriated nationals already and I’m sure it will again at some point when it is safe to do so.

          P.s. For Tony Waterman who spoke about “useless lawyers” etc – please educate yourself in the law so that you know what you saying. Maybe one of your “useless lawyers” can help you.

      • That’s the “smart govt u guys voted for. They don’t give a jacks behind abt the residents. JS

      • You gotta be sick…..barbados dumping whom?
        You and your government want to use barbados as your dump, instead of taking your people home

    • I totally agree with you John they should not be allowed to disembark in Barbados.

    • I agree with you John. Their own country is not allowing them in, why should Barbados?? What is to be done with them?

    • Totally agreed I’m sure if the shoe was on the other foot Trinidad won’t take the Bajan therefore they shouldn’t be allowed to even land in Barbados. What abt the residents of the island. Think abt ur residents first.

  • I am sure they have been keeping abreast with what’s happening around the world with Covid 19. They are not suffering with dimentia, they made the decission to go on this trip. Come on people.

    • Smh on you, you really not understand what’s going on right about now sorry to say but let them STAY OUT

  • I wonder why they chose to continue the cruise even after the Covid 19 outbreak? And why didn’t they get in touch with the government through an embassy before? Surely they were paying attention to what was going on in Trinidad? If not them, then the travel agent and cruise line should have known and guided them accordingly so that they could return before the border closing. Why did they not choose to make better arrangements before?

  • Sandra clearly Trinis are not taking this disease seriously. Many, including these 30 people, recklessly travelled knowing the threat of Covid-19. So now the Minister must further expose us here because of some selfish, irresponsible nationals? Come on enough already. The borders are closed…it is for our safety. Well done Minister Young and PM Rowley. Keep us safe.

  • Meanwhile in New Zealand…

    “Winston Peters tells 80,000 Kiwis overseas to get home now before it’s too late.”

    The Government was also contingency planning other options to help Kiwis stuck overseas should commercial flights cease, Peters said.

    “We’re considering every option now.”

  • As mentioned from the previous comment, these are elderly individuals. As I recall, regional flights from our neighbouring islands were still being allowed. These citizens had been through an ordeal trying to get back home to their families. Please do not add their already overwhelming worries. I believe they can be self quarantined just as the patrons who arrived on board a cruise ship earlier in the month. More must be done for our citizens. Just as a country must rely on its citizens, so should the citizens have the same faith in its country.

  • I agree with the minister. You have to protect the millions not just a few. People have to learn that this is not a game and they have to follow instructions. if he opens for them..then he will have to open for all which will put even more people at risk.. it is their human rights that got them in trouble now..there is nothing wrong with following safety rules sometimes and stay your ass home. Barbados has no choice but to quarantine them and make them comfortable. Give them the essentials and make them comfy until they can travel again

    • To say, that Barbados has no choice to quarantine them and also put their country at risk sounds logical? The same way they are not allowed to contaminate the population in Trinidad, why allow them to contaminate another? Who says that Barbados has adequate supply to house everyone on their shores? When the Barbados nationals become ill, where can they go when so many persons are being housed there?

      • T&T government made a decision to close it’s borders to everyone, for whatever reason B’dos government did not. Therefore ur airport is open to not only Trinidad but everyone seeking to land in B’dos. Not accepting them would be discrimination. I’m sure not only Trinis came in on that flight.

    • What do you mean Barbados has no choice..they are not Barbadians…and if Trinidad is refusing to take their own so as not to endanger the lives of its citizens…must we endanger ours.Lady please!!

  • Sandra, in as much as it’s unfair that the nationals are trapped outside their home country. One must look at the big picture. The government is trying to avoid a catastrophic event here in TnT. Maybe you are not seeing the seriousness of the situation. It’s good that the people in power have the fortitude and determination to make decisions like this for the greater good of the country.

  • why are ppl not taking the warnings seriously and still travelling abroad on vacation as though life is normal around the world. Didn’t they know that they have put their own lives at great peril and by wanting to come back after their leisurely vacation, risk putting the lives of ppl who do care for themselves, by choosing to follow the advice of the experts!

  • Time for people to stop acting dumb or pay the price. Since January we all knew what what going one..still you continue your travel plans. Stop transport your sickess..Barbados boarders should have been closed long time..I love Mia but this was a bad move..Her first priority is to protect the well being of bajans. STOP Importing Covid19.

  • We can’t afford to keep them in Barbados either… they pose a threat to us too..
    This is all so sad.

  • I totally agree with you John they should not be allowed to disembark in Barbados.

  • Barbarians will do what they always do. Look after their regional neighbors in a way that out regional neighbors never look after or care about barbarians.

    I am sure if this was a flight with 35 Barbadians landing in trinidad it would be a different story. Well they are our CARICOM neighbors and as much as I am a Barbadian and may not be pleased I am a human unlike most in here who I believe are Trnis and would sing a different tune if they had a personal relationship with anyone of those people.

    Selfishness and inhumanity reigns supreme. This is no different from what they are doing in the supermarkets. Let’s hope all you commenting don’t fend yourself in a solar situation one day.

    • Agreed

    • agreed also

  • I too believe it is heartless not to let your own people return to their homes. Just test them on arrival and put suitable measures in place. It is unfortunate that these people will be aware of how they are perceived by their own people.

