Following a decision to reopen Guyana’s two international airports on October 12, Prime Minister, Retired Brigadier Mark Phillips has announced that protocols are being developed to ensure safe travel.
At a recent press conference, it was noted that Government’s consideration for the reopening stemmed from a great demand. Officials have since been working to implement safety guidelines, in keeping with the scheduled timeline.
“There is a demand for the reopening of the airports. In a simple sense, that is what has led to starting discussions. However, we will not just reopen the airports. There are a number of protocols that we have to put in place…No reopening before 12th October and we will take the opportunity between now and the 12th to put the protocols in place,” Phillips insisted.
He noted that while the decided protocols will be shared with the public, one of the key elements of travelling into Guyana is a negative PCR test from the prospective travellers.
“The bottom line is no one will travel into Guyana without first doing a COVID-19 PCR and having tested negative. If you test positive, you cannot come to Guyana.”
Guyana’s borders, including its two international airports – the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) at Timehri, East Bank Demerara, and the Eugene F Correia International Airport at Ogle, East Coast Demerara – were closed since March 18 in an effort to combat the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Given the airports’ closure, special permission had to be granted by local authorities over the past months for special repatriation flights. Initially, only departure flights were being allowed, to take foreign nationals who were stranded in Guyana back home.
However, in recent months, relief flights were operated to bring home thousands of Guyanese who were left stranded in various countries overseas amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, and thousands of Guyanese, including students, have since returned from New York, Miami, Cuba, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Canada, St Maarten, Jamaica, Suriname, Grenada and Curacao.