The National COVID-19 Task Force (NCTF) has approved the controlled re-entry of approximately 300 Guyanese stranded overseas.
The group will return once their COVID-19 tests are negative.
In a release today, the Task Force said that these Guyanese will return home from countries such as Trinidad and Tobago and the United States in cities such as New York, New Jersey and Florida.
Those qualifying for re-entry have made requests and are registered with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs via Guyanese Embassies, High Commissions and Honourary Consuls.
The decision of the Task Force was made at a special meeting where it was strictly noted that: “…no person who tests positive for COVID-19 will be permitted entry into Guyana and that ALL arriving passengers must undergo the PCR tests and submit the results (which must be in English) at least 48 hours prior to their arrival in Guyana.”
Approval will only be applicable to Guyanese nationals resident in Guyana who are stranded overseas and who registered with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as at Thursday, May 21st, 2020.
It is also only applicable to Guyanese in possession of a valid Guyanese passport although the Immigration Department of Guyana will accept any passenger whose Guyanese passport expired within six months prior to arrival.
Meanwhile, the results of COVID-19 tests must be in English language and the applicants or their employers must cover all costs for their return via air only.
“Persons who qualify to return to Guyana under this approval are asked to make urgent contact with their nearest Guyanese diplomatic mission and complete the necessary paperwork and submit the relevant documents and information,” the release stated.
“The NCTF empathizes with Guyanese who have been stranded overseas for several weeks and some of whom have been sheltering in challenging circumstances. The NCTF sincerely thanks Guyanese residents overseas and other persons who have provided shelter and accommodation for these persons. The NCTF anticipates that these persons will return to Guyana over the course of the next two weeks.”
The Task Force stated that it is eager to ensure that every stranded Guyanese returns home within the shortest possible time while ensuring that the health and safety of Guyanese in Guyana are maintained and not compromised in any way.
It reaffirmed that, a part from these provisions, Guyana’s airspace remains closed and flight applications for each arriving flight related to this approval must be submitted, by the airline or operator, to the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) for approval.