    • I think this is a good time to consider having a embassy in Barbados,if we had our embassy we wouldn’t have a problem,I’m sure the people will come home soon when provision are made for their accommodations in a quarantine facility,and I hope this is the last of people irresponsible actions of those people that put two nations at risk of a deadly pathogen,and choose to travel against all travel warnings and travel restrictions

  • There are two sides to this situation, one is the rights of a citizen and the other is carelessness on the part of people who choose to listen to warnings . A citizen of any country is the only person that cannot be denied entry regardless. The government has a right to close its borders but cannot deny entry to any citizen . That us your legal and birth right. The exception may be treason for some countries who can strip a person of their citizenship. Secondly, it makes no sense why people aren’t taking this pandemic seriously and continue to travel but it’s also the responsibility of Airlines, Cruise ships, hotels and other countries to deny these people. If they couldn’t get there then they would have been in Trinidad. I deal with this on a daily basis and it’s shocking how many people just ignore the warnings and want to travel as usual. Most countries have finally closed their borders except to citizens and residents and the majority of Airlines have stopped service. Except for cargo , the few planes flying are transporting Citizens and it Residents to their country of residence. Mia is trying to be a decent human being and I’m certain that because Trinidad is part of the Caricom, she believes they should be helped . The key is to isolate them indefinitely, until Trinidad accepts them willing or by court order . I’m sure they’ll be a lawsuit filed to whatever court has jurisdiction.

  • They are our brothers and sisters..barbados will do the necessary tests, and make these people as comfortable as possible. What else can we do, its the humane thing to do.

  • Let the T & T government send their airline (CAL) to pick them up as soon as they land…Barbados has too many positive cases here already and have to protect their own, which cannot be selfish at a time like this….Ms Mottley please take a stand on this one!

  • Most insurance companies are not covering any out of country COVID 19 related cases.So maybe even if they have purchased the necessary insurances it will not help.Check it out.

  • I am amazed that Trinidadians would wish Barbados to carry their water, with no consideration for the possible negative impact on Barbados. Is this what CARICOM is supposed to mean?

  • It is very sad for those Trinis… but why Barbados taking them. ??? I am afraid for Barbados, no one will be there to help them should it get out of hand.

  • T&T won’t allow their citizens to return home because of the covid 19 threat but Barbados are allowing them to come there.Which Jack or Jenny allowed this to happen, don’t the lives of Bajans matter.How on earth can you endanger the lives of everyone one in our country, how much money is being paid to the government for these ppl to land there, more suffering for bajans may be even death Mia cares but about whom and what.

  • This is a perfect example of why the fate of a country should not be in one person’s hand. One person making all the decisions , while others pay the price , all of these cases in Bim are a result of people coming in from outside. I’m not a blp / dlp but I’m realizing neither think about the country above they wallets.

  • While they’re Trini citizens, they are also human and they should be treated that way. Shame on Trinidad. Be kind Barbados

    • Bajans cant fish in their waters, but they can dump their possibly infected citizens here. Is this how Caricom supposed to work. Please come and get them.

  • It is sad that it had to come to this, if TnT had issued early advice warning to their citizens aboard on holiday, cruising ect then with the Regular updates people should put away they ignorance and selfish ways and pay attention.
    This virus is lethal, it’s like a death sentance and i have to agree with the TnT athourities to safety the country, we are looking at elderly people criticising the government, but even the elderly have their part to play in this crisis.
    Its a pity that the Barbados government does not have the welfare of the people who put their confidence in Mia government to protect them at this crucial time.
    Well done Trinidad nTobago keep your people safe, the Caribbean cannot afford a Italy / Spain situation.
    Mia please Speak to the TnT government for bital tips regarding border lock down and safety for the sake of the Bajans.

  • Bajans cant fish in their waters, but they can dump their possibly infected citizens here. Is this how Caricom supposed to work. Please come and get them.It seems like every Country can push Barbados around, are we that ignorant?

  • I do not think they should be allowed to come to Barbados.
    Think about the people who are being put at risk here.Everyone at the airport, the driver who will transport them to where they are going etc etc.
    March 16 an article in Barbados Today stated that only Trinidadian nationals would be allowed entry for the next 14 days.
    Were they in a dark hole somewhere?
    Again I say NO, NO, NO.

  • It seems like every man for him or herself
    But knowing The honorable Mia ..she will think of her parents as i would think of mine and offer the appropriate hospitality. 💗

  • One of those useless Lawyers we have in Barbados, should ask for an emergency hearing of the CCJ yto challenge T&T’s Refusal to allow those 35 T&T Citizens from returning home from thst Cruise, and having to be taken in by Barbados.
    Under International Law, a Country must allow it’s National to leave amd return at will.

    • Tony, maybe Ramesh might file that emergency hearing case for them later. When they return home we wld see the same type of behaviour like the 40 people at Couva Hospital. A Scorpion and Frog mentality.

  • We are going through a very trying and turbulent time. Some of us live to tell about it and some of us wont. Our great great grandchildren will read about the Covid 19 pandemic that terrified us all and had us turning against each other.

  • Hello to my Trinidadian brothers and sisters. Covid-19 is a very serious problem and just don’t takes this lightly. I live in Canada and we and America have excellent healthcare system and right now the system is ready to be broken for shortage of necessity. I applaud your prime minister because he’s saving a lot of lives and those who are complaining. The virus started with people coming back from vacation. They should of been more careful because a lot of people foolish decisions. I do sympathize with them, but make sure is better than cock sure. I am getting paid to stay home , can your country be able to pay people to stay home if there’s a serious outbreaks. Please look at CNN then make a decision

  • So many view points on this matter and all may seem valid to the people sharing their opinions, but at the core of it all it seems like Trinidad and Tobago simply telling Barbados take care of our problem for us and if our 35 nationals happen to have the Covid-19, then too bad for your people.

  • The http://azpnews.com it’s one of the best sites I’ve ever seen, and the
    TT Borders Closed: 35 Elderly Trinis Land in Barbados
    on Monday – AZP News article is great.
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    Many kisses to all! Keep it like this! 🙂

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