103 Guyanese to return; Gov’t considering phased reopening of economy

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The National COVID-19 Task Force (NCTF) has granted approval for 103 Guyanese who are stuck in various CARICOM countries to return home once they are tested negative for COVID-19 in the host countries. Included in the total are 17 Guyanese students at the Hugh Wooding Law School in Trinidad and 70 cruise ship workers attached to Royal Caribbean.

The applicants or their employers are covering all costs for their return.

In a statement on Monday evening, the NCTF said it is also considering the phased re-opening of the economy and air space post-June 3.

The NCTF said an application from Caribbean Princess cruiseline for 63 Guyanese crew members to return via sea was not approved given risks involved with seaport entry.

The NCTF said it is however amenable to considering an application for these crew members to return by air.

See full statement below:

The National COVID-19 Task Force (NCTF) today held its weekly statutory virtual meeting at which it deliberated on a review of the emergency measures, post-June 3, in relation to the possible phased re-opening of the economy and airspace. There is need for further deliberations in this regard.

The meeting considered the applications of various groups of Guyanese overseas who are desirous of returning home. In this regard, some of these requests were approved as part of controlled re-entry measures. The approvals are subject to the satisfaction of all requirements of the Ministry of Public Health and other relevant ministries and agencies, and the cost of the return being covered by the applicants.

Under controlled re-entry, the NCTF took the following decisions:-

  1. The application of 19 Guyanese students of the Hugh Wooding Law School in Trinidad for their return has been approved.
  2. The application of 70 Guyanese cruise ship workers attached to Royal Caribbean to return to Guyana by air has been approved.
  3. The application from CARICOM for a team of officials based in Guyana to travel to Suriname to observe the Surinamese election scheduled for May 25th and return to Guyana thereafter has been approved.
  4. The application from four Guyanese in St Vincent to return home via SVG Air has been approved.
  5. The application from 10 Guyanese in St Maarten to return has been approved.

The NCTF also approved a request for the return of the body of the late trade unionist Mr. Komal Chand and his wife from Cuba. Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon. Dr. Karen Cummings met with the son of Mr. Chand and spoke to Mrs. Chand via telephone and conveyed sympathies on behalf of the government and shared with the family the position of the government.

All approvals are subject to:

  • All requirements of the Ministry of Public Health and other relevant ministries and agencies being fulfilled.
  • Results of COVID-19 tests (PCR with results in English language) being provided 48 hours in advance of arrival. (If pre-test is not available, prior written consent is required from each arriving passenger for quarantine if deemed necessary by the Ministry of Public Health.)
  • The applicants or their employers covering all costs for their return.

An application from Caribbean Princess cruise line for 63 Guyanese crew members to return via sea was not approved given risks involved with seaport entry. The NCTF is however amenable to considering an application for these crew members to return by air.

The NCTF also approved an application from Unicomer Guyana to open eight of their Courts stores for the purposes of receiving monthly instalment payments only from customers. This approval was granted for Monday to Friday openings during the non-curfew hours, is effective from Wednesday, May 20th subject to fulfilment of all requirements and is for the following locations:

  1. Main Street, Georgetown
  2. Bartica
  3. Richmond, Essequibo Coast
  4. Linden
  5. Mahaica
  6. Parika
  7. New Amsterdam
  8. Diamond

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