Task Force considering bringing home stranded Guyanese

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The National COVID-19 Task Force (NCTF) is actively considering bringing home Guyanese who are stranded abroad following the halt in air travel to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

“…we haven’t brought in… stranded Guyanese; they’re working on that at the moment because certain protocols have got to be set up,” Director-General of the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority Egbert Field said on Wednesday.

He pointed out that in order to ensure there is no other imported case of the disease, persons travelling to Guyana would have to undergo quarantine and possibly testing before given permission to return home.

“…they cannot just accept any and everybody to come in so there is a protocol which must be put in place, measures and standards so they are working on that I’m aware of and these things take time,” Field said.

The Director-General noted that as of now, only offshore workers are being granted permission to travel to Guyana as there is a need to change crew members every 28 days.

On Tuesday, ExxonMobil’s Senior Director, Public and Government Affairs, Deedra Moe told the media that some workers are forced to work extra shifts as there are challenges to the timely changeover of crews given the COVID-19 guidelines.

A flight with 17 passengers from Barbados was allowed to land at the Eugene F. Correia International Airport in March and those persons were quarantined at a Government facility for 14 days.

On April 4, Chairman of the National COVID-19 Task Force Moses Nagamootoo said while authorities flexed a little and allowed some flights of Guyanese returning home, this is no longer being done. 

Several Guyanese have requested permission to return home as the local airports remain closed to incoming flights up to June 3 –a deadline which extended from May 3.

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