COVID-19: Travel guidelines issued for repatriating Guyanese

−  Rapid test results NOT accepted      −  Seven days quarantine upon return

Photo: Arriving passengers arriving being sanitised upon entry at CJIA

DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Guyanese who have been stranded in several countries due to the onset of COVID-19 are being repatriated. As this has now become possible several guidelines must be followed to ensure their safety as well as the Guyanese population upon their return.

The most important of these regulations is that upon their return passengers are to adhere to a strict seven-day quarantine.           

For the week beginning, June 15, Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Shamdeo Persaud has shared the procedures that will apply to any traveller (citizen, resident, worker, visitor) arriving by commercial and private aircraft at the Eugene F. Correia International Airport and the Cheddi Jagan International Airport.It is also important to note that the result of a rapid test done for COVID-19 will not be accepted. The Ministry of Public Health is ONLY accepting the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test, which is a laboratory test that guarantees a more accurate result.

The CMO outlined the process for pre-travel screening while noting that after boarding the aircraft there are Do’s and Don’t that must be strictly followed.

    • Persons returning by airlines will be screened at check-in and boarding by the airline.
    • Temperature, symptoms checks, health assessment and other COVID specific Exit/Entry Screening will be applied in accordance with IATA guidance.
    • Travellers should provide proof of negative PCR tests not more than 48 hours before travelling.
    • If testing is done on the same day, testing must be done by PCR method and traveller must arrive at least 6 hours before the departure of the flight.
    • Practice physical distancing during boarding (6ft/2m distance) and use of personal protective equipment where necessary.
    • Boarding is recommended to commence from the back of the aircraft with each passenger seated before the next person enters. Persons needing special assistance should be boarded before other passengers.
    • Passengers should be encouraged to use restrooms at the departing airport before boarding.

While on the flight, all passenger will be expected to:

    • Maintain physical/social distancing and observe seat spacing as advised by IATA.
    • Wear facial mask covering nose and mouth throughout the journey except when eating, drinking or taking medication.
    • Practice proper hand hygiene and avoid any physical contact. Avoid standing in the aisles, galleys and washroom areas.
    • Face mask must be worn throughout the flight by all cabin crew. Gloves are recommended when handling passengers’ supplies.
    • Alert flight attendants if any person develops symptoms en-route; these should be documented and reported to the captain.
    • The captain must immediately alert the airport authority at the destination country of the illness

Recently 170 Guyanese were repatriated; they arrived on June 6. In coming days, cruise line workers and other Guyanese who visited countries for vacation or business will soon be returning home.

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