COViD - Tobago closes down again

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Paul Tallet
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COViD - Tobago closes down again

Post by Paul Tallet »

Having seen the number of cases more than double in recent weeks Tobago has shut down again 'hopefully for the short term'.

No flights will be allowed in.

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Re: COViD - Tobago closes down again

Post by SueShard »

I completely understand but so sad, as we miss Tobago. We’ll be back as soon as it’s possible and it will be at some point! Just got to hang in there.
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Re: COViD - Tobago closes down again

Post by Paul Tallet »

If schools are 'likely' to be closed until 31st December, that indicates the possible fate of the tourist high season for 2020/21.

The April spike, I understand, was caused mostly by repatriation. T&T crushed it with very strict but effective measures. This second spike has trebled the case count. I have a Trini friend who was stuck in the UK since February and was repatriated on 8th August so this could be the cause again although I am aware that a number of Venezuelans seeking citizenship in T&T could be part of the problem in addition to illegal immigrants.

Some blame appears to be directed at the relaxing of restrictions during the elections ... hmmm ... I don't know.

It's the same the world over ... prematurely easing restrictions and then having to pay a potentially higher price.

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Re: COViD - Tobago closes down again

Post by PaulMakin »

There are still very few community acquired cases and it is, as Paul notes, returnees bringing the virus with them.

Quarantine for returnees is rigid, organised and mandatory but inevitably some cases slipped by. Reports of community infections caused by irresponsible actions have, to date, proven largely unfounded but some people have been engaging in risk taking behaviours and the roll back of the restrictions was relatively swift and seemingly proportionate (given the success of the previous interventions), in my opinion of course !

Paul
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Re: COViD - Tobago closes down again

Post by Paul Tallet »

Hello Paul

The Dodo has been described as a very stupid bird and that is why some theorise that it is now extinct.

I see a link here to the methods that various Governments are using to handle the pandemic and protect their populations. There is no world order and there are variations according to which country you are in, despite the weak WHO's efforts.

Right now in the UK you can meet anyone in a restaurant but you cannot visit them in their home #-o. Also, we are getting used to the 'with effect from (date) you cannot ...', which implies that you can carry on going around infecting people until the new rule comes into effect.

T&T did very well with their very strict measures and they are starting to re-impose those measures having relaxed ... too soon?!? But it seems likely that the recent repatriations have spoiled the good work.

Ironically, T&T is now on the UK's quarantine blacklist with the UK having contributed to the repatriation to an unknown degree.

Can you imagine what would happen if tourists from around the world were allowed to visit T&T?

I know it will hurt (and I won't like it either) but T&T need a tourist origin blacklist at the very least or a complete ban on foreign visitors until the pandemic is well over, not just in T&T ... but everywhere.

Without a vaccine this is a longer term issue.

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Re: COViD - Tobago closes down again

Post by Hugh S »

I would be happy to quarantine for 2 or 3 or 6 weeks . . . but my situation is different as we have a home to go to.

But it is all just a dream because I am from the very worst Dodo country and am rightfully blacklisted.

I will keep dreaming . . .

Hugh 8)
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Re: COViD - Tobago closes down again

Post by CTDA Castara Tourism »

CONDOR: May I ask that people write to condor as I did !
They responded within the hour and my letter was copied to the board, i.e. those responsible for flight schedules and planning!!
My letter below:
"To: [email protected]
Betreff: Tobago?

Dear Condor

You are no longer showing Tobago in your schedule?
The Condor flights have been essential for the many travellers who wish to visit our island which we now call home!
German citizens love Tobago for what it is , an island Paradise not an overpriced resort island. Without Condor the tourism ‘industry’ will find it very hard to exist and the many European travellers will lose the opportunity to see what has become the ‘jewel in the crown’ !
Please reconsider the decision to cease flying to Tobago!

Chris Runciman"
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Re: COViD - Tobago closes down again

Post by Steve Wooler »

Hear, hear, Chris. I will certainly do this myself. Hopefully others will read your post and do the same. Fingers crossed!
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Re: COViD - Tobago closes down again

Post by Paul Tallet »

Has Condor just ceased bookings for Tobago only because of the lockdown?

