Minister of Works and Transport Rohan Sinanan gives the elbow to the first passenger to walk out of Customs on Saturday from flight BW607
By Chantalé Fletcher
AFTER more than a year of borders being closed, Trinidad and Tobago has officially re-connected itself to the world with the re-opening of its two international airports on Saturday.
The borders were closed on March 22, last year in an effort to stop the spread of Covid-19 in the country. T&T revorded its first case of Covid-19 March 2020 and since then a number have measures and restrictions have been put in place including a State of Emergency and curfew.
On Saturday morning at the Piarco International Airport, officials of the Airport Authoritys of Trinidad and Tobago (AATT) prepared to receive the first international flight at 8.40am from Georgetown, Guyana.
Caribbean Airlines BW Flight 607 arrived earlier at 8.15 am.
The first passenger to walk out of Customs, Ricardo Milford expressed his gratitude for once more being able to travel into Trinidad again.
He said, “The future of our economy right now is balancing on top a needle right now and everyone needs to get vaccinated.”
Milford added that he took all the precautions and was fully vaccinated.
Minister of Works and Transport Rohan Sinanan said, “There were about 18 passengers on the BW607 Flight from Guyana, and there were three flights today, while tomorrow we have seven.”
“I’m happy that we have just three flights coming in today to test the system,” the minister expressed.
He later comfirmed with AZPNews.com that 17 passengers had arrived on BW607.
There were three flights scheduled for Saturday and seven on Sunday, Sinanan said.
The minster was optimistic in having a testing lab at the airport in keeping up with the international standards, “I see us moving forward. However, we must recognise that we are still in a pandemic with protocols in place, and there’s something called personal responsibility.”
Sinanan said, “Please respect that you have an obligation with your personal responsibility.”
He said that those unvaccinated will be in quarantine upon landing and such would be unable to go into some of the duty-free shops.
Sinanan said, “They will be channelled straight into the transportation and to the hotel they would have chosen.”
The government had made the decision to close its borders on March 22, 2020 to combat the spread of the coronavirus from all passengers.
Arriving passengers will now have to get a certificate from TTravelPass before coming into the country.
They must also provide the results of a negative PCR test 72 hours before arriving.
As of Friday, there have been 35,679 positive cases for Covid-19 in T&T. There have been a total of 982 deaths with more that 234,000 people receiving a first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine and 151,000 having received a second dose.
On Monday food services are set to open for only takeaway and delivery services.