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Thursday 13 August, 2020

More students, groups in the region being looked at for repatriation

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Minister of National Security, Stuart Young says more students, particularly those in Cuba and India are in the next batch of citizens to be repatriated into Trinidad and Tobago. Young says the government is also looking at the possibility of conducting repatriation flights from other Caribbean islands for citizens wishing to return home. 

“We are bringing back students from Cuba or at least, offering them the opportunity. They are being granted exemptions to come home because there is a flight being put on by Caribbean Airlines to assist the Cuban government so we’re using that opportunity to make the offer to our Cuban students and other nationals who are in Cuba to come home,” he announced. 

Young says contact has also been made with students in India, but they’ll have a different set of arrangements to work with. 

“They must indicate to us, their flight pattern, how it is their flight is scheduled; an itinerary. (They need to say) when it is they expect to get here and they must understand that when they get here, they will be subject to quarantine,” he said. 

As far as T&T nationals within the region, Young says he’s sorting through a few details to try to make repatriation flights happen. 

“We have the dates that these people requested exemptions to come in so we’re going to do some exercises; I will be discussing with Caribbean Airlines how to carry out those exercises or other private charter planes to get back other persons in the Caribbean area as the next wave of persons we’re bringing home,” he explained. 

Even if the exercise is successful, Young warned that those seeking to use Caribbean islands with open borders as jump off points to return to T&T will not be allowed to do so. 

“We are not permitting other Caribbean islands that have taken decisions to open up their borders to international travel to be used as jumping points, as launching pads into Trinidad and Tobago,” he implored.

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