CHIEF Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram has issued a gentle reminder to non-nationals travelling to Trinidad and Tobago that they must wait two weeks after receiving the second dose of a covid19 vaccine.
Only then will they be considered fully vaccinated and meet the criteria to enter the country.
TT's borders will reopen on July 17.
Non-nationals who try to enter before the end of the two-week window, after getting their second dose, will not be allowed to in.
Returning nationals travelling before the two-week window after receiving their second shot will have to pay the cost of state-supervised quarantine for 14 days.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization (WHO), someone is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the second dose or two weeks after being administered the single dose (eg Johnson & Johnson) of a covid19 vaccine.
Parasram said, “We have to stay with the policy. That will be looked at before you even board the plane.
"Once you are below that 14 days you won’t be considered as being fully vaccinated and you won’t meet the criteria for entry…Non-nationals would have to go into the stream the prime minister has alluded to, which indicates that you won’t be able to come into the country until you have crossed that hurdle of making the two weeks until you get to the WHO definition.”
Parasram said, “After your first dose, you do have some level of immunity, but it’s not maximal in terms of the effects you want to get. You really want to have two weeks pass after the second dose to have that immunised person.”
He also called on relatives to observe returning and visiting family coming into the country for at least seven days after arrival.
Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister Stuart Young, during a walk-through at Piarco Airport last Friday, said the government is on the alert for travellers with fraudulent vaccination documents.
Two weeks ago, the Prime Minister announced that only vaccinated non-nationals and nationals would be allowed to enter the country when the borders reopen on July 17.
Travel protocols require all travellers to present a negative PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before travel. Unvaccinated nationals will cover the cost of 14 days' mandatory state-supervised quarantine. Children under 18 travelling with vaccinated adults will not have to go into quarantine. Unvaccinated non-nationals will not be allowed in.
When asked how confident his team is about the reopening of the borders, Parasram said the stringent travel protocols laid out have given the country additional layers of protection.
“In terms of risk assessment and mitigation, all things have been considered. The PCR test is essential, and since we introduced it with repatriated citizens, we have seen a significant reduction in picking up your day seven positive, so much so that it has gone down to .83 per cent…This, coupled with having a vaccine, should give us some significant protection in terms of spread.”