Update - Tuesday, 07th April 2020:
Update - Monday, 06th April 2020: Media conference held today, the Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley advised that (1) Stay at Home order extended till the April 30th, 2020 (2) Masks to be worn whilst in public (3) All restaurants to be closed till April 30th, 2020. All food services closed until April 30th (4) Schools will not reopen on April 20th, (5) Opening hours for businesses: hardware: 8am to 12noon, Pharmacies: till 8pm daily, Groceries: till 6pm daily.
Key takeaways from today’s Media Conference hosted by Prime Minister, Dr the Honourable Keith Rowley.
- The Stay at Home regulations are now extended until April 30th.
- Effective tomorrow (Tuesday April 7th) , ALL food establishments are to be closed until April 30th.
- Business hours to be shortened as follows:
Hardware stores including electrical and plumbing establishments to be open from 8AM to 12PM.
All Retail services, such as discount stores, markets, supermarkets, fruits & vegetable stalls, bakeries and “parlours” which provide food or other necessities of life, will be required to close to the public by 6PM daily.
Wholesale stores for the provision of food, medicine or other necessities of life will be required to close by 4PM daily.
All Pharmacies will be required to close by 8PM daily.
- Effective immediately, all persons in public are to wear masks. The Ministry of Health is set to distribute masks in due course.
- Ministry of Health to distribute cloth masks through Members of Parliament, Regional Corporations or areas of high traffic. Cloth Masks can be re-used once washed properly.
- All 8 Covid-19 related deaths were people in the at risk category, that is, elderly persons with pre-existing conditions.
- The Minister of Health said there is no ventilator shortage at this time, 52 ventilators are available exclusively for Covid-19 and the Government is currently sourcing more.
- The Minister of National Security stated that Fishermen are Essential and the sale of fish on the roadside/markets will continue. He also reiterated that social distancing rules have to be adhered to when purchasing fish.
- Prime Minister Dr. Rowley said tensions between the US and Venezuela are cause for concern. He said CARICOM will try to maintain its function as a zone of peace and will remain under the umbrella of the United Nations.
Update - Sunday, 05th April 2020:
Update - Friday, 03rd April 2020: Click to view the update to The Public Health Ordinance Legal Notice 66
Update - Thursday, 02nd April 2020:
Update - Wednesday, 01st April 2020: Click to view the updated The Public Health Ordinance Ch 12 No 4
Update - Tuesday, 31st March 2020: Media Conference held today, Minister of National Security advised the public that no more than five individuals in public gatherings.
- A Decision was taken to further reduce public gatherings from 10 persons to 5 persons. The Regulations will be amended today to reflect this change.
- No decision has been made yet to extend the time of the existing Restrictions.
- The regulations that cover public gatherings do NOT apply to outside banks and supermarkets, citizens are advised to practice social distancing in those settings.
- TT Spirit has been taken off the sea bridge. The Galleons passage & Jean de la Vallette will make 1 trip per day and Cargo vessel, the Cabo Star will operate as normal.
- Members of the public with no recent travel history or contact with a Covid-19 positive case are NOT a priority for testing.
- To get a true positive test, the person being tested has to have symptoms as certain viral load levels are required for the test to detect the virus. An asymptomatic person will give a false negative test result.
- Operate as if everyone has the COVID-19 Virus. Practice Social Distancing!
Update - Monday, 30th March 2020:
Update - Friday, 27th March 2020: The Public Health Ordinance Ch. 12 No. 4 made by the Minister under section 105 of the Public Health Ordinance. Click link to view:
The Public Health Ordinance Ch 12. No. 4
These Regulations shall have effect from 30 March 2020 to 15 April 2020 unless revoked earlier.
Update - Thursday, 26th March 2020: Media conference held today at 2:00pm, the Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Rowley advise that all non-essential activities will be barred from midnight Sunday. The TTPS will be charged to enforce the law. The Ministry of National Security will release the list of essential services. This will be implemented till April 15th, 2020.
- As of midnight on Sunday 29th March, all non-essential activities will be prohibited until April 15th. The Ministry of National Security will provide a comprehensive list of essential services and activities. The Trinidad and Tobago Police Service supported by the Defence Force will enforce the full brunt of the law. THIS IS NOT A STATE OF EMERGENCY!
- Government to begin virtual media conferences as a protective measure against COVID-19.
- Ministry of Health to receive an additional $157 million to be allocated over the next three to six months to increase capacity at four Regional Health Authorities to deal with COVID-19. The allocation will be spent on consumables, human resources, infrastructure, and equipment.
