Guyanese stranded in Trinidad, Barbados face challenge in accessing COVID-19 test


Over 300 Guyanese stranded in Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago and the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line are facing difficulties accessing the PCR tests for COVID-19, according to Director-General of the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority, Egbert Field.

The Director-General told the News Room that there are 186 Guyanese on the cruise ship off the coast in Barbados, 120 nationals in Trinidad and over 100 in Barbados. Of that amount, he said only about half have done the PCR tests.

“I know the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is working diligently with those stranded Guyanese to have them meet the requirements, some of them have done the PCR tests but access to doing the PCR tests is not as easy as in the United States, so they are trying to work that out,” Field told the News Room Wednesday.

Director-General of the GCAA, Egbert Field

The National COVID-19 Task Force granted approval for the nationals to return home once they are tested negative for the disease in their host countries. The tests are required 48 hours before arrival in Guyana.

Once all the requirements are met, a flight will be scheduled to bring them home. It is likely that either Caribbean Airlines or LIAT will be used to bring the nationals home.

“We cannot schedule a flight until they have put together a confirmed list of the individuals who would have met all the requirements.

“The lists keep increasing everyday stranded Guyanese registers,” Field said.

The first wave of stranded Guyanese returned home on Saturday last.

All returning Guyanese are subject to a seven-day home quarantine upon return. During this period, they will not be permitted to leave their homes except to seek emergency medical services.

The Task Force has extended the nation’s COVID-19 emergency measures to June 17, 2020.

Guyana closed all ports of entry into the country on March 17 to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

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