TRINIDAD & TOBAGO
With the onset of the global COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, Trinidad and Tobago’s borders were closed effective midnight March 22, 2020 and continue to remain closed to international travel for both nationals and non-nationals. Only international and regional cargo vessels and flights continue to operate under certain restrictions.
Nationals who wish to leave or return must apply for a travel exemption online via the Ministry of National Security website. Once approved they are accommodated via specially organized flights.
Persons are encouraged to stay at home as far as possible as the country’s community spread of COVID-19 is continuing to increase. Restrictions currently in place include:
- Continued closure of teaching institutions. Online learning has been implemented at all levels
- Continued closure of daycare and other childcare facilities
- Mandatory use of face mask for persons over the age of 8
- Closure of beaches
ISLAND FUN FACTS
Capital: Port of Spain
Population: 1,390,000 (approx.)
Religion: Protestant, Roman Catholic
Side of Street Drive-On: While touring, always drive on the left side of the road.
Dubbed “The Greatest Show on Earth”, Trinidad’s Carnival season officially launches in December and continues until the day before Ash Wednesday the following year.
The season is jam packed with band launches, Carnival shows, competition, All Inclusive fetes, Panarama and of course Carnival Monday and Tuesday with J’Ouuvert and the Parade of the Bands.
“The twin island nation of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is a largely overlooked gem on the northern shores of South America. It consists two main islands and several smaller islands forming the southernmost link in the Caribbean chain.
Trinidad is the larger of the two islands and is home to the majority of the country’s population.
Dr. Eric Eustace Williams: Considered to be the Father of the Nation, Dr. Williams founded the People’s National Movement in 1956 and served as its leader for 25 years consecutive years. The formation of this political party was the beginning of the age of organised party politics in Trinidad and Tobago. Dr. Williams subsequently became the Chief Minister of the country from 1956 to 1959, Premier from 1959 to 1962 and, on the attainment of Independence in 1962, Prime Minister until his death in 1981.
Hasely Crawford: Trinidad and Tobago’s first gold medalist at the Olympics. He won in 1976 for the 100-meter dash.
Keshorn Walcott: Won Olympic Gold in the Javelin throw in 2012. He is the first Caribbean male athlete, as well as the first of African descent, to win the gold medal in a throwing event at th Olympics. At only 19 years old he is the youngest Olympic gold medallist in the men’s javelin as well as the first athlete in any track and field event to win World Junior and Olympic titles in an individual event the same year. The Toco Lighthouse was also renamed after him in 2012.
Kwame Ture: The Trinidadian activist was a leader in the U.S. Civil Rights Movement, the Black Power Movement, and the Pan-African Movement. He is credited with coining the phrase “Black Power.”
For those who want to learn more about the history and culture of Trinidad and Tobago, you spend some time at the National Museum and Art Gallery, Trinidad in Port of Spain. You can learn about the indigenous, colonial, and recent history of the islands as well as the artistic movements that helped shape this cultural mecca.
THINGS TO DO
Trinidad is a nightlife hotspot, filled with nightclubs, bars, and cocktail lounges. Whether you want to lose yourself in the energetic music of the dance club or you want to meet locals at the neighborhood bar, there is no shortage of opportunity in the cities of Trinidad. Some of the best “liming” spots (a.k.a. places to hang out) are in the capital, Port of Spain.
Both Trinidad and Tobago have an international airport. And even better, travelling between the two airports is a common occurrence, making your island hopping adventure that much easier. You can easily get a flight to Trinidad or a flight to Tobago and have the luxury of knowing you can easily jump in between.
If you’d rather relax on a cruise to Trinidad and Tobago, you’re in luck because both islands’ capitals are ports as well. You’ll be able to enjoy the relaxing atmosphere at Scarborough as you soak up some sun, explore the historic sites, and try all of the new flavors.