Covid19 in Trinidad and Tobago: A timeline


The covid19 pandemic has irreparably reshaped the world. Some countries are now in fourth and fifth waves, battling the omicron variant. Newsday takes a look back and maps the timeline of the covid19 virus in Trinidad and Tobago.

For more information on each, click the date which leads to full Newsday stories.


March 12: First recorded case of covid19 in TT. It is reported that it was a 52-year-old man who arrived from Switzerland and who started exhibiting symptoms on March 12, 2020.

March 12: To address rising covid19 cases and to ensure that TT's health system did not buckle under the weight of the pandemic, the Government announced a parallel healthcare system.

March 12: Supermarkets adapted to pandemic change; implementing sinks, soap, sanitisers and thermometers.

March 13: The Prime Minister announced all schools, universities and learning centres closed for a week in the first instance to slow the spread of the virus.

March 16: The Government announced TT’s borders closed to all non-nationals for 14 days after five imported cases of the virus were reported. The Prime Minister also announced all bars closed.

March 25: TT marked its first covid19 death: an elderly man with a pre-existing medical condition.

March 26: Government called on all non-essential workers to stay at home unless it was necessary to go out. The measures were to stay in place until April 15 initially.

In fact, the stay-at-home measures lasted until May 15.

March 31: Ministry of Health held its first virtual press conference. It then had updates three times a week or as the situation developed. Since the pandemic began waning, the pressers have been reduced.

March 31: The Government restricted public gatherings to no more than five people.

May 9: The Prime Minister announced a phased reopening of the country, which began on May 10.

Covid19 rate of infection 

May 10-23: Restaurants and roadside street vending were allowed to reopen for business, but a ban remained on in-house dining. These businesses were to close by 8 pm.

Outdoor exercise was also allowed once more, but people were required to maintain the six-foot distance rule and not congregate.

Three manufacturing businesses were allowed to restart: West Indian Tobacco Company, Trinidad Cement Ltd and Nu Iron.

May 24-June 6: The Prime Minister allowed the reopening of the manufacturing sector and the resumption of public-sector construction.

Public transport was allowed to operate at 50 per cent capacity.

June 7 – 20: All public services were to resume; flexi-time and alternate-day office working were considered. Public transport was allowed to carry 75 per cent capacity.

August 16: The Prime Minister announced mandatory mask-wearing for the entire country.

August 29: It was announced that children will resume school virtually.

Covid19 deaths statistics 


Although TT was praised for its handling of the pandemic globally, when cases began to rise sharply again, the country entered a second lockdown in May 2021.

February 17: TT administered its first covid19 vaccine, to a healthcare worker.

April 27: The Supermarket Association of Trinidad and Tobago allowed a one-person-per-household limit to reduce crowding in supermarkets.

April 29: The Prime Minister announced the closure of several sectors, including bars, restaurants, malls, churches, gyms, casinos, cinemas and theatres.

May 7: The Prime Minister introduced stricter covid19 measures to stop the spread of the virus. He announced the restriction of movement as well as non-essential activity.

May 15: Government implemented a state of emergency (SoE). A 9 pm-5 am curfew was also implemented. The SoE was extended for a further three months, to end, tentatively, in August.

May 31: TT collected 10,000 covid19 vaccine doses from Grenada.

July 13: 800,000 doses of Astra Zeneca covid19 vaccines arrived in TT.

August 11: TT confirmed its first two cases of the deadlier delta variant.

August 24: TT neared 500,000 vaccinated people from the first batch of covid19 vaccine doses.

August 29: By August 31, TT had reached its initial goal of having 188,000 people fully vaccinated against the covid19 virus.

October 11: Government started its TT Safe Zone initiative, which saw the reopening of bars, restaurants, cinemas and other spaces to vaccinated people.

Covid19 death trend -

November 17: The Government ended the SoE.

November 26: Government issued travel ban on eight African countries after the emergence of the highly transmissible omicron variant. That ban was lifted on December 19.

November 28: TT crossed 2,000 deaths from covid19-related complications.

December 13: TT recorded its first case of the omicron variant.

December 13: Government began its covid19 vaccination booster programme in face of new variant.

Covid19 active cases trend 

December 13: TT was 44th in the world in covid19 death/infection ratio.

December 18: TT had three omicron covid19 cases.

December 19: Government told unvaccinated public sector workers to get vaccinated or stay home with no pay.

December 19: Government announced reopening of beaches from 5 am-noon starting December 20, while rivers, ponds and waterfalls remained closed.

December 23: Government announced a mega-storage facility for covid19 bodies, set to open in early January.

December 24: TT recorded its highest death toll in a day, 37.

December 26: December noted as the worst month of third covid19 wave.

December 30: Government braced for covid19 surge in January.

Covid19 patients' rate of recovery 


January 6, 2022: Public servants trickled into vaccination sites ahead of the government’s deadline of January 14 in a move to make public-sector offices safe zones.

January 14: Government lifted ban on open-pyre cremations for covid19 deaths. It was banned in early 2020 after the first local case was detected.

January 16: Government announced extension of vaccination deadline for public-sector workers to February 17.

January 16: The Prime Minister appointed five-member medical team to examine the level of care in the country’s healthcare system, including covid19 deaths, and report to the government.

January 23: Stakeholders welcomed the Government's announcement of Carnival safe zones.

January 24: The Ministry of Education announced February 7 return to school for forms 1-3, standard 5

January 26: Government announced new Roxborough hospital was available to provide additional covid19 resources in Tobago.

January 26: Government announced the opening of beaches from 5 am-6 pm.

February 6: Education Division of the Tobago House of Assembly said Tobago was ready for the return of forms 1-3, standard 5 students.

February 19: Government announced unvaccinated children under 12 were allowed into safe zones, but must be accompanied by vaccinated adults.

February 19: The Government also announced that it had reached its vaccine milestone of having 50 per cent of the population fully vaccinated against covid19.

Rate of full vaccination 

February 21: Beaches and rivers were fully opened.

March 4: The Prime Minister announced TT's transition from covid19 pandemic phase to endemic phase.

March 4: Government no longer pursued legislation that could be viewed as making covid19 vaccination mandatory for public-sector workers.

March 6: Government announced the decommissioning of the parallel healthcare system, which began with the Point Fortin Hospital being fully ready for handing over by March 12.

March 9: Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh announced the reopening of daycare centres.

March 9: Government announced a scientific study to determine how many people in the population developed antibodies against covid19.

March 10: THA Secretary of Health, Wellness and Social Protection Dr Faith BYisrael announced the resumption of elective services at the Scarborough General Hospital.


"Covid19 in Trinidad and Tobago: A timeline"

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