A member of the public fixes her mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks out of the ANR Robinson International Airport yesterday.

Passengers travelling to Trinidad from Tobago on Caribbean Airlines flight number BW1501 on Saturday morning alleged that no COVID-19 safety protocols were followed at the ANR Robinson International Airport before boarding the first flight.

However, management insists that Caribbean Airlines is operating within the full parameters of the Public Health Ordinances and has also been observing international and industry regulations.

According to the travellers, when they reached at the airport there were no visible hand washing or sanitisation stations at the ANR Robinson International Airport and travellers were also not directed by staff to sanitise their hands. The travellers also said that they went through the entire check-in process before proceeding to the waiting area and no temperature checks were done before boarding the flight to Trinidad.

The travellers said they were equally disappointed with the lack of COVID-19 safety protocols at the Piarco International Airport in Trinidad because after leaving the airport and re-entering moments after to go to the food court, staff took their temperature but no one insisted that travellers sanitise or wash hands.

Passengers travelling last week and the week before also expressed similar concerns.

Carlibbean Airlines: We adhere to all current international guidelines

Guardian Media contacted Caribbean Airlines’ Head of Corporate Communications Dionne Ligoure on the caim and she said Caribbean Airlines adheres to all current international guidelines using multiple layers of protection to ensure the safety and well-being of customers.

Ligoure said customers must wear face masks at check-in, at the gate and on board the aircraft. She said the aircraft are cleaned daily at all ports and the disinfectants used are approved as effective against COVID-19. She said the 737 jet fleet is equipped with state-of-the-art high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters that capture 99.97 per cent of particles. And while Ligour said all customers (including children) may be subject to temperature checks, there was no reference to hand washing or sanitisation. Based on the details later provided, she said the enquiry should be directed to the Airports Authority

The Ministry of Health has developed COVID-19 policy based on World Health Organisation and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention interim guidance for businesses and employers responding to COVID-19. Under the subsection “Core Recommendations Aimed at Preventing and Controlling COVID-19” section 7.1.3 addresses personal hygiene. According to the policy, institutions are required to “Provide an adequate supply of 60 per cent alcohol-based hand sanitizer or hand washing facilities or stations (fixed or portable) at workplaces and job sites so employees and the general public/visitors/customers can wash their hands frequently with soap and running water.”