First batch of stranded Guyanese to arrive 2nd week in June

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Director-General of the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) Lt. Col. Egbert Field has disclosed that the first set of Guyanese stranded abroad, starting with those from Barbados, will arrive in Guyana in the second week of June. This will then be followed by those in North America in the 3rd week of June.

Field made the disclosure during an appearance on Monday’s airing of NCN’s Context programme.

Last week, the Director-General stated the aviation oversight body drafted a 4-stage blueprint for the phased reopening of the country’s two main airports to international travel. That document is currently before the National COVID-19 Task Force (NCTF) for review.

The GCAA has made strides with the completion of a draft of the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to safeguard health, safety and security at the airports. The SOPs form a critical component of the first stage for the phased reopening.

On March 18, Guyana closed its airports to international flights, to contain the spread of COVID-19 cases. Subsequent emergency measures extended the closure to June 3.

Last month, the NCTF finally approved the conditional return of over 300 stranded Guyanese during a special meeting, signalling some definitive action by the highly politicised Task Force.

The Foreign Affairs Ministry subsequently laid down strict terms for Guyanese living overseas to return home, including screening and testing for the coronavirus at a port of entry upon returning.

The Task Force has warned that any person who tests positive for COVID-19 would not be permitted entry into Guyana, and that all arriving passengers must undergo the PCR testing.

The Task Force said that if a pre-test is not available, prior written consent is required from each arriving passenger for quarantine, if deemed necessary by the Public Health Ministry.

The Task Force also emphasised that the applicants or their employers have to bear all costs for their return. Guyanese can visit https://www.minfor.gov.gy/featured/travel-advisory-for-repatriation-of-guyanese-nationals-stranded-overseas/ for more information. Contact can also be made with Foreign Service Officer Comica Johnson on telephone numbers (592) 618-4929 or Office (592) 226-1606, ext 276 for email: [email protected] for more information.