The breakdown as announced:
NCRHA- $129.9 million
ERHA- $6.2 million
NWRHA- $16.6 million
SWRHA- $4.5 million
- Customer Service Representatives have been placed at all 11 offices of the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services to assist citizens who have been negatively affected by the impact of COVID-19. Forms have been placed on the Ministry’s website and call centres are operational.
Update - Wednesday, 25th March 2020:
Media Conference held by the Ministry of Health at 11 am, The Minister of Health reports that 370 samples tested and sixty (60) positive. He urged individuals to use the COVID-19 Hotline - 877-WELL.
Update - Tuesday, 24th March 2020: The Ministry of Health reports the following:
Update - Monday, 23rd March 2020: Tobago confirmed its first case of COVID-19 today bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 52 in Trinidad and Tobago.
Media conference - COVID-19 held today at 2 pm. key highlights:
- Testing will be expanded to the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex (EWMSC) where a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) machine will be validated by CARPHA to supplement testing efforts.
- An additional PCR machine will be placed at the Trinidad Public Health Laboratory to assist in expanding testing by the end of the week.
- Citizens are being urged to not send their samples to private labs who claim to be doing rapid COVID-19 tests. These private labs are not equipped with PCR machines and therefore the results will be inaccurate.
- The Trinidad and Tobago Police Service ‘555′ Hotline will be dedicated to taking calls related to persons breaching the public health ordinance.
- A Salary Relief Grant will be provided to citizens who have lost income as a result of the impact of COVID-19. They will have access to $1500 per month over a three-month period from the National Insurance Board.
- Food Card support of $510.00 per month for three months for households where a family member was retrenched, terminated or income reduced during this period.
- The Government will pay all persons who are owed income tax refunds of $20,000 or less next week.
- VAT refunds to be paid to people owned up to $250,000 in March. Payment of VAT Bonds will begin next month.
- The Trinidad and Tobago Mortgage Finance and Home Mortgage Bank to begin payment deferrals for three months in the first instance.
- Government will provide $100 million to the Credit Union movement to allow them to provide loans to their members at favourable interest rates with a long repayment period beginning after the situation normalises.
- Government will provide $50 million as part of a grant facility for Tobago hoteliers to upgrade their premises. Government will also supplement the THA’s Enterprise Development Facility with up to an additional $5 million
- All permanent residence and citizenship interviews will be suspended until further notice. All applicants will be contacted with new dates of appointments. Persons who were unable to leave Trinidad and Tobago by 22nd March, those whose landing certificates may have expired or those whose certificates will expire by 30th April, will be granted an extension of stay until June 22nd 2020.
- Rental Assistance for up to $2500.00 per month for an initial period of three months for persons who have been retrenched, terminated or if the household income was reduced as a result of the impact of COVID-19.
The Ministry reports that there are now 51 confirmed cases within Trinidad and Tobago.
Update - Sunday, 22nd March 2020: Public Health (2019 Novel Coronavirus [2019-nCoV]) (NO. 3) Regulations, 2020
For the purposes of controlling and preventing the spread of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), it shall be an offence, during the period specified in regulation 5(b), for any person–
(a) to conduct the business of a bar, whether or not the person is a licensed person under the Liquor Licences Act;
(b) to operate a club as defined in section 2 of the Registration of Clubs Act;
(c) to operate a theatre licensed under the Cinematograph Act;
(d) to operate a common gaming house or betting office licensed under the Gambling and Betting Act;
(e) to conduct religious or ecclesiastical services or any other religious gatherings where the number of persons participating therein exceeds ten; or
(f) to provide the amenity of seated dining at a restaurant to any customer.
These regulations shall expire on 30 April 2020 unless revoked earlier.
Update - Saturday, 21st March 2020: Message #3 from the CEO
Update - Saturday, 21st March 2020: At a media conference, The Minister of Health just announced that there are forty (40) new cases of COVID-19 in T&T . Thus, this brings the total number of confirmed cases to forty-nine (49). The additional 40 cases, were nationals who returned to T&T from a Caribbean cruise on March 18th 2020.
All 49 persons are currently in Quarantine.
Update - Friday, 20th March 2020:
Update - Thursday, 19th March 2020: Legal Notice No. 54 below which indicates that for the purposes of controlling and preventing the spread of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, it shall be an offence for any person to conduct the business of a bar, to operate as a club or to provide seated dining at a restaurant.
This will be in effect for the period 21st March 2020 to 31st July 2020.
