Domestic carriers ramp up COVID-19 measures


– passengers to be screened before boarding

ALTHOUGH Guyana has closed its two international airports to flights in light of COVID-19, internal flights are still taking place and these carriers are taking special protective measures against the virus.

Air Services Limited (ASL), which operates flights to Regions Seven, Eight and Nine regularly, is the most recent to put in place measures to protect its staff, customers and visitors.

The aforementioned individuals will now be subjected to screening to test their body temperatures using a laser thermometer. Passengers who are returning to Georgetown will also be asked to comply with screening procedures.

Persons with flu-like symptoms and a body temperature above 38 degrees Celsius will be referred to the Ogle Airport Inc. Port Health facility for further screening. Meanwhile, employees who exhibit COVID-19 symptoms will be asked to return home and get tested. Staff are also being provided with N95 face masks and gloves to use while performing their duties.

ASL cleaners are required to the clean all areas regularly throughout the day, especially areas where persons regularly traverse. Altogether, the company encourages social distancing and had informed that anyone who fails to comply with the precautionary measures will be restricted from utilising its facilities.

Apart from regular flights, ASL also provides aerial agricultural operations, aircraft maintenance, helicopter services, medical evacuation, aerial photography and training at its aeronautical engineering school. Meanwhile, Trans Guyana Airways has assured its staff that they have no need to worry about their salaries, should they require to be quarantined, or receive medical attention due to COVID-19.

It noted that it is in constant consultation with international and national health experts to stay abreast with the current information about the virus and to reduce threat.
Added to this, every employee has had to undergo a mandatory virus awareness/sensitisation session hosted by Trans Guyana Airways’ Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Department.

Like ASL, all employees are being checked for a high temperature upon arriving at the facility and employees with temperatures above 38 degrees Celsius are being asked to return home and self-quarantine. Additional hand sanitisers and cleaning supplies have been made available for staff and cleaning staff have been tasked with cleaning all surfaces regularly, along with every flight before boarding.

Passengers are also being subjected to pre-flight screening and those with high temperatures will be denied boarding. “Passengers who are denied boarding because of health concerns will be refunded their fare or given the opportunity to reschedule their travel plans without charge,” Trans Guyana Airways has informed the public.

“Passengers who choose to cancel their reservations between 0 and 48 hours prior to flight will be subject to our cancellation policy and TGA will waive the admin/charge fee. Passengers who wish to make changes to reservations and have booked through an agent must contact their agents to make necessary changes.”