Chief Secretary of the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Kelvin Charles says he will look into UK tourists’ claims that were almost prevented from leaving on a “mercy” flight back to the UK after being deemed a “flight risk.”
The tourists said the situation occurred, three days before their return to the UK and just after the T&T airports were closed by Government on Sunday, March 22, to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
They also claimed they were wrongfully accused of “accosting” the Le Grand Courland Spa Resort manager, who threatened them with eviction.
The tourists also claimed the manager called the “riot police” who arrived “welding machine guns.”
Their claims, reported in the UK newspaper —Daily Mail Online, indicated that the altercation began when they asked why they were served fried eggs with cakes, in plastic plates, and with plastic forks.
The article was widely shared online.
Responding to the claims, the manager of the resort Nalini Galbarangsingh said the hotel began to set out measures in keeping with the Government’s recommendation to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
She claimed 26 UK guests were given up to seven notices of the new plan which included separating the tables and limiting alcohol. The new measures were outlined to the British Embassy and their representative, she claimed.
The hotel manager called the police after the guests began to show “aggressiveness” in the lobby because they were not allowed alcohol and to eat in the restaurant.
She claimed some guests complained that, contrary to the hotel’s report, other tourists were getting alcohol and eating in restaurants in Tobago.
She said the hotel’s staff felt threatened.
She said a police sergeant turned up 20 minutes later.
“The officer was ‘extremely polite’,” she said.
She added, “ He told them ...if they ( police) had to return for any reason ... further actions would be taken, including but not limited to, being barred from the last flights departing for the UK.
Chief Secretary Charles was asked about the matter on Wednesday, March 25, at the post -Executive Council media briefing.
He said he was hearing about the matter for the first time and had requested a report from the head of Tobago police Division ACP Vernon Roberts.