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RBC and Republic customers line up outside the Independence Square, Port-of-Spain branches yesterday.

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The number of people now allowed to gather in public spaces was reduced from 10 to five yesterday, following an amendment to the Public Health Ordinance governing the “Stay-at-Home” measures to combat the spread of COVID-19.

“This number is not a group that is together. So in public places that are not deemed essential—for example supermarkets, banks, (and) pharmacies- in public places, persons are not allowed in more than five,” National Security Minister Stuart Young said at a virtual press conference hosted by the Ministry of Health yesterday.

“We are doing this in order to protect the population of Trinidad and Tobago.”

Young said the changes would be effected immediately by Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh.

The change was made to section 3 (1)(b)(i) of the Public Health Ordinance measures for COVID-19 which went into effect at midnight Sunday and will remain in effect until April 15 in the first instance. According to the regulations, anyone who “contravenes these regulations commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of fifty thousand dollars and imprisonment for a term of six months.”

The sailings of the inter-island ferry service are also going to be altered, Young said. The T&T Spirit will be taken off the route while the Galleons Passage and Jean de Valette will continue servicing the seabridge but each vessel will only make “one trip, back and forth, per day.” The Cabo Star will continue its voyages as normal, Young said, adding this decision was made after consultations with the Tobago House of Assembly (THA).

In a release yesterday, the Trinidad and Tobago Inter-island Transportation Company Limited (TTIT) further explained the T&T Spirit will be taken out of service from tomorrow.

The Jean de Valette will depart from Port-of-Spain at 4 pm and Scarborough at 7.30 am on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays while the Galleons Passage will depart from Port-of-Spain at 8 am and Scarborough at 4 pm on Wednesdays. The Cabo Star, meanwhile, will depart Port-of-Spain at 1 pm and Scarborough at 11 pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays. It will not be scheduled to sail on Saturdays and public holidays.