FORMER UNC Princes Town MP and current election candidate Barry Padarath returned to TT at 2.33 pm on Saturday.
Padarath was accompanied by his daughter Sejal Lara Padarath, a US citizen who lives in Florida.
Padarath left TT for Florida in March, before the country's borders were closed to prevent the spread of covid19.
Padarath and his daughter left Miami on Friday and flew to Antigua, where they overnighted. They returned home on Saturday on a charter flight.
They must now begin a two-week quarantine period in keeping with covid19 protocols.
Padarath accepted an offer by National Security Minister Stuart Young for him and his daughter to stay at a hotel being used for state-supervised quarantine. Padarath also agreed to cover their expenses. They will stay at the Chancellor Hotel in St Ann's.
Padarath said it was "a bittersweet feeling" to be back home, because: "While I am happy to be back, I am mindful that there are many Trinis who are still stranded abroad and are desperately trying to reach home."
There were three TT nationals on the charter flight with him and his daughter. Padarath wished he could have brought more home with him.
He said, "Personally for me, it was not a difficult process, possibly because of my profile as an MP."
But he added, "That was not the case for many other Trinis who applied."
He said he and his daughter were screened but not tested for covid19 in Antigua.
"You are required to show proof of being tested and cleared prior to arriving into Antigua."
Padarath was among the 39 UNC election candidates announced on July 5. He was screened virtually in Florida on June 19. He also planned his campaign strategy virtually from Florida.
Once out of quarantine Padarath, said he "will be fully immersed in the campaign with respect to walking the constituency."
On Padarath's comments that there were not enough social services to help TT nationals overseas, Young, on Saturday, said, "MP Padarath was given exemption ages ago to come to Trinidad, and every 24 hours, it seems there’s a change in his fight details."
At the virtual health press conference, Young said, "I woke up this morning: there were three different e-mails changing flight details. So it seems as he comes closer to home, maybe he is entering and putting on his political cap and this type of thing."
In response, Young said, "We are doing the best that we can do. That is assured. I have no fear of being under a microscope for that whatsoever."
He said Padarath was given a lot of leeway.
"His daughter, who he is returning with, is not even a national of TT but a decision was taken by the Government to allow MP Padarath that opportunity, whereas other persons, as you are aware, were not allowed."
In that regard, Young said, "So he is in a category all on his own.”