With over 300 Guyanese stranded overseas slated to return to Guyana under the controlled re-entry policy, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has warned that they should not attempt to travel home without gaining prior approval from the Government.
This approval encompasses Guyanese nationals in Trinidad and Tobago, and in New York, New Jersey, Florida and other states in the United States of America, and also in other countries.
With the closure of international borders as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government said it is the onus on Guyanese overseas to plan their return in coordination with and on approval from the Government.
“This will enable control of the spread of COVID-19 in Guyana and protect the health and safety of all citizens dwelling there, particularly those who are most vulnerable,” the Foreign Affairs Ministry said in a statement.
Further, in the interest of public health and safety, approvals for re-entry will be phased in a manner deemed appropriate by the Ministry of Public Health, as the designated quarantine authority, and other key Government entities.
The Ministry said that Guyanese nationals must complete the application for the entry form, which can be found on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as on those of Guyana’s overseas missions — embassies, consulates general and honorary consulates.
Once the form is completed, they will receive an e-mail confirming receipt of their application and, afterward, confirmation of the intended date of travel.
Guyanese nationals should expect to be screened and possibly tested for the novel coronavirus on return to Guyana. This is a condition of return and will be undertaken at the point of entry.
It is anticipated that all persons entering Guyana will need to exercise patience as social distancing and health and safety protocols will be observed.
Completion of the application form confirms that they have read, understand, and agree to comply with the requirements for re-entry to Guyana.
Just recently, the Government, in a release stated that the National COVID-19 Task Force approval for re-entry is based on several criteria, including the precautionary measures outlined by the Ministry of Public Health.
Those returning will also have to produce the results of COVID-19 tests (PCR with results in the English language) being provided, at least 48 hours prior to arrival, and that the applicants, or their employers, covering all costs for their return.
The Task Force reiterated that no person, who tests positive for COVID-19, will be permitted entry into Guyana.
The Task Force reminded that Guyana’s airspace remains closed and that the flight applications for each arriving flight, related to this approval of the return of the approximately 300 stranded Guyanese, must be submitted, by the airline or operator, to the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority, for approval.
It said that it anticipates that these persons will return to Guyana, over the course of the next two weeks, and that within the controlled re-entry policy, it is eager to ensure that “every Guyanese, who is stranded overseas, 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”.