3 more European nations on T&T’s COVID-restricted list

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3 more European nations on T&T’s COVID-restricted list
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley makes his way to address members of the media at the VIP Lounge, Piarco International Airport on his return from Ghana, yesterday. Following the Prime Minister are, Social Development and Family Services Minister Camille Robison-Regis, and Finance Minister, Colm Imbert
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley makes his way to address members of the media at the VIP Lounge, Piarco International Airport on his return from Ghana, yesterday. Following the Prime Minister are, Social Development and Family Services Minister Camille Robison-Regis, and Finance Minister, Colm Imbert

(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.

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