Trinidad gov't insists no lockdown or state of emergency

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Trinidad gov't insists no lockdown or state of emergency

Thursday, March 26, 2020

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PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC)— The Trinidad and Tobago government today announced that all non-essential workers would have to remain at home from Sunday, insisting that the measure should not be viewed as a total lockdown of the country or the introduction of a state of emergency to deal with the impact of the coronavirus.

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, speaking at the end of the weekly Cabinet meeting, told reporters that the new measures would remain in effect until April 15.

“We have not declared a state of emergency or any lockdown…what I have announced is an upgrade of the stay at home. We had a stay at home before, which said if you are sick stay away. We have gone further now, we are saying if you are deemed to be not part of the essential operations of the country, as of Sunday night you stay at home.”

Dr Rowley said those are now required to stay at home “should come out only for essential activity such as going to the pharmacy and supermarkets to buy groceries.

“We are increasing our separation, we are asking people to stay at home under the existing legal arrangements. It is not a state of emergency…there are laws and regulations in place now that can cause our security services to enforce no gathering and to enforce a kind of separation that we are asking for.”

Dr Rowley said the country will be told on Friday, “what we regard as essential”.

He warned nationals that the new measures “are no joke”.

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