Airports Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (AATT) employees at the ANR Robinson International Airport and workers from other agencies on the compound – 178 in total – are expected to be tested for covid19 on Wednesday.
The mass testing comes after two Airports Authority employees in Tobago died of covid19 in the past week. Newsday understands it will be rapid covid19 tests administered, so there would be no mandatory 14-days quarantine.
In a release on Sunday, Airports Authority general manager Hayden Newton expressed his condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of the employees.
He said: “As we deeply mourn the loss of our employees, the authority continues to apply strict health and safety measures as guided by the Ministry of Health at both the Piarco and ANR Robinson International Airport.”
He said all applicable covid19 measures continue to be in force, adding that all identified offices have been closed for thorough sanitisation and disinfection of workspaces.
The THA Division of Health, he said, is leading the contact tracing process and primary and secondary contacts have been identified and mandated to self-quarantine at home.
“Out of an abundance of caution, we have reached out to the Division of Health, and they have agreed to conduct covid19 testing of all members of staff at the ANR Robinson International Airport on Wednesday. The authority has also arranged with the health authorities to give our frontline airport employees high priority with respect to vaccinations. We are making every effort to encourage our members of staff to take the vaccine.”
He said airport stakeholders have been asked to increase vigilance and strengthen all health and safety protocols.
He said the authority continues to provide Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) support and counselling for all staff who have been seriously affected by the sudden loss of their colleagues.
He said the airport safety standards continue to meet international best practice and continue to train and promote a culture of safety among the employees.
Newton said all airport users must continue to adhere to the protocols.
“Face masks are required into the terminals and must be worn at all points throughout the terminal building. Temperature screening takes place at all entrances, at international arrivals and before security checkpoints. Distance seating, signage and floor markers have been installed to guide physical distancing of airport users. Increased hand sanitisation stations are available throughout the terminal buildings. Physical distancing of passengers is required at all times.”
He added: “We will now have 25 per cent occupancy of all company vehicles – no more than two persons would be allowed to travel in company cars at a time, and windows must be left down and air conditioning in vehicles must be left off. Where applicable and as much as possible, members of staff must come to the offices only when absolutely mandatory. Members of staff should not visit other offices unless absolutely necessary. Practice social distancing and do not congregate in offices.”