Stranded in Guadeloupe

As a heartbroken Kearell Neils prepares to leave Guadeloupe for Barbados in hopes of reaching closer to home, the Ministry of National Security responded to her request for an exemption.

Neils is one of several citizens who received responses from the Ministry over the past few days.

“I must say that I feel relieved, I feel hopeful, I feel finally visible after so many months of trying to get one simple response such as this,” Neils said yesterday.

While the Ministry granted exemptions to some nationals trapped abroad, the 22-year-old who recently graduated with first-class honours from the Université de Cergy-Pontoise, France last May is in the process of submitting documents for approval.

“After months of sending the same request, I finally got an un-automated response this morning at 11 am, basically stating that they were not seeing attachments to my email, which is really weird, maybe because I sent it so many times and they asked me for a copy of my biodata for my passport and which country I would like to return from.”

On Wednesday, Neils told Guardian Media that being trapped in Guadeloupe reignited her depression that she suffered two years ago while studying in France. It was the reason why she completed her BA in Applied Foreign Languages at the Université des Antilles in Guadeloupe, which is a French territory just 620 km away from T&T.

She has not seen her parents since Christmas 2019, and her requests for exemptions and advice from the Ministry of National Security and the Ministry of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs went without responses.

Depressed and losing hope, she had to seek help from her councillor back in Trinidad to cope. She said that she was leaving Guadeloupe on October 4 for Barbados, hopeful that the Ministry would exempt her.

She has already put arrangements in place and is getting her COVID-19 test done next week ahead of her flight.

In Barbados, she will undergo private quarantine.