Ministry of Communications Fact Sheets
Update - Thursday, 19th March 2020: At a media conference held at 1:15 pm, the Minister of Health, Terrence Deyalsingh advised that media releases on COVID-19 positive or negative cases will now be released twice per day at 10 am. and 4 pm. respectively.
- The Ministry of Health announced a policy change for media releases on persons who have tested positive for COVID-19 in Trinidad and Tobago. These media releases will now be issued at 10:00 am and 4:00 pm daily. Minister of Health, the Hon Terrence Deyalsingh indicated that previously information was shared as soon as it was received, however due to complaints from the media, it will now be sent at set times.
- Trinidad and Tobago’s response to managing COVID-19 is being used as a model in other countries.
- The Government will be taking legislation to the parliament to regulate the Public Health Ordinance which allows the Minister of Health to make regulations to stop the opening of bars and restrict in-house dining during the 14-day ban.
- The Ministry of Health urges citizens to take care of their mental health during this time, especially people who have been placed on self-isolation.
- Citizens are being urged to be responsible on social media.
- Patient confidentiality remains a priority
- National Security Minister Stuart Young said the Chaguaramas Development Authority has decided to close access to beaches in Chaguaramas (Macqueripe, Williams Bay and Chagville).
Update - Wednesday 18th March 2020: At a media conference held at 1:30 pm, the Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Rowley advises that irresponsibility will not be tolerated and access to Caura, River limes will be restricted. He thanked the health workers and security services for their co-operation.
He asks (1) banks defer mortgages and loans for the period April to May, (2) asks businesses not to reduce workforce in this time of crisis , (3) ask HDC, TTMF to defer mortgages/ rental dues for the period April to May 2020.
He further started that (1) the government will make more forex available to businesses (2) SEA exams to be held later in the month of May (3) recommend no more than 10 persons to gather.
Minister of Finance, Mr. Colm Imbert stated that (1) repo rate reduced to 3.5% (2) prime lending rate will drop to 6% (3) Banks to implement skipper payment on loans to all customers in the first instance for one month. (4) credit card interest rates to reduce by 10 % points.
- Government to determine whether it can revoke the licenses of bars that do not adhere to the 14-day ban.
- Local Government Corporations have been asked to restrict access to rivers across the country.
- The Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) and other regional exams are postponed to a date to be announced.
- The Government has asked the Housing Development Corporation and The Trinidad and Tobago Mortgage Finance Company Ltd. to defer rental and mortgage payments for one month in the first instance.
- Commercial banks have agreed to provide all customers with the option to skip a payment for a month on loans and mortgages. During this time penalties are to be waived, and interest rates to be reduced to 10% points on credit cards.
- To reduce the lending rate, Central Bank has reduced the reserve requirement of commercial banks from 17% to 14%.
- The allocation of Foreign Exchange to be increased for the purchase of essential items such as pharmaceuticals and basic food items.
- Government to increase social services grants and the number of available food cards. Students currently under the School Feeding Programme will be absorbed under the food card programme.
- The Government to prioritise its payment of debt to businesses to facilitate job preservation.
- Today 24,695 pieces of Personal Protection Equipment (goggles, face masks, gowns) were delivered to NIPDEC for health care workers.
- Tobago will not be left behind as an allocation will be available to Tobago to assist hoteliers. The Ministers of Trade, Tourism and Finance will also travel to Tobago this week to assess the situation.
- Gatherings of ten or more people should be avoided to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
- The Government extended a special thank you to healthcare workers, security services and the heads of the business communities who continue to work during this period.
In addition, Social Support Strategies for vulnerable persons affected by COVID-19
Update - Tuesday 17th March 2020 : The Ministry of Health, Trinidad and Tobago, advises the population of two new confirmed cases.
Update - Tuesday 17th March 2020 : Message #2 from the CEO
March 17 2020
MESSAGE FROM OUR CEO – COVID-19 EMERGENCY RESPONSE
On behalf of everyone at Amalgamated Security Services Limited, our hearts go out to all those who’ve been affected by COVID-19. Our focus is, as always, on the health and safety of our employees, customers and communities.
The situation is changing rapidly, and to do our part in slowing the spread of the virus, please note the following:
- Telecommuting policy effective from March 17, 2020. The Human Resource Dept. will communicate more details.
- Individuals on vacation leave for foreign travel can reschedule within 12 months
- Individuals on approved leave can proceed on leave but bear in mind that they may be called in for crisis response.
- Initiate virtual meetings using technology based platforms. No physical meetings with more than 5 persons.
