returning nationals

Happy to be home: One of the returning nationals from the Carnival Fantasy cruise ship proudly displays the national flag while being taken to quarantine. —Photos: JERMAINE CRUICKSHANK

After a long wait, nationals employed with the Carnival cruise line have finally returned home.

Twenty-nine nationals who have spent months on board the Fantasy cruise ship, the lead ship of the Fantasy class of cruise ships, were placed into state quarantine last night at the National Racquet Centre in Tacarigua.

The ship arrived in Trinidad waters early yesterday morning after a seven-day voyage from Port Labadie in Haiti. However, nationals were not immediately allowed to disembark the vessel.

Hours after arriving, they were transported to the Cruise Ship Complex, Port of Spain via a tugboat. The tugboat made multiple trips to transport the nationals and their luggage to shore.

The nationals left the Cruise Ship Complex after 6 p.m. and were escorted by members of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) and Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force. They were all placed in a PTSC bus which headed to Tacarigua.

Despite the wait, however, the nationals appeared jubilant as they entered the bus and waved T&T’s national flag. Now why the wait to come back home?

“According to one relative of a cruise ship worker, “The Carnival Fantasy was given clearance to repatriate our nationals effective May 31 and when they returned were expected be quarantined at the Home of Football. However, when last Saturday the Ministry of Health declared its 117th case of Covid-19, my relative told us that they were contacted by the Government and told they had to wait before they could return home. They could no longer be placed into quarantine at the Home of Football because of this new case. They were then given permission to enter Trinidad on June 1 and then the Government reneged this. The ship was only allowed to refuel at Pointe-a-Pierre yesterday (Wednesday) then they were informed they could dock close to the port in Port of Spain today (Thursday). When they arrived they were then informed that they would have to pay to enter and be placed into quarantine. However, after it was all cleared it, they were allowed to disembark in the afternoon. I am just happy they are back home safely.”

The group is expected to be tested today as they begin their 14-day quarantine.


THERE is a backlog of 7,000 ballistics cases in Trinidad and Tobago.

This climbing backlog is as a result of a shortage of ballistics examiners and lack of space which has resulted in delayed legal proceedings.

Last month, two arms of the Ministry of National Security—the National Forensic Science Centre (NFSC) and the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS)—collaborated to launch a training programme, entitled Firearm and Toolmark Examiner Training, at the Police Training Academy in St James.

TRINIDAD and Tobago nationals stuck abroad have become so desperate to return home that some have attempted to bribe staff at the Ministry of National Security to get preferential treatment in the exemption process.

Now, National Security Minister Stuart Young is warning that this will not be tolerated and anyone attempting to bribe his/her way back to T&T will be reported to the police.

Young was speaking during the Ministry of Health’s virtual news conference yesterday, where he revealed that ministry staff have been offered bribes.

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Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh gave this advice yesterday, as he urged political parties and candidates to adhere to the public health regulations to prevent the spread of Covid-19 as they embark on their pre-election campaigning.

AS investigations continue to determine who shot Ornella Greaves in Beetham Gardens, more and more cell phone videos are being released on social media sites.

Greaves, a mother of five, who was pregnant when she was killed was shot at about 10 a.m. on June 30 when police officers and Beetham Gardens residents clashed during a violent protest.

CHIEF executive of Namalco Construction Services Naeem Ali has filed private criminal charges against three police officers alleging that they assaulted him and stole $.2 million from his vehicle during an exercise in Penal two Wednesdays ago.