On 12 March, the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago recorded its first case of COVID-19. It was a 52-year-old man who had recently been to Switzerland. He was self-isolated before he began experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. Contact tracing for the passengers of the patient's flight is being conducted.
On 13 March, a second case of COVID-19 was recorded by Trinidad and Tobago. The patient, a 66-year-old male with an unknown travel history, presented himself at a health facility and was soon isolated. Others who may have been exposed to the patient are also being quarantined.
Two more cases were confirmed on the night of 15 March, bringing the total to 4 cases.
On March 21, 40 more cases were confirmed. Sixty eight (68) nationals left for a 7-day cruise on the Caribbean sea on March 5. After a suspected outbreak of COVID-19 on board, the Costa Favolosa was forced to anchor off the coast of Guadeloupe for several days. The nationals returned to Trinidad and Tobago on March 17 via a chartered flight from Guadeloupe. They were immediately screened and tested at Piarco International Airport and later taken to a quarantine facility. On March 21 it was confirmed that 40 of the 68 persons that were quarantined tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 49.
On the 25th of March, COVID-19 claimed its first victim in Trinidad.
He was a seventy-seven-year-old male with known pre-existing medical conditions.
On the 26th of March, the second reported COVID-19 death was an eighty-year-old male with pre-existing medical conditions. He was among the rescued cruise ship passengers quarantined at Camp Balandra. The Ministry of Health also reported that one of the patients who tested positive, was quarantined and treated has since been discharged.
Health Minister Terrance Deyalsingh, announced that Trinidad and Tobago had decided to implement restrictions on persons traveling from China. Persons who are living or who have visited China, will be barred from entering Trinidad and Tobago unless they had already been out of China 14 days prior to attempting to travel to Trinidad & Tobago. Travellers whose flights originate from Italy, South Korea, Singapore, Japan, Iran, Germany, Spain, and France are also to be restricted. On 16 March, Prime MinisterKeith Rowley announced that the country will close its borders to everyone except Trinidad and Tobago nationals and health workers for the next 14 days. Additionally, bars were to be closed and the school closures extended until 20 April. The closure will come into effect by midnight on 17 March.
On 13 March, Rowley announced that schools and universities would be closed across the nation for one week due to the coronavirus fears. On 16 March, the closure was extended until 20 April.
Restrictions were put in place with regards to prisons nationwide. BPTT closed their offices in their response to the coronavirus. Deyalsingh said there were 3,000 test kits in Trinidad as of 16 March and 1000 more would be coming. Labour Minister Jennifer Baptiste-Primus announced that pandemic leave would be made available to workers with children. On March 21, National Security Minister Stuart Young announced the closure of all borders to everyone (including nationals & non nationals) effective midnight on Sunday 22 March. He said no international flights would be allowed to enter the country.
However, cargo vessels bringing food and pharmaceuticals into the country would be allowed entry.