Trinidad and Tobago imposes travel restrictions on eight countries over new COVID-19 variant

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(Caribbean Media Corporation) – The government of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley has  imposed travel restrictions on travellers from eight countries over concerns of the new COVID-19 Omicron variant.

The nine countries include Botswana, Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

In a statement late Friday, the Ministry of Health announced that all persons who are not citizens or permanent residents of Trinidad and Tobago and have visited the countries listed above within a 14 day time period of their arrival in twin island republic, will not be allowed entry at this time.

However, it noted that while all Trinidad and Tobago citizens and permanent residents who have visited the countries listed above, within 14 day time period of their arrival in Trinidad and Tobago, will be allowed entry, they will require a mandatory state-supervised quarantine of no less than 14 days.

The traveller, the Ministry added, will be required to bear all associated costs and therefore should make the necessary arrangements prior to travel.

It said this applies to both vaccinated and non-vaccinated nationals travelling from the countries listed previously.

Furthermore, the Health Ministry noted that all other existing entry requirements, as indicated in the TTravel Pass must be adhered to, inclusive of a negative nasopharyngeal (nasal swab) RT-PCR test result taken no earlier than 72 hours prior to arrival in Trinidad and Tobago.

It also advised against all non-essential travel to the affected areas.

The Ministry said it will continue to assess the situation and advise the population of any adjustments to this Health Travel Advisory, as required.

On Friday, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified the new variant first identified in southern  Africa as a “variant of concern.”

WHO said the variant has a large number of mutations, some of which are concerning.

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