Trinidad & Tobago Readies For Border Reopening on July 17

by Carolee Chanona

This sun-drenched twin island republic in the Caribbean has been quieter than usual in the last 16 months. As one of the Caribbean’s largest economies, Trinidad & Tobago readies for reopening its border after a March 2020 closure with one overarching entry protocol: come vaccinated, or face quarantine at your own expense. Starting July 17 at border reopening, only vaccinated non-nationals alongside vaccinated and unvaccinated nationals, are allowed in; unvaccinated non-nationals will be denied entry. All unvaccinated nationals must enter through Piarco International Airport and be quarantined for 14 days at a state-supervised quarantine facility. All incoming travelers must present a negative PCR test done no more than three days before arrival, as well as their completed TTravel Pass—the destination’s health declaration form.


Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister Stuart Young speaks with officials during a tour of the Piarco International Airport yesterday, ahead of the opening of the borders. Image by Abraham Diaz/Trinidad & Tobago Guardian

Uncharacteristic to the Caribbean, Trinidad and Tobago has an industrial economy—although TT’s international tourism consumption reached its highest of the past decade, with $1.91 billion U.S. dollars in 2019.

A gradual return to air travel


Caribbean Airlines is the state-owned airline and flag carrier of Trinidad and Tobago. Photo via Airplane Pictures

At reopening on July 17, Trinidad and Tobago’s state-owner airline and flag carrier Caribbean Airlines introduces the schedule on a phased basis, starting with operations between TT’s Piarco International Airport (POS) and the Eastern Caribbean, alongside the re-start of operations to New York, Miami and Toronto. The airline’s daily service to Cheddi Jagan International, Guyana continues. Two immediate additions to the network out of POS is twice weekly service to Eugene F. Correia, Ogle, International Airport, Guyana and weekly service to/from Dominica.

Later this year for winter service, KLM Dutch Airlines will open flights to Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago as well as Bridgetown, Barbados three times a week. Electronic travel authorizations, pre-arrival PCR tests and state-issued quarantine for the unvaccinated are par for the course of nearly all Caribbean nations this summer, while flight frequencies are much reduced and the moaners will relish pointing out that the region is two months into what is forecast to be a worse-than-average hurricane season. Nonetheless, the region presses on with its most admirable quality: resiliency.

All commercial airlines have been invited to resume their schedules to and from Trinidad and Tobago, and travel agencies have already begun advertising various travel packages ahead of the reopening.

Header: Passengers and relatives at the check out counter area at the Piarco International Airport. Image via Abraham Diaz/Trinidad & Tobago Guardian (File Photo)

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