Ask the Consul — June 2020

Question: I am a U.S. citizen currently in Trinidad and Tobago who planned to stay here during the COVID-19 crisis but never expected it to last this long. With the U.S. Embassy closed, where can I go to get correct and up to date information about local conditions?

Answer:  We recognize this has been a challenging period for many Americans attempting to return home after the border closure associated with the COVID-19 global health pandemic. We strongly encourage U.S. citizens residing in Trinidad and Tobago to register with the Embassy’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, https://step.state.gov/step/ , which is commonly referred to as “STEP.” Enrollment is free and easy. By enrolling in the STEP program, you will receive important updates about the safety and security conditions in country. You will also receive alerts from the Embassy in the event of an emergency, whether a natural disaster, civil unrest, or a family emergency. STEP is also a method by which we alert U.S. citizens about planned repatriation flights back to the United States. Your enrollment will also allow us to send reminders about other important issues such as voting, tax filing deadlines, and Town Hall gatherings for U.S. citizens residing in Trinidad and Tobago.

Though the U.S. Embassy remains closed for routine services, emergency services continue to be provided to U.S. citizens in Trinidad and Tobago. For the most accurate information about Embassy services and the changing situation in Trinidad and Tobago, we encourage U.S. citizens to refer to the COVID-19 page on our website: https://tt.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/.

A third way we continue to provide information about the current situation is through our official social media feeds (links below). Only the U.S. Embassy in Port of Spain has the most up-to-date and correct information about Embassy operations and services. We encourage citizens to rely only on authoritative sources of information and visit our website or contact the Embassy to confirm the validity of any information.

Regular commercial air service to the United States remains suspended indefinitely. We continue to collect details of U.S. citizens and Legal Permanent Residents (green card holders) who are interested in returning to the U.S. Please use the online Assistance Request Form, which can be found on the March 26 alert of the Embassy COVID-19 webpage. You can also send an email to PortofSpainUSCitizen@state.gov.

If you need emergency assistance, contact the Embassy by email at ACSPOS@state.gov or by telephone at 868-622-6371. Examples of emergency services include a U.S. citizen arrest, a U.S. citizen victim of crime, and the report of a U.S. citizen death abroad. U.S. citizens experiencing symptoms or who have reason to believe they have been exposed to COVID-19 are advised to stay at home, contact the Trinidad and Tobago Ministry of Health Hotline at 822-WELL (9355), and follow their instructions.

We urge U.S. citizens to stay connected with the Embassy during this time.