Covid-19 vaccinated persons still need negative PCR test to enter Guyana

Travellers at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport in Guyana

Even after being completely immunised from COVID-19, persons desirous of entering Guyana are still required to acquire a negative PCR test before they travel.

Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony pointed out during Monday’s coronavirus update that there is still a small percentage that a person can contract the virus, even after being vaccinated. As such, every passenger entering Guyana will have to present a negative PCR test before they are allowed to board a flight.

“Our protocol is that you must get a PCR test before you travel to Guyana. Being fully vaccinated whether with Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson and Johnson or any other vaccine, there is still risk that you can get infected. So, in most cases, there is that small percentage and there is that risk. Because we don’t know who might have a milder form of the disease or have that risk of bringing the infection, that is why we require that people get their PCR testing,” he pointed out.

When asked about travel restrictions for the elderly or immunocompromised persons, the Minister contended that there is no such measure in place. Anyone who has fulfilled the necessary travel obligations will be permitted to enter the country.

“There is no prohibition as to who can travel so if someone is immunocompromised, they can still travel once they get a negative PCR testing. If they’re leaving Guyana to go somewhere else, depending on their destination, their destination might require an antigen or PCR test. Once they have fulfilled those obligations, they can travel.”

Since the airports were opened last October, some 50 imported cases were detected – mainly through the Cheddi Jagan International Airport.

“These 50 cases, once they were detected, we have been able to take all the requisite measures to get them to isolate and prevent further spread,” the Minister assured.

As it is, persons entering Guyana are required to have a negative PCR test taken within seven days prior to their arrival. Persons with tests done within one to three days upon their arrival will not be subjected to any further health checks, however, those with tests that were completed within four to seven days prior to their arrival will be subjected to a PCR test at the airports here before being allowed to exit the building.

Private facilities have been set up at the airport to conduct these tests for persons both arriving and departing the country. Earlier this year, local authorities had heightened their monitoring of persons passing through Guyana’s airports after reports of forged COVID-19 test results had surfaced.

Dr Anthony had disclosed that there have been cases of persons forging their COVID-19 test results in order to get into Guyana but as these violations are detected, persons would be prosecuted.

Facilities licensed to conduct PCR testing include the National Public Health Reference Laboratory (NPHRL), the Eureka Medical Laboratory Incorporated, Coastal Diagnostic Laboratory and Sheriff Medical Laboratory.

Thus far, over 121,000 persons have received their first dose while over 2100 are completely immunised.