Key points from today’s media briefing hosted by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley – Saturday 15th August 2020

  • Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Rowley announced a roll back on public health regulations due to the recent spike in Covid-19 cases. They are as follows
    From next week Monday and for the next 28 days:
    • No in-house dining at restaurants, bars, food courts and malls or within its precincts. Pick up remains available.
    • Beaches and Rivers to be closed to the public.
    • All places of worship will be closed.
    • All gyms to be closed.
    • Cease all contact sports. Water parks are to be closed.
    • Casinos and Members Clubs to be closed. □Cinemas to be closed.
    • Public gatherings limited 5 persons.
    • Funeral and Weddings limited to 10 persons.
    • Taxis and Maxis to operate at 50 per cent capacity.
    • Air and Sea bridge Transportation to Tobago to be limited to essentials.
    • All teaching institution to be closed until further notice.
    • Schools not likely to reopen for the rest of the year. SEA exam to be held on August 20.
  • The Prime Minister indicated that the Attorney General will be looking into legislation for the mandatory use of face masks.
  • Dr. Rowley stated that walking and exercising outdoors will still be allowed once physical distancing is observed and masks are worn. The Prime Minister also said that Groceries, Supermarkets, Barber Shops and Hairdressers will be unaffected by the latest regulations.
  • The Public Service will remain on a 50%.

Dr. Parasram indicated that he has made a recommendation to add T&T to the list of countries with community spread.

  • Dr. Rowley said that if the measures don’t slow the numbers of cases and numbers get worse the next step would be going to a state of complete closure.
  • Minister of Health, Terrence Deyalsingh, stated that measures have been taken to speed up the reporting process of test results. Minister Deyalsingh also said that elective surgeries have been slowed down but not completely stopped.
  • Minister of National Security, Stuart Young, indicated that the repatriation of citizens will be stepped back a bit to ensure that the quarantine facilities and parallel health care system aren’t overwhelmed. He also stated that persons wanting to leave the country are able to do so but, the limiting factor at this time is the availability of commercial flights.
  • Minister Young also said that bars will NOT be shut down but they will only be allowed to provide take away services.
  • The Chief Medical Officer indicated that the face mask is far superior to the face shield and should be used instead.

These measures go into effect on Monday 17th August 2020.