Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley Saturday announced a further relaxation of the measures put in place to combat the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic insisting nonetheless that the re-opening of the Trinidad and Tobago economy would be guided by science and not politics.
Rowley, speaking at the Ministry of Health's press briefing on the virus, said that the borders would be re-opened to accommodate more nationals, but that commercial opening of the borders would take place during the last stage of the phased removal of measures likely to be in the month of July.
Rowley also hinted at the possibility of allowing for intra-regional travel in the coming weeks, but added that it would depend on whether their borders had been opened to the outside world.
Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley speaking at news conference (CMC Photo)
'We have to think twice about opening our borders to them, but we certainly are on a trajectory to bring as many of our citizens home in a short of space as possible that is governed by the infrastructure available.
'Because when we bring the cruise ship people in and we bring the students in, they alone would now put us in apposition where most of the capacity that we have being used up even though it is just quarantine,' Rowley said noting that an estimated 275 cruise ship workers and students are scheduled to return home.
He said while Trinidad and Tobago had closed its borders at the start of the pandemic 'we want to move a little bit more aggressively to bring categories of people in...but we still have to control that...
'The biggest threat to us now as a nation in responding to the virus is getting infected by an inflow of people from the outside into this population. While we empathise and we are moved by the stories on the news that is not the basis on which we will make the decisions on the borders.
'We make the decisions on the borders based on how many people we feel we feel we can safely bring in and sufficiently managing the risk if there is infection by persons...