With 328 more people infected with the covid19 virus and with a tally of 10,000 infections since last March, the Prime Minister on Thursday announced an immediate clampdown on social activities as of midnight.
He was addressing a media briefing at the Victor E Bruce building in Tobago on Thursday afternoon.
Saying it was his job to protect people's health, he announced measures to curb the spread of the virus decided on after consultation and in light of the rising number of cases.
As of midnight all restaurants and bars will be closed.
All malls will be closed.
Aall places of worship will be closed.
All gyms and fitness centres will be closed, as will spas and other beauty services.
Also ordered shut were casinos and betting houses, cinemas, theatres and clubs.
The public service will operate only essential services.
Tobago will be isolated by limiting the flights in and out to three flights a day and the seabridge will operate at 25 per cent capacity.
Dr Rowley also said all eco-tours such as those to Buccoo Reef would end.
Legal counsel had advised him, he warned, that the police were empowered to enter private premises to curb activities harmful to the public well-being,
Rowley, himself recently recuperated from the virus, urged listeners to recall the times the daily rate was in the teens.
He said the 328 new cases represented only a portion of infections in the country, with many other cases likely undetected/unreported.
"There must be very many other persons out there who are asymptomatic or who are confining themselves to home without the interventions of the health department.
"We can only reach one conclusion: the level of infection in TT is reaching disturbing heights."
Reminding all that Trinidad and Tobago was in a pandemic, he said interventions must be made to interrupt that virus's spread, or TT would see what other countries like India have seen, namely a large number of very sick people, medical resources under strain, people unable to function, and the ill spreading the infection wider and wider.
Of the 60 million doses of vaccine the US had promised the world, he lamented hearing the bad news earlier on Thursday that contaminated batches had been found at the Baltimore factory where the vaccines were produced.
"It's not a good report for us."
Saying many people think covid19 was a hoax and that the Government just wanted to bully people, Rowley said it was up to him to protect the people of TT.