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T&T cricketers caught in travel jam

Currently Trinidad and Tobago have a number of athletes competing in events around the world and while the recently imposed travel restrictions may not affect most of them, it will have a direct impact on others.

T&T’s Anisa Mohammed and Karishma Ramharack are both with the West Indies women’s cricket team in Zimbabwe for the ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifiers, which were abandoned early yesterday due to the travel uncertainty concerning the new Covid-19 variant, Omicron, which has been detected in parts of southern Africa.

Mohammed is the vice-captain of the West Indies team, while Ramharack was part of the travelling reserves.

In a T&T Covid-19 health and travel advisory update yesterday, the Ministry of Health said that given the emergence of the new “variant of concern,” the government has imposed travel restrictions on persons coming from Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

While T&T nationals who have travelled to those countries within a 14-day period will be allowed to return to the country, they will have to undergo a mandatory 14-day state supervised quarantine with the traveller bearing the associated costs.

Fielding questions from the media during the MOH Covid Briefing yesterday, Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh said a balance will have to be struck as they continue to respond to the evolving state of affairs related to the pandemic.

Asked about the returning T&T players, Deyalsingh said: “The members of the team, the Trinidadians returning here, we will work with their respective agencies, (because) they are on national duty, to see what arrangements can be made for them.”

The travel ban could also have an impact on T&T’s hosting of 22 matches in the ICC Under-19 World Cup in January. Under-19 teams from South Africa and Zimbabwe are due to travel to Trinidad for the World Cup and the Minister was asked if special exemptions will be made to accommodate those teams.

“Same thing will apply to other teams. We will work closely with the Ministry of Sport and their governing bodies to see what arrangements they can make, but understand the Omicron poses a new threat to Trinidad and Tobago and the world and we have to respond and balance all of these things,” Deyalsingh said.

“So thanks for raising the issue but it is already engaging our attention,” he added.

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