NATIONAL Security Minister Stuart Young has reported that 300 nationals currently working on cruise ships have applied for exemptions to return home. He was responding to an urgent question in the House Friday on whether 49 nationals on Disney Cruise Lines whose contracts will expire on May 29 will be granted permission to return to TT (with the closed borders for covid19).
Young said he has received requests for re-entry from more than 300 nationals on cruise ships. He stressed the borders were closed to protect the population and Government has been carefully managing the re-entry of citizens.
He said cruise ship companies should continue to keep all passengers safe including their staff and Government will continue to manage the numbers entering TT.
Couva South MP Rudranath Indarsingh asked if Young was aware that the governments of St Vincent and the Grenadines, Dominican Republic and St Lucia had all granted permission for citizens to be repatriated from cruise lines (he did not quote the source of his information). Young replied that, as stated by the Prime Minister, TT has managed its covid19 response as a sovereign nation. He added the decisions are made very carefully based on advice from public health experts. He also said that many other Caricom countries had taken similar positions to TT.
“We will continue to do all we have to do.” In an earlier question, Caroni East MP Dr Tim Gopeesingh asked the Prime Minister about nationals seeking to return for life-saving cancer treatment, possibly a reference to cancer patient Krissa Bissoon who was flown home from The Bahamas by MovieTowne owner Derek Chin. Dr Rowley said that when Government took the decision to close the borders it was a major decision with far-reaching consequences.
“There are people on both sides of the border but it needs to remain closed.” He reiterated that all exemptions will be considered and this will be done on a case by case basis.