Guyana to consider changing Covid travel requirements to include booster doses

Guyanese returning home after being stranded overseas due to the COVID-19 pandemic. [CJIA photo]

As more people take the booster doses as a means of further protection from the novel coronavirus, Guyana might consider changing its travel protocols to include this third jab as a requirement to enter the country.

This is according to Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony who explained that as of now, the travel requirements remain unchanged, i.e. persons seeking the enter the country must be completely vaccinated and present a negative PCR or antigen test within 72 hours of travel.

“In the near future, as we start getting more people to take the booster doses, that is something that would be under consideration, perhaps to add booster doses as well [to the travel requirements]. Right now, it’s the same basic two things, full vaccination and a test to show your COVID-19 status,” he explained.

Since the country’s airports were reopened in October 2020, about 76 imported cases of the virus were detected.

This low figure, the Health Minister explained, can be attributed to the measures currently in place.

“We probably had, over the last couple of days, maybe less than five. So, this number has not changed radically. We have been monitoring but we are not getting a lot of cases,” he noted.

In Guyana, 421,131 adults or 82.1 per cent of that population have been immunised with a first dose COVID vaccine while 209,160 or 60.3 per cent received two doses.

From the 12 to 17 category, 32,309 first doses and 22,688 second doses were administered. Booster doses account for 35,014 jabs.

With the rise of the new variant of concern Omicron last year, concerns were raised among countries with its link to high infections. However, Guyanese authorities said they were awaiting more information before changes are made to its travel guidelines.

Along with the airport activity, the Lethem Crossing remains open for crossing of essential goods on Thursdays and travel on Fridays. The Moleson Creek Crossing between Guyana and Suriname is also operating daily.