THE PRIME Minister said more than 5700 exemptions have been granted for people to both leave and enter TT after the borders were closed as part of covid19 preventative measures. He said preference to enter is given to people who are resident in the country.
Dr Rowley was speaking Friday at a media conference held at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann's.
He reported that exemptions have been granted to people from 40 countries and, as at July 29, 5580 people had applied to leave and most would have had to organise their own transport. Of this group, 3556 were granted clearance to leave and 2024 were finalising travel arrangements.
He reported that there were 5539 applications to enter the country and 2250 had been granted exemptions.
"The Opposition Leader has accused Government of making people stateless and abandoning 10,000 people, but it is not 10,000 people who want to come inside, but 5000 who want to go out and 5000 who want to come in."
Rowley said of the 5539, first preference is given to people who usually live here and also those who have a good reason to come back such as requiring medical attention, aged or have small children.
"People who don't live here and decide to come here are not at the top of the list."
He said Government was managing the numbers of people coming in and they were being brought in by the hundreds. Rowley added that depending on the increase in cases, Government may have to be more cautious in letting people come in.
He reported that so far, 548 people have been brought in from the US, 417 from cruise ships, 130 from Jamaica and 126 from Barbados – the latter two mostly students.
"Do not be misled about people screaming numbers that mean nothing."