Government is exploring the idea of allowing a limited number of overseas workers returning to T&T to pay for their own quarantine costs under state supervision, says National Security Minister Stuart Young.
Replying to an Opposition query in Parliament yesterday, Young said there’s no fee for the state’s COVID-19 quarantine services but the idea of allowing a limited number of nationals to return and bear their own quarantine costs was being explored.
He said free quarantine services were done for 261 nationals. But he said applications from people wanting to return home are in the thousands and Government was balancing the available quarantine beds to ensure the health system could cope and wasn’t overrun. He said the idea being explored could apply to workers outside of T&T whose employers would be willing to pay for their return and accommodation costs.
But this would be limited by sustainable accommodation and the ability to keep them under state quarantine supervision along with those in state quarantine facilities. He said the medical authorities’ ability to handle the situation will also be a determining factor.
Young said room will be available depending on how the situation is handled in the state medical facilities and if there’s a recurrence of COVID-19 cases.
“We’ll discuss this more in coming days,” Young said, adding there’s no fixed cost of quarantine as this depends on locations.
Young noted that to avoid viral contamination in places used by COVID patients, the areas had to be sanitised and remain free of use for two weeks before further use. —Gail Alexander