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COVID-19 Legal Update: New Regulations Issued

On the 7th April, 2020, the Public Health [2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)] (No. 7) Regulations 2020 were revoked and replaced by the Public Health [2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)] (No. 8) Regulations 2020 (‘Regulation No. 8’). Regulation No. 8 serves to impose restrictions to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.

These Regulations have effect from 7th April 2020 to 30th April 2020. A breach of the provisions of Regulation No. 8 is punishable by a fine of up to fifty thousand dollars and imprisonment of up to six months.

The changes to the local framework by Regulation No. 8 are:

(1) An extension of the previous restrictions on public transport, essential businesses, specifically prohibited business, public gatherings, and the closure of the sea and airports until 30th April 2020.
(2) The prohibition of the opening of any premises relative to a spirit retailer licence, a wine retailer licence, a restaurant licence, or a wine merchant licence except if such premises is a discount store, a market, or a supermarket.
(3) The removal of take away and delivery food services from the list of ‘essential’ businesses.
(4) The prohibition of street vending of food and beverages and all retail food services (including restaurants, in-house dining, delivery, and take-away services) except discount stores, markets, supermarkets, fruit stalls or shops, vegetable stalls or shops, bakeries and “parlours”.
(5) Restrictions in opening hours of certain businesses:

– Hardware stores – from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon Monday to Saturday;

– Retail food services – up to 6:00 p.m. every day;

– Wholesale food services – up to 4:00 p.m. every day; and

– Pharmacies – up to 8:00 p.m. every day.

(6) A reduction in the size of permitted religious gatherings from 10 to 5.
(7) The requirement that where a private medical laboratory tests a person for the 2019 Novel Coronavirus and the result of that test is positive, the private laboratory and the person tested shall report to and forward the test result to the Chief Medical Officer and the applicable Regional Health Authority. This applies notwithstanding the fact that there are currently no private medical laboratories approved by the Caribbean Public Health Agency for testing for the 2019 Novel Coronavirus.

A summary of all measures currently in force in Trinidad and Tobago to combat the Covid-19 pandemic are available in our Covid-19 Legal Update post.


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