Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh says no cruise ships will be allowed to berth in either Trinidad or Tobago for the rest of the cruise ship season.
Speaking at a post-Cabinet media briefing on Thursday, Deyalsingh said the decision was taken as the Government steps up its efforts to stop or delay the coronavirus (COVID-19) from reaching T&T's shores.
He said according to the cruise ship schedule, there were five cruise ships scheduled to berth in Trinidad and seven in Tobago before the end of the season. The cruise ship season runs from December 12, 2019 to April 24, 2020.
Deyalsingh said the decision was taken by Cabinet note on Thursday morning.
“We don’t feel that we need to take on that type of risk, we want to preserve our health care system, our supplies and our test kits,” Deyalsingh said.
He said the ban will affect trade and tourism but said the move is for the greater good to protect the health of T&T’s 1.3 million population.
However, he said the Government believes that the first COVID-19 case that shows up in the country will be an imported case and the Government is doing all it can to prevent that situation from happening as long as possible.
Reporter: Sharlene Rampersad