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Dr Sonel Rowley-Stewart

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley is holding out hope that his daughter Dr Sonel Rowley-Stewart will be among those nationals who will be allowed to return to T&T during this holiday period.

Confirming his longing as a father, Rowley said his daughter had already applied for an exemption to return home from the US and was in the process of fulfilling the remaining requirements.

Speaking during Saturday’s media briefing at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s, the prime minister said while it was his wish to have her spend the Christmas holiday with the family, he joked that it was in the hands of National Security Minister Stuart Young as part of the national process.

Providing an update on the thousands of exemptions that had been received from people wanting to re-enter T&T as well as leave T&T, Young said as at December 4 a total of 15,471 applications had been received from people desirous of returning home. From November 20 to December 4 a total of 1,549 applications had been received from this category.

Exemptions granted to people to re-enter T&T up to December 4 stood at 8,500.

Having increased repatriations within the last few weeks, Young said additional flights had been added to various routes.

Confirming they had now reached maximum capacity at state-supervised facilities/hotels yesterday, Young said special arrangements were being made to bring home seasonal workers who had gone to Canada.

He said one batch of workers had already returned to T&T, while discussions were underway with the Canadian authorities on how this could be further facilitated.

Extension for Venezuelans granted amnesty

Young has said although the extended registration of the 16,000 plus Venezuelan migrants who had been granted amnesty would expire on December 31, discussions have already taken place at the level of the Cabinet to extend it further.

He said while no definitive decisions has been taken, it was most likely that registered migrants would be asked to fill out new forms and update their information profiles in an attempt to ensure their continued residency. Young said no new registration exercises would be held.