- No inter-department movement (stay in your zone)
- No children at workplace
- Pay attention to physical HSE signs and guidelines
- Maintain watch on ASSL Corporate site [https://www.assl.com]for RESPONSIBLE updates, preventive measures, etc.
- Practice health rules at home as well
- Report any need for cleansing beyond what is available to HSE Dept.
- Stay away and report sick if you have flu-like symptoms
- Notify HSE immediately if you have been told by official personnel to quarantine
- Do not stay away from work if you are not sick
- Wash your hands frequently.
- We realize that individuals practice unconscious habits. Highlighted below are some of those habits:
- Wiping your mouth with your hands after eating. It is advised not to touch your face with unwashed hands since pathogens (bacteria, virus or other microorganism) picked up by your bare hands can enter your body through the eyes, nose and mouth.
- Picking food from between your teeth with your finger or fingernails.
- Rubbing your eyes with bare or unwashed hands.
- Opening restroom doors with your bare hands. It is advised that you use a hand towel to open public restroom doors after washing your hands with soap and water.
- Shaking hands upon meeting. We advise you to avoid physical contact (hugs, handshakes, kissing etc.) when greeting each other. If you need to acknowledge someone’s presence, it is advisable to follow the Japanese style of bowing or waving to the person.
- Making cash payments. Paper currency is very dirty. You should therefore avoid making cash payments and, if possible, use your bank debit card. If handling cash is unavoidable, clean your hands with soap and water, a hand sanitizer or rubbing alcohol.
- Eating at shared tables. It is recommended that you clean any shared table you plan to eat at with a mild disinfecting solution.
- Not regularly cleaning your cell phone. The Coronavirus can exist on the glass surface of your cell phone. We recommend using your phone on speaker or through a headset or earbuds whenever possible. Use a 70 percent isopropyl alcohol wipe or Clorox Disinfecting Wipes, to gently wipe the hard, nonporous surfaces of your cell phone, such as the display, keyboard, or other exterior surfaces. Do not use bleach. Avoid getting moisture in any opening, and do not submerge your cell phone in any cleaning agents.
- Placing your cell phone on counters or tables in public places. It is advised to keep your phone on your person rather than placing it on a shared surface.
- Not disinfecting work surfaces before you use them.
Most importantly, you should share all COVID-19 prevention actions with the other members of your family to prevent the spread of the virus. There is no question this is a time of great uncertainty. While we don’t know exactly what the future may hold, we feel confident that by sticking together and supporting each other, we’ll emerge from this stronger than before.
Thank you for your loyalty
Chief Executive Officer
Update - Tuesday 17th March 2020
Update - Tuesday 17th March 2020 : Ministry of Communications Fact Sheets
Update - Monday 16th March 2020 - At a media conference today the Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley advised that (1)non-nationals will not be allowed entry into Trinidad and Tobago for the next 14 days (2) all bars to closed (3) all gatherings over 25 restricted (4) all schools to remain closed until April 20th 2020 (5) borders will be closed from midnight tomorrow. He warned the public to stop congregating and do not travel now.
Update - Sunday 15th March 2020
Update - Sunday 15th March 2020 - The Ministry of Health advises of two more confirmed cases of COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease.
Update - Sunday 15th March 2020- UPDATE: GUIDELINES FOR EMPLOYERS/EMPLOYEES FOR COVID-19
1) Children are not to be at workplaces/compound/vehicle etc.
2) All parents are encouraged to use support systems (babysitter, family, etc.)
3) Employers are to implement remote work policies.
4) Employers are to explore options of shift work/ or rostering.
5) One parent is encouraged to stay at home and look after the child or children.
6) If work arrangements can’t be made, the employee is to stay at home and can’t be penalized or not be paid in such an instance.
7) If you are not genuinely sick don’t stay away from work.
8) Pandemic leave for Public Officers (contract or not), fixed terms employees, short term, OJT, officeholders who are with service commission, freelancers, persons employed less than a year, daily paid, etc.
9) Mechanisms in place for Public officers with no more sick leave can get an extension of sick leave with full pay.
10) Minister of Labour advises private employers with the union to seek guidance with respect to sick leave clearance for employees who need Pandemic leave. If there is no union. seek guidance from the Ministry (Conciliation Advisory and Advocacy Division). 299 0300 ext 2043, 2124.
