The departure hall at the Piarco International Airport was a virtual ghost town on Tuesday night as Trinidad and Tobago effectively implemented a ban on all foreign nationals entering the country from midnight to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Caribbean Airlines has indicated that it is observing strict protocols to ensure it protects passengers and staff as the country attempts to fight the virus

Caribbean Airlines is ensuring that they are observing all protocols related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and “will continue to work closely with port authority health officials to not only safeguard their crew but the welfare of passengers.”

This was the assurance from CAL’s head of Corporate Communications Dionne Ligoure on Wednesday.

Ligoure told Guardian Media that the current global pandemic was a worrying concern for the world and citizens of this country and the airline had been observing certain protocols and guidelines when responding to any matters related to COVID-19.

Her comment came even as 68 T&T nationals returned home Wednesday after finally getting clearance to leave Guadeloupe, where they had been stuck on an ill-fated cruise ship where people aboard tested positive for the virus. This group was preceded by two women who returned home on Tuesday night. This duo tested positive for the virus while in-transit to T&T and were immediately taken to one of the quarantine facilities at either the Caura Hospital or the Couva Hospital.

Ligoure said she could not comment specifically on Guardian Media’s exclusive story about two confirmed female cases who came aboard the CAL flight from Barbados on Tuesday night, hours before the Piarco International Airport stopped accepting non-nationals into the country for the next two weeks.

But she encouraged the media, in general, to be responsible and mindful of how they report on COVID-19 matters.

Ligoure emphasised that every effort was being made to safeguard their crew members, who remain committed to working even in the face of this pandemic.

The Ministry of Health on Tuesday night reported that the confirmed number of COVID-19 cases had gone up to seven and all were imported cases.

Reporter: Mark Bassant