The ANR Robinson International Airport in Tobago.

While the country’s borders will be reopening as planned on July 17, unvaccinated nationals cannot enter the country through Tobago.

“We want to make sure that: One, we preserve Tobago – it being a separate entity—it is possible to preserve a lower level of exposure in Tobago. Two, The logistics of managing unvaccinated people – the government is not prepared to take on that in two airports when we could only do it well in one,” Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said at yesterday’s COVID-19 press briefing.

Dr Rowley repeated that from July 17, the country’s borders will be open to nationals who are fully vaccinated and unvaccinated, as well as vaccinated non-nationals.

While vaccinated people will be allowed into the country without quarantine, unvaccinated nationals will have to quarantine for 14 days at their expense.

Unvaccinated non-nationals will not be allowed to enter the country.

Dr Rowley insisted that the reopening of the country’s borders will be strict but cooperative.

No decision has been made yet, according to Dr Rowley, about passengers seeking entry from cruise ships.

During the briefing, Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram listed four different categories of requirements for people entering the country.

The first category of people – unvaccinated nationals—will require a negative PCR test 72 hours before arrival, which will be validated by the airline.

They will immediately, after arrival, go into state-supervised quarantine for 14 days at their expense, be subjected to a medical assessment within 24 hours of arrival, undergo daily monitoring, and will be subjected to a PCR test on the 7th day.

Asymptomatic passengers, who test negative, will be allowed to go home after the quarantine period, but passengers who test positive will be immediately transferred to the parallel healthcare system, based on the acuity of the disease.

The second category of people is returning passengers requiring urgent medical attention.

According to the CMO, severely/critically ill passengers will be quarantined at a hospital, while passengers who are ill but stable will be transferred to a state-supervised quarantine facility.

Passengers who test positive for COVID-19 upon arrival, or during quarantine, will be transferred to a medical facility in the parallel healthcare system.

The third category of people – fully-vaccinated passengers – will only require a negative PCR test 72 hours before arrival and proof of vaccination (only WHO-approved vaccines).

They will not be quarantined.

The fourth and final category is children.

According to Dr Parasram, unvaccinated children travelling with a vaccinated parent/guardian will be allowed to go straight home with a negative PCR test before arrival, and a repeat of a negative PCR test between days three and five of arrival.

If the child tests positive, however, they will be immediately isolated.

Any unvaccinated adult travelling with a child will have to go to state-supervised quarantine for 14 days with the child.

Unaccompanied children, who are not supervised, will also have to be quarantined.

The WHO-approved vaccines are Pfizer-BioNtech, AstraZeneca/Oxford, Janssen (Johnson and Johnson), Moderna- NIAID, Sinopharm BIBP and Sinopharm – Corona Vac.