MORE than 200 nationals are scheduled to return to Trinidad this weekend, reported Minister of National Security Stuart Young.
“We are currently working on two flights this weekend where we expect to repatriate approximately 240 nationals. This is in addition to nationals who have been making their own way back to Trinidad after having been granted exemptions," he told Newsday in a message.
He added: "We have been granting more exemptions and working towards increasing the numbers in accordance with the liberalised exemption policy."
The new policy was announced by Young on Saturday during the Health Ministry's covid19 media briefing. He had said there are many factors in deciding who is allowed back home and when, and they will be underlined in the policy which is nearing completion.
Young had confirmed that it is not done solely on a first-come, first-serve basis, and that there are several other factors which are considered, including the person's age, health status, whether they have children, and the date they departed TT.
Last week Saturday, the Prime Minister said it was time to bring home more nationals who were stranded abroad when the borders closed in March owing to the covid19 pandemic. Government, he said, would take steps to increase the number of exemptions.
The policy for exemptions for citizens will be applied in a high risk and medium-high risk categories.
In the low-risk category, citizens should not have been in a high-risk or medium-risk country 14 days before entry; they must produce a negative PCR test for 72 hours before; and they must sign a form to quarantine at home for 14 days on arrival.
In the high risk-medium category, citizens should be in state quarantine for seven days after arrival in TT; they will be swabbed; once not positive, they will be home-quarantined for seven days; and, if they are positive but not in need of hospitalisation, the Chief Medical Ofifcer will decide on facilities they will be transferred to.