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– airport, health authorities say all systems in place
With the opening of the borders in Guyana, Caribbean Airlines will operate its first commercial service between Guyana and
New York, on 19 October, the Trinidad-based airline has announced. The airline will roll out its entire flight schedule for Guyana next week Monday. CEO of Caribbean Airlines, Garvin Medera stated: “2020 has been an unprecedented year for aviation. Our customers in Guyana and North America can count on Caribbean Airlines to reconnect them with their family and friends. We attach tremendous importance to our valued Guyanese customers and their loyalty to the airline. The full schedule will soon follow.”
Mr Medera continued: “We assure you, that Caribbean Airlines observes safety protocols which are aligned with the highest international standards for the protection and well-being of our customers and employees.”
The non-stop return service for Monday October 19, between Cheddi Jagan International Airport, Guyana and JFK International, New York is open for sale.
The Ministry of Health, Public Works, the GCCA, and Guyana’s two international airports have a plan to regulate the number of flights which enter the country so that the health system does not potentially become overwhelmed. Airports will also regularly review their Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to ensure maximum efficiency and safety.
Director of Civil Aviation Egbert Field said he is confident that Guyana is ready to enter into Phase Two of the reopening of its airports and that all necessary COVID-19 safety measures have put in place.
“All the measures which we spoke about for the preservation of health and to stem the spread of the disease and infection by people coming in are in place…I am convinced that we are set and ready. I don’t see a bumpy start. There may be a few things that need to be sharpened on or fine-tuned but, all in all, I know we are ready for the movement of passengers in and out of Guyana,” he said, noting that there are penalties in place for non-compliance.
For passengers desirous of travelling to Guyana, they will be required to do a PCR COVID-19 test within 7 days of travel. If the PCR test is done within 72 hours of travel, the passenger will not be required to do another PCR test on arrival. If the PCR test is done between four to seven days of travel, the passenger will be required to do a PCR test on arrival. Field said that the passenger must withstand the cost of any additional tests.
“That test will have to be paid for before the passenger is even given a boarding pass,” he said. The Village Voice was able to confirm from the Public Relations Officer at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA), Shunza Samuels, that the airports are expected to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the local agency providing the tests — the Eureka Medical Laboratories — for an agreed-upon cost.
“It’s their [Eureka Medical Laboratories] equipment, they know how much they have paid for it, what’s their operating costs, so they would be able to work out with the airline what the cost of tests should be,” Field explained.
Phase Two of the reopening of airports in Guyana has been postponed several times in the recent past due to the sharp rise in cases and the need for the Government to ensure that all measures were in place prior. As of October 11, 2020, Guyana noted a total of 3,469 COVID-19 cases. There have been 103 deaths in the country as a result while Region Four accounting for almost half of the total number of cases at 1,608.