#COVID19 #Guidelines #MinistryOfLabour #TTT
Ministry of Labour and Small Enterprise Development
Update - #22 Ministry of Health
Update - Saturday, 14th March 2020: Message from the CEO
March 14, 2020
MESSAGE FROM OUR CEO – COVID-19 EMERGENCY RESPONSE PLAN
The safety and health of our employees, clients, contractors and suppliers remain our top priorities in the current situation of the worldwide pandemic. At Amalgamated Security Services (ASSL), our response action involves full implementation of its EMERGENCY RESPONSE PLAN – PANDEMIC INFLUENZA PREPAREDNESS & RESPONSE PROCEDURE. We are actively monitoring the Covid-19 virus (Novel Coronavirus) situation in our region and we are taking the necessary steps to protect the safety and health of our employees, our customers and contractors, and their clients.
We would like to highlight a few precautions that we are taking:
- Educating all employees on Covid-19 Virus (Novel Coronavirus) to increase awareness and sensitize them to precautionary measures.
- Taking control measures to prevent the virus from entering all ASSL locations.
- Limiting the spread of the virus by protecting healthy employees from potential sick employees/visitors/customers who may carry the virus.
- Supporting any action taken by the Government and its Ministries on their initiatives in preventing/containing the virus outbreak.
- Limiting the spread of the virus to clients, contractors and their customers, by requesting that any ASSL employee who shows up for work at your business place with flu-like symptoms, be immediately reported to our hotline 330-1133/681-7711 or to your responsible Customer Representative/Liaison/Account Executive or Human Resource Support Manager-Lenore Baptiste-Hernandez at 730-3269/335-4843.
- PPE and sanitizing agents for officers conducting searches and handling access control equipment.
- Specific to service delivery:
- All transport vehicles are being sanitized before and after use with notices placed in vehicles for all passengers/employees
- All equipment that is being used for service delivery eg. guns, metal detectors, etc. are being carefully sanitized before and after handling
We are aware of the seriousness of the Covid-19 situation and wish to assure you that Amalgamated Security will continue to take the necessary steps to ensure the safety and security of our employees, our clients and their employees and, our contractors, while maintaining business operations and ensuring minimal disruption to our service delivery as we have reserve staff on standby to meet our commitments.
Chief Executive Officer
Update - Saturday, 14th March 2020: Media conference held at 4:10 pm with the Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh, Minister of National Security Stuart Young, Minister of Communications Donna Cox and Dr. Trotman.
Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh advised the public that (1) visiting hours at hospitals will be reduced to one session [i.e between 4pm and 6pm., further to this, only one visitor will be allowed per patient for the exception where health professionals decide at their discretion. (2) Pediatric wards, only parents and legal guardians will be allowed to stay with children at the pediatric wards. (3) Couva hospital and Caura hospital have been isolated to deal with COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease (4) Port of Spain, Sangre Grande, San Fernando will be equipped with an isolation room for persons exhibiting symptoms. and (5) if necessary the Arima hospital will become another point for isolating COVID-19 patients (6) Only travel where it is absolutely necessary.
Minister of Stuart Young advised that (1) individuals who have traveled should self isolate themselves. (2) avoid mass gatherings, (3) Do not cause panic and (4) practice social distancing.
Update - How to keep your phone sanitized to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Click the link to learn:
Update - Friday, 13th March 2020: The Ministry of Health, Trinidad and Tobago, advises of the country's second confirmed case of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Update - Friday, 13th March 2020 Prime Minister Dr. the Hon Keith Rowley made the announcement whilst in Parliament that effective tomorrow all places of learning inclusive of schools and universities will remain closed for one week, in the first instance, in order to slow the potential spread of COVID-19.
Thursday, 12th March 2020 the Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh confirmed the first case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Trinidad and Tobago. The announcement was made via a news conference at the Ministry of Health.
Amalgamated Security Services Limited is proactively taking steps to safeguard our workforce. The organization has activated its Crisis Management and Business Continuity Plan for Pandemic Influenza. As part of our measures for monitoring and keeping employees and clients abreast of the global COVID-19 outbreak confirmed as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO), we will be providing updates and guidance on preparing your workplace including preventive steps to safeguard our workforce and clients regionally.
We urge each one of you to practice hygiene and to visit our page frequently for updates.
Coronavirus Resources - NSC
Cases of coronavirus, or COVID-19, have surpassed 117,000 worldwide, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University, with more than 800 cases in the United States. The National Safety Council is committed to sharing relevant resources to help keep our members, our instructors and the public informed about this rapidly developing situation. This page will be updated as new information becomes available. [ref. National Safety Council Page]
To keep abreast of updates and guidelines for preparing workplaces for COVID-19, kindly click the link:
Additionally, view the special webinar on - Coronavirus: What You Need to Know below:
- Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19
- Infographic from CDC