Stricter measures for arriving passengers at ports of entry
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Public Works Minister, Juan Edghill
Public Works Minister, Juan Edghill

— breaches of measures to attract penalties

TRAVELLERS to Guyana will have to abide by stricter measures instituted to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. On Saturday, the Government of Guyana released the officially gazetted measures which require all foreign passengers to provide proof of vaccination as well as the certified results of a negative PCR test taken less than 72 hours before entry into Guyana.

As far as the test requirements go, Guyana will not accept results from any rapid tests done, including rapid PCR test and rapid tests using saliva samples. It will also not accept any self-administered tests, or any COVID-19 tests done using home kits.

Persons who have been diagnosed with the virus less than three months before travel will be required to declare a medically certified ‘Certificate of Clearance.’

The measures, signed by Public Works Minister, Juan Edghill, provides some leverage to persons whose negative tests have expired. “Passengers may, alternatively, be allowed entry into Guyana if they are able to present their proof of vaccination along with a negative molecular biological PCR test result taken within seven days and such passengers shall be required to do another molecular biological PCR test upon arrival in Guyana and subject to quarantine until the test results are made available to them,” the gazette noted.

The new measures outline penalties for airline or aircraft operators who fail to verify the authenticity of the negative tests or the validity of proof of vaccination before any passenger boards any flight to Guyana

Further, the new measures outline penalties for airline or aircraft operators who fail to verify the authenticity of the negative tests or the validity of proof of vaccination before any passenger boards any flight to Guyana.

“Any aircraft operator who allows a passenger to board an aircraft without proof of vaccination and a negative molecular biological PCR test commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of $250,000 for each passenger,” the new gazetted measures indicated.

Additionally, as part of the new amended Civil Aviation Health Safety Measures for airports and aircraft during the COVID-19 pandemic, aircraft operators will also be required to ensure that each checked baggage is sanitised before being placed in the hold of the aircraft.

Once unloaded from the aircraft, the baggage must also be immediately sanitised before being placed on trollies and in the baggage carousel system at the airport’s arrival terminal. The new measures were signed into effect from Friday, August 6, 2021, and it supports the government’s efforts to prevent the spread of the deadly virus, while pursuing herd immunity through vaccination.

It has been more than a year since the coronavirus pandemic hit Guyana, and within the last few months, the Dr Irfaan Ali-led government has been aggressively pushing a comprehensive national vaccination programme.

Guyana is also one of the few countries that have managed to secure enough vaccines to inoculate its entire adult population. As it is, Guyana has recorded in excess of 22,000 cases of the coronavirus which has already taken 550 lives since patient zero in March 2020.

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