By Pamela Ramcharan
NATIONAL Security Minister Stuart Young says 79 more Trinidad and Tobago Nationals in Grenada will get exemptions to return home later this week.
He made that revelation at the Ministry of Health’s virtual media conference on Saturday.
Young said that government was also looking at giving up to 200 exemptions to TT nationals in Canada, the United Kingdom, Europe and the Middle East.”
He said that approximately 4, 515 exemptions had been granted since TT’s borders were closed on March 23 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In addressing concerns of TT nationals stranded outside the country, the minister said, “The government is very aware of the difficulties and inconvenience of your circumstances.”
He said, “We’ve made it very clear that the way we are dealing with exemptions, the reentry of persons into TT is based on a number of factors in particular and most importantly, our public health systems and its ability to safely quarantine people.”
To deal with the quarantine of returning nationals, he said, “With our state supervised quarantine facilities, we’ve added yet another hotel to it, one that is not surrounded by the general population, in Piarco.”
Young said, “When sending the exemption approval via email, the Ministry has introduced an offer for you to indicate whether you are prepared to go into state supervised quarantine at your own cost or whether you require state quarantine where the state will pay for everything and we are not putting pressure on anyone.”
He said, “What it does and what we will then analyse is persons and there may be families involved with small children, if they take up the state quarantine facility that is in a hotel, then it provides us with a little more room to expand.”
But he said, “We are still constrained because we are planning in case there is an outbreak amongst those persons, and so far, we’ve avoided community spread.”
In fact, Young noted, “It is the government’s decision based on the advice of medical experts to ensure that every national returning is quarantined by the state or state supervised quarantine in specific places that has prevented so far any community spread from taking place.”