3 More European Nations On T&T’s COVID-Restricted List

(TRINIDAD GUARDIAN) – Trav­ellers from Ger­many, Spain and France are to be re­strict­ed from en­ter­ing Trinidad and To­ba­go due to the out­break of COVID-19 (coro­n­avirus).

Trav­ellers whose flights orig­i­nat­ed from Italy, South Ko­rea, Sin­ga­pore, Japan, Iran and Chi­na had al­ready been sub­ject to a 14-day wait af­ter leav­ing those coun­tries be­fore they are al­lowed to en­ter Trinidad and To­ba­go be­fore Prime Min­is­ter Dr Kei­th Row­ley added the three lat­est na­tions yes­ter­day.

“The Min­is­ter of Health will take the nec­es­sary steps to add those three coun­tries to the list of lo­ca­tions from which trav­ellers com­ing to us will fall in­to the pro­to­col,” Row­ley said at a press con­fer­ence at Pi­ar­co In­ter­na­tion­al Air­port’s VIP Lounge af­ter re­turn­ing from an of­fi­cial trip to Ghana.

He said his Gov­ern­ment was al­so mon­i­tor­ing the sit­u­a­tion in New York and the Unit­ed King­dom but stopped short of say­ing they would be added to the list. He re­mind­ed that he had warned of the po­ten­tial eco­nom­ic fall­out that could oc­cur as a re­sult of the virus in economies across the world.

Row­ley al­so said while talks with BP con­cern­ing fu­ture plans dur­ing his trip went well, the oil com­pa­ny was among those se­vere­ly af­fect­ed by the dip on the US stock mar­ket this week.

The Prime Min­is­ter said while the eco­nom­ic tur­bu­lence as the re­sult of COVID-19 was ex­pect­ed, the re­cent oil war which caused oil prices to plum­met to US$34 “came out of nowhere.”

“Nor­mal­ly, what we have is on OPEC agree­ment sup­port­ed by Rus­sia to do a vol­ume re­duc­tion be­cause the mar­ket is over­sup­plied, so the main pro­duc­ers would agree to re­duce pro­duc­tion. On this oc­ca­sion, there was no agree­ment to re­duce the vol­ume so as to sta­bilise the price. And the op­po­site hap­pened, where the Saud­is have de­cid­ed to in­crease pro­duc­tion and to give a $4 dis­count,” the Prime Min­is­ter said.

“So it’s an in­crease, which means you fur­ther sat­u­rate the mar­ket and you sell by dis­count­ing the price to the buy­ers, so the oil mar­ket right now is in tur­moil.”

Row­ley al­so an­nounced that an MOU has been signed be­tween this coun­try and Ghana con­cern­ing a mu­tu­al air ser­vices agree­ment be­tween the coun­tries. He said the lack of di­rect trans­port was cit­ed as one of the hin­drances to an im­proved busi­ness re­la­tion­ship.

“That route­way, where we can link this part of the world with that part of the world would al­low us to more eas­i­ly and ef­fec­tive­ly car­ry out the kinds of things that would ben­e­fit us,” he said.

The Prime Min­is­ter al­so said he had “to call out” Op­po­si­tion leader Kam­la Per­sad-Bisses­sar for mak­ing a state­ment that could cre­ate a rift be­tween Trinidad and To­ba­go and Ja­maica.

Dur­ing the Unit­ed Na­tion­al Con­gress Mon­day Night Fo­rum, Per­sad-Bisses­sar ques­tioned if the Gov­ern­ment’s re­la­tion­ship with the Na­tion­al Com­mer­i­cal Bank (NCB) was due to the fact that its CEO was re­lat­ed to a Gov­ern­ment Min­is­ter.

“And for some rea­son, this ir­re­spon­si­ble Op­po­si­tion Leader be­lieves that they could fab­ri­cate sto­ries and at­tack the bank and that would be an at­tack on the Cab­i­net and on Stu­art Young, not re­al­is­ing that what she is do­ing is rekin­dling a kind of hurt that ex­ist­ed when she was Prime Min­is­ter,” said Row­ley, mak­ing ref­er­ence to a call for a boy­cott of Trinidad and To­ba­go prod­ucts by Ja­maicans in re­la­tion to com­ments made by Per­sad-Bisses­sar in 2014.

How­ev­er, Row­ley said that Min­is­ter Young, ex­pect­ing there to be some kind of fall-out, re­cused him­self from all meet­ings which in­volved pos­si­ble busi­ness ac­tiv­i­ty with NCB.