Huddling under umbrellas to keep out the rain, scores of people lined up outside the Immigration Office in San Fernando yesterday awaiting services.
However, because of social distancing protocols, only a limited number of applicants were invited inside the office at Knox Street.
During an interview with Guardian Media, Frances Augustine said the conditions were inhumane for the children and elderly.
“At least they could have put up a few tents for us so we don’t have to stay in the rain,” Augustine said.
She added, “Look at how many elderly people are here. Look at the children. What about those who are sick?” she asked.
Sieunarine Singh said his appointment was supposed to be for 8 am but up to 10.30 am, he was still waiting in line.
“Look at this line which goes all the way down the road. This is not right. Women and children waiting so long in the line and we are all out in the rain. I am an elderly now. This is not good,” he said.
Another resident Deonarine Nagessar said he was supposed to have an 11 am appointment but when he reached the office at 10 am, the people with 8 am appointments were still waiting in line.
“We do not know why this is happening. Nobody has come to tell us anything,” he added.
A security officer with an umbrella manned the gates allowing only one person in at a time.
A source at the Immigration office said because of social distancing protocols they could not allow all of the applicants into the office.
The source said passport applicants are currently being attended to by appointments only. The immigration offices reopened last Monday to facilitate those who missed appointments between March 31 to June 5, 2020.