Facts for visitors: Useful information for new arrivals

 

Visas

Visitors from most countries do not require a visa for stays of up to 90 days on holiday or 30 days on business. Travellers are highly recommended to travel with a printed return ticket, along with the address for their stay, be it a hotel or a residence. Visitors on a 90- or 30-day visa can apply for an extension of up to six months, although this is granted only under thoroughly proven special circumstances.

Business Hours

The working week is Monday to Friday. Most private companies operate from 8.00am to 5.00pm, though the public sector traditionally only operates from 8.00am to 4.00pm. The main supermarkets and chemists are generally open from 8.00am to 8.00pm, while other stores generally stay open until 6.00pm. Supermarkets operate until 1.00pm and very few restaurants are open on Sundays.

Currency

The local currency is the Trinidad and Tobago dollar (TT$), although the US dollar is accepted and welcomed, especially by taxi drivers. The TT$ comes in 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 banknotes and in 1, 5, 10, 25, 50 cents and 1 dollar coin denominations. As of June 2016 the exchange rate was $1:TT$6.65 and €1:TT$7.51. International credit cards are generally accepted and ATMs are widely available.

Etiquette

Business attire is conventional business wear. Business offices and taxis are generally air-conditioned. For office wear, men should wear long- or short-sleeved shirts, with a tie. Jackets are used on more formal occasions. Women are advised to wear conventional business suits, or skirts/trousers and blouses. Outside business hours, lightweight casual clothing is the norm. Men and women generally greet each other with a handshake on first meeting and, with the exception of greetings between men, a kiss on the cheek on casual occasions.

Communications

There are two mobile network operators: Bmobile and Digicel. SIM cards can be purchased at the airport after passing through immigration controls for TT$100 ($15.40). Data plans can be activated directly from the device, following the operator’s instructions. These provide a good level of service in most parts of both islands. Wi-Fi connections are widely available in hotels and restaurants. The local dialling code for T&T is +1 (868), followed by a seven-digit telephone number.

Electricity 

Electrical sockets are designed for 220-V/50-Hz two-pin round plugs. Adapters would be needed for other plugs. These can be provided by most hotels and are easily found in local shops.

Transport

Authorised taxis are available at the Piarco International Airport and at all major hotels. They can be recognised by the letter “H” appearing as the first symbol on the licence plate. It is advisable to get the contact number of either a taxi driver or the reception at the hotel, as authorised taxis are not easily available. Pick-up times need to be agreed with taxi drivers whenever possible. Taxis are not equipped with meters, and the fares will vary based on a predetermined arrangement. Maxi and shared taxis are also used with no defined time schedules. Local and international car rental companies are available on both islands; drive is on the left. A water taxi service connecting Port of Spain to San Fernando and Port of Spain to Chaguaramas is available and is used by some daily commuters. The islands are connected by a ferry and by frequent flights. With the exception of weekends and public holidays, domestic flight tickets can generally be booked on short notice.

Health

Trinidad and Tobago has experienced a few Zika virus cases. The Ministry of Health advises citizens to take the necessary precautions to prevent the spread of Zika, which includes the use of mosquito repellents. T&T has modern private hospitals and a network of public hospitals, district health centres and community clinics. Treatment is free to non-residents at public facilities. Walk-ins are welcome, but priority is given to emergency cases. Pharmacies are widespread and offer commonly used generic drugs.

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