If we look at the other side of the coin, BA are taking flight bookings which is also a matter of concern. I appreciate that they are a business and they need to keep trading but if the flight is cancelled from new bookings due to powers outside BA's control (i.e.; Tobago is still refusing visitors) then BA can say they are not responsible and you may not get a refund. In addition, other means of compensation or insurance may not cover the loss.

On a more positive note, T&T are reportedly increasing flights between the Islands from 2 to 6 per day and reopening the Buccoo Marine Park ... see this link ... https://newsday.co.tt/2020/10/11/tobago ... coo-tours/

A step in the hopeful direction. I also see that the recent COViD outbreak in T&T is reducing ... we shall see.

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Re: COViD - Tobago closes down again

Post by Steve Wooler »

Hi Paul

Nothing official has been posted yet, but my latest information is that they have basically dropped the service whilst the borders are closed. I appreciate the difficulties all these airlines are facing, but accepting payment for flights/bookings that may never be able to go ahead and then subjecting the customer to the hassle and delay whilst trying to get a refund is almost nothing short of criminal in my opinion.

Anyway, Condor are clearly being more honest about it and so have 'dropped' the service until the situation clears. I understand that when the T&T border open to flights and overseas visitors, the service (which is shared with Grenada) will resume. Fingers crossed that this will be soon, although I'm not holding my breath.

Cheers
Steve
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Re: COViD - Tobago closes down again

Post by Chris Runciman »

I think you will find that the boats can go out to Nylon Pool but you have to stay on the boat! Err?
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Re: COViD - Tobago closes down again

Post by Paul Tallet »

HaHaHa ... i guess we must protect the fish from COViD ... we wouldn't want a rogue snorkeler infecting the beautiful coral fish would we?

But I wonder if, in this relatively short time, there has been any rejuvenation of the coral gardens anywhere in Tobago as a result of less tourism.

I sense that nature has everything to gain from the absence of human interaction.

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Re: COViD - Tobago closes down again

Post by Paul Tallet »

Bad news ... I received a notification today from BA stating that the flights I booked last January for December are cancelled ... by BA.

This means that BA can refund my flight, because they have cancelled it. They offered vouchers but we said 'Nah ... give us the money'.

We are speculating on whether Tobago will open it's doors from January 2021. It may do, it may not. I see that the cases and deaths are reducing but I would be surprised if Tobago opens it's doors to tourists from the worst affected areas in the world such as the UK, Europe and the US, especially when we consider that the second wave for T&T from early August was caused mostly due to the repatriation of T&T citizens.

I know some will disagree as some blame illegal immigrants and others blame the relaxation for the sake of the recent elections.

I posted my concerns a while back on BA's practice of offering flights to Tobago, while not knowing if Tobago will open it's doors. BA is still doing this. This is in the knowledge that any fights booked now will not be refunded by BA if it is out of their control i.e.; Tobago won't let them fly in.
The prices are also very tempting at about £450 per person (return).

Just to reassure customers, there is a link on the BA website to Allainz, an Insurer that BA say cover flights cancelled due to a pandemic and yes, they do. They also refer to the terms and conditions and, representing 0.5% of the UK population that takes the trouble to read these things, I read them and they state that claims would not be paid if the insured travels to a destination against the advice of their Government.

The UK Government's advisory regarding Trinidad & Tobago advises against travel to T&T due to the Pandemic since 26th October and it is still in effect as of today, 6th November.

Money for old rope for BA I would say, knowing that they don't have to pay refunds if Tobago stays closed. And why offer staggeringly low prices for flights that would have less occupancy due to social distancing rules?

So my advice is to keep an eye on the UK Government's link (above) and don't book anything until they give the all-clear ... it could be a long time before this is lifted.

One other little conspiracy theory I have is why China, being the alleged origin of this pandemic and one of the highest populations in the world has only had 80,000 cases when the US is approaching 10 million, India about 8 million and the UK with over 1 million, not to mention the carnage in Europe ... what has happened?

