GUYANA: Airports open to commercial flights from October 12. 2020; COVID-19 deaths now 82

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The PPP/C government this afternoon confirmed that the two international airports will reopen to commercial flights on October 12th.

Current COVID-19 measures restricting travel will continue until October 12th when new directives are scheduled to be announced as government is currently in discussions with stakeholders to prepare for on-arrival testing for the virus and other measures for a swift reopening to scheduled commercial travel. Minister of Public Works Juan Edghill, who is responsible for the aviation sector, today told Stabroek News.

“We want the airports opened as soon as is practical, ensuring compliance with the international guidelines set out by the Pan American Health Organization, WHO and international guidelines. We will follow all the protocols,”     

“The (Guyana Civil Aviation Authority) GCAA, CJIA, the Ministry of Health and the COVID-19 Task Force, along with us are engaged in discussions with all of the necessary stakeholders. Since the last directives were issued by GCAA, we are now aware that in country, we have capacity for testing on arrival. Those kind of finer details are being fine-tuned along with the airlines’ readiness to recommence scheduled commercial flights. As soon as those are completed, a date for the reopening for scheduled commercial flights will be announced,”

Stabroek News understands that at least one private sector laboratory services provider, Eureka Labs, has the capacity for on-arrival testing and has expressed their readiness and availability.

The CJIA, sources say, has already identified space which can be designated for the establishment of a sanitized testing area for arriving passengers.

Edghill confirmed that plans are on stream and said that the mechanism for payment for the tests is being worked out.

“We are waiting at this stage, indications from the airlines their acceptance and agreement because the passengers will have to fund that testing on arrival. So the modus operandi of the collecting of the payments have to be worked out,” he explained.

And while Eureka labs has said that its testing results will be available “in a matter of hours”, discussions are ongoing to determine the waiting process for passengers tested.

“We have to determine what happens to the passengers after they are tested. Will they be placed in an isolation waiting room for three or four hours? How will they get meals? What can be done to make them comfortable? A lot of what encompasses the process is being worked out,” one source said.

Last week, and by way a of statement, Edghill had said both the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) and Eugene F Correia International Airport are open to facilitate repatriation flights, outgoing flights, cargo flights, medical evacuation flights, technical stops for fuel and special authorised flights.

However, he stated that government was “aggressively” working to recommence commercial flight operations at Guyana’s two international airports in the shortest possible time, while assuring that measures in place to do so safely would be continuously evaluated as public health remains paramount.

He had noted that several air operators, including Eastern Airlines, Caribbean Airlines, Trans Guyana Airways, Roraima Airways and ExxonMobil flights, are permitted to operate special authorised and repatriation flights to process passengers desirous of coming to Guyana, once they satisfy the necessary health, safety and aviation regulatory requirements.

Giving statistics of operations at the airports since they were closed in March, he said both airports have been able to process over 5,300 passengers on 63 flights arriving from Canada, United States of America, United Kingdom and other Caribbean countries. Added to that, he announced that over the next 30 days, the government anticipates another 2,000 passengers arriving into CJIA and 350 at the Eugene F Correia airport.

He mentioned that engagement with regional and international  carriers were then  ongoing and added that the government is committed to working with all stakeholders and private sector bodies to reopen the economy to improve the livelihood, inclusive of employment opportunities for our citizens.

Edghill said today that the GCAA will announce the continuation of current measures and when the new measures are decided on, the aviation agency will also issue them. There is possibility that the wait might not be two weeks as if government is satisfied of agreements reached before, an announcement will be made then.

‘Under my instructions, the GCAA will issue new directives for another two weeks, which will continue to facilitate a policy of flights being cleared for arrival and departure under the current guidelines. Which means the guidelines are extended until October 15th. If we can tie up discussions before the 15th October, those will be removed and the new guidelines issued,” he said.

UPDATE ON COVID-19

The Ministry of Health (MOH) this evening said that as of  5 pm today (30 September 2020), two persons who tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) have died. This takes the total number of deaths from the pandemic to 82. The death  toll on August 1 was 21, therefore 61 persons have died from COVID 19 over the last 61 days, which is an average of one person per day.

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Comments

  • kamtanblog  On October 1, 2020 at 12:58 pm

    CorV has become a “political football” !
    Kicked around until one wins !
    Sudden death finish.
    Some stats …
    82 deaths Guyana is less than .1%
    200.000 deaths USA is 5%

    You decide

    Kamtan uk-ex-EU

    • brandli62  On October 2, 2020 at 5:53 pm

      Kamtan uk-ex-EU
      @Kamtan: Thought you spend most of your time in Spain (EU)? 😉

      • kamtanblog  On October 2, 2020 at 8:14 pm

        With travel restrictions in place ?
        Spent all summer UK and will
        remain here for winter also.
        Maybe next winter spain Italy and Portugal.
        Am a “snow bird” that winters in south.
        Am 7 minutes from Gatwick (46million passengers 2019) and 2.5hours from
        Spain Portugal Italy. Ticketing £50-75 return.

        Snow bird

        Kamtan uk-ex-EU

      • brandli62  On October 3, 2020 at 9:18 am

        Kamtan, you are living the good life of a European senior citizen! Enjoy it despite the Brexit madness and coming miseries for the UK!

      • kamtanblog  On October 3, 2020 at 11:02 am

        No sir ! Never considered myself either
        British or European ! Both imperialist
        past. Am guyanese born and bred !
        Left BG at 17 for UK military service.
        Returned to Guyana ruled by “dictator”
        Kabaka LFSB….decade later returned
        to UK. Retired at 60 and moved to Spain.
        ..decade later returned to UK.
        Rolling stone gathers no moss !
        Now live in UK summer winter Spain Italy
        Portugal.,..snow bird 🦅
        My three pensions RAF, Royal Mail, and
        UK state pension are all paid in £…
        most valueable currency on planet.
        £=€=$=???? The world my oyster !

        If I returned to Guyana at £=Gy275$
        could be a very rich person but at 77
        money 💰 does not motivate me.
        My grandmother teaching remains
        “Money root of all evil”

        QED
        RIP

        Kamtan uk-ex-EU

  • brandli62  On October 8, 2020 at 12:26 pm

    Kamtan, thanks for sharing with us live story. Retirement with 60 is a privilege. I do not expect to retire before 67 or 70. Stay healthy and continue to comment on GO! Too early to RIP!

    • kamtanblog  On October 8, 2020 at 1:14 pm

      Thanks good wishes comrade brandi62
      Yes was lucky to enjoy 16+ years retirement
      and hopefully many more.
      To return to Guyana now would be unfair
      to my children/grandchildren who all live
      Uk-Eu now. Stay safe and stay well my friend.

      Kamtan

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