As depression kicks in for 65-year-old Gregory De Freitas, who spends his 17th day aboard the SY Anna, Ministry of Health personnel are expected to visit today.
De Freitas and his son Marcel were detained by the Coast Guard on March 22 for breaching T&T’s borders when they sailed into Chaguaramas three hours after Government shut the borders. They’ve been anchored off Chacachacare Island under the watch of the Coast Guard who has barred them from coming on land.
“I am pretty depressed because I hoped that I would get off here earlier. All I heard was that someone from the Ministry of Health would come on board tomorrow (today) and ascertain whether we’re healthy. I am hoping that will be enough and that the Ministry will grant us the right to get into the country,” De Freitas said.
He wrote National Security Minister Stuart Young on Monday, requesting an exemption to enter T&T. Young told Guardian Media yesterday that he would respond to Freitas’ request after consulting experts at the Ministry of Health.
De Freitas and Marcel both reside in Sweden but are also T&T citizens. De Freitas was born in South Trinidad.
On March 7, De Freitas, his two sons and a friend left Chaguaramas on the SY Anna for a trip to Antigua. On reaching St Vincent and the Grenadines, they met a closed harbour. They went to St Lucia around March 18 where there were also restrictions.
After getting the news that Government implemented a travel ban on non-nationals seeking to enter T&T, De Freitas returned to St Vincent and let off one of his sons and friend, who were not citizens. They set a course for T&T, unaware of the new restriction that prohibits nationals from returning.
It was only when the coast guard approached them that they learned of the new measure.
De Freitas said they complied with all instructions from the coast guard, including the recording of their temperatures daily. The recommended 14-day quarantine period ended on Monday and he said they’ve not exhibited any symptoms of the COVID-19 virus.