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Re: COViD - Tobago closes down again

Post by mmclimbhigh »

Greetings and Happy New Year!

As many others have done, we had to reschedule our 2020 holiday to Tobago to this year, 2021. Our trip is planned for the first week of March 2021. We plan to spend two weeks kiteboarding, windsurfing, and liming. But, as the time approaches, it is looking like foreign travelers are still barred from coming. Do you guys have any insight with regard to border openings? With only two months to go, it seems as though the borders will still be closed in March. Let me know what you guys think. Thanks for your help.

Be safe and stay well
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Re: COViD - Tobago closes down again

Post by Steve Wooler »

Hi

Greetings and Happy New Year to you (and all our readers) too. Let's hope that 2021 will give us reason to hope that some degree of normality might return.

Up until mid-December, many of us were expecting/hoping for an announcement around the end of 2020 indicating that the borders might be opened by the start of March. However, given the events of recent weeks, both in North America, the UK and elsewhere, I think the chances of that are receding by the minute. To be frank, they would be mad to accept visitors from North America or the UK, in particular. Personally, I don't see any chance of them opening the borders until at least Easter.

So, far be it from me to screw your vacation plans, but if I was you, I would be doing my best to cancel my plans as I really don't think there will be any chance of getting into Tobago in March.
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Re: COViD - Tobago closes down again

Post by Hugh S »

Happy New Year to all!

Sadly, I have to agree with Steve about the slim chances of reopening by March - especially to visitors from the US and the UK.

On the bright side, most tickets now are fully refundable and date flexible. I'm still trusting AA with a whole lot of air miles from our cancelled trip last Easter.

8)
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Re: COViD - Tobago closes down again

Post by mmclimbhigh »

Thank you for the speedy reply. Yes, I assumed this was the case. I have been in contact with Brett from Radical Sports and he echoed this sentiment as well. It is very unfortunate, but completely understandable. My thoughts go out to the tourist community/industry on the Island. The financial and emotional impact must be devastating. I hope everyone can hang in there a little longer?! Be patient, kind, and respectful. We'll get through this! Be well.

Cheers,
MM
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Re: COViD - Tobago closes down again

Post by Steve Wooler »

Here, here and I totally second that emotion. =D>
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Re: COViD - Tobago closes down again

Post by Chris Runciman »

The only places to get information from are the U.K. Gov sites or by listening and watching the regular online TT Gov updates. They have question and answer broadcasts with Well informed people like the chief medical officer, the PM or the Chief of Police and National Security etc. The phrase ‘ I heard It from etc is gossip, FB ‘experts’! It is gossip and can cause problems.
Get information from the source. We are all waiting for the border to open but the TT Gov are protecting the populace .
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Re: COViD - Tobago closes down again

Post by Paul Tallet »

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-55588798

The above link indicates confirmation of my observation in my post dated 14th October 2020 on this forum.

BA are still accepting bookings for flights and holidays in the Caribbean despite having no knowledge of when or if the Caribbean destinations will allow tourists to visit.

I would urge everyone to avoid bookings with ANY tour operator until (1) the destination is allowing tourists to visit and (2) their respective Government Foreign Office lifts it's COVID advisories on visiting the destination.

BA have no liability to you if you book a holiday or flight and the country of destination refuses entry ... that is out of BA's control.

In addition, BA are recommending an Insurance Company on their website that they endorse because it covers COViD related claims.

The small print on this Insurance Policy excludes cover for COViD related claims where you booked or attempted to depart to the destination at a time when Government advice was not to go for COViD reasons.

In my opinion, this is poor business practice by BA when it is understood that other travel operators (such as Condor) are NOT accepting bookings to Tobago.

This is not to suggest that BA are trying to screw you out of your money but it maintains their cashflow. Where BA themselves have cancelled flights and holidays they are refunding these ... but they may, at any point, decide not to and await the decline from the destination which would cancel BA's liability and that of your Travel Insurance.

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