A female passenger who arrived at Piarco International Airport from Guyana on Monday night on a journey that originated in Hong Kong was sent back to the port of embarkation.
This was confirmed by Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram who said the woman “did not have any symptoms or anything that was suspicious but she was returned because of the travel restrictions from China.”
He told Guardian Media: “I believe she would have gone through other territories, including Hong Kong, New York and Guyana and then to Trinidad. Based on our travel restrictions for persons leaving China within 14 days of departure, she was returned to the last port of call based on the Cabinet note and the immigration laws.
“I don’t know what flight she came in from but I only know of that woman who came in from Guyana and she would have spent some time at our airport waiting on departure back to the port of call.”
Commenting on the incident during an interview of CNC3’s The Morning Brew, Chief Immigration Officer Charmaine Gandhi-Andrews said officials at this country’s ports of entry are alerted right away—via advance passenger information from airlines—when passengers originate from China.
However, some persons have more complicated travel itineraries and immigration officials are only able to deduce their origin during the interview and by looking at all their travel documents and passports. “We had one such case yesterday and that passenger was returned to their port of entry,” she said.
“They were screened by port health; there was no issue. However, because of the travel ban, that person was returned to their port of embarkation.”
Ghandi-Andrews said citizens and permanent residents of this country cannot be refused entry. However, they will be screened and possibly even quarantined if they have returned from a country of interest for the virus, and pose a potential infection risk.