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Trinidad Agrees to Provide Better Facilities at Airport for Visitors Refused Entry

Trinidad International Airport

Trinidad International Airport

A special area at Trinidad and Tobago’s Piarco International Airport will be retrofitted to accommodate people refused entry to the twin-island republic.

That’s what Jamaica’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Kamina Johnson-Smith says her counterpart in Trinidad and Tobago, Dennis Moses, has indicated in a letter to her, following weeks of discussions triggered by immigration officials’ refusal of entry to a group of Jamaicans in March.

She said Moses also indicated that from June this year, his government would begin customer service training for immigration officials and others who interact with visitors denied entry into the country.

“I not only had several discussions with my counterpart in Trinidad, Senator David Moses, but I was able to meet with him in the margins of the UNGASS [United Nations General Assembly Special Session] Meeting in New York…He has now committed to retrofitting an appropriate area within the Piarco Airport by July of this year, to ensure they are able to more effectively treat with Jamaicans, and all nationals as a matter of fact, who use the Piarco Airport and who are denied entry,” Johnson-Smith told Parliament yesterday.

There is currently no accommodation specifically for persons who are awaiting flights back home after being refused entry. They are usually kept in the airport’s departure area.

“There were no bathroom facilities, etcetera, so it was not a dignified setting,” said the Jamaica foreign minister. “There will now be a designated area retrofitted to provide dignified and private accommodation for persons required to stay overnight, who are going to be returned.”

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