British High Commissioner to Guyana, Greg Quinn, in a video message on Sunday, assured that efforts are being made to secure flights for citizens who want to return to the United Kingdom. However, he lamented that in these extraordinary times, there are minimal options available in the near short-term.
He explained that initially, they had been working with the Guyana Government and airlines to allow British nationals, via a chartered aircraft, to fly to Bridgetown, Barbados, for the last connecting flights to London with British Airways and Virgin Atlantic Airways. But those UK-destined flights from Barbados have since stopped as of March 27, hence the High Commission is unable to offer any future charters since it is unclear when they will restart.
“At this time, we do not know how long this will continue for but we’re monitoring the situation. Our colleagues in Barbados are in touch with both airlines, are monitoring the situation closely, and will let us know immediately once the flights restart. When that happens, we will be in touch with you about possible options,” Quinn stated.
Nevertheless, he reassured British citizens that they are doing everything possible to help them get home.
Like the US, citizens from both Canada and the UK are asked to sign online forms to indicate their interest in returning home.
Citizens from these three countries are being asked to check the social media accounts of their respective Missions to be updated on travel arrangements and any other critical information relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Additionally, the foreign diplomats are also encouraging their citizens to adhere to the laws and directives established by local authorities to protect themselves and prevent the spread of the coronavirus, especially by practicing social distancing.
The United States Embassy in Guyana has facilitated some 800 citizens here to return home in the last two weeks in light of the coronavirus pandemic, which has been devastating countries around the world including the US.
In a social media post on Saturday evening, the US Embassy in Georgetown said it was honoured to have helped over 800 American citizens and their families reach the US safely, while committing to continue assistance wherever needed.
Guyana had closed its borders, including airspace, from March 18 to April 1 – one week after recording its first imported COVID-19 case via a 52-year-old woman who died days after returning from New York. Four of her family members, including a 13-year-old, have since contracted the deadly virus and are in institutional isolation. The Public Health Ministry on Saturday announced that three more new cases have been confirmed – bringing Guyana’s total cases of coronavirus up to eight.