Gov’t postpones re-opening of airports due to increased COVID-19 cases

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Guyana’s increasing cases of COVID-19 has forced the authorities to postpone the phased re-opening of the Cheddi Jagan International Airport and the Eugene F. Correia International Airport to scheduled commercial flights.

As of June 30, Guyana recorded 245 COVID-19 cases, which includes 114 recoveries and 12 deaths.

The airports have been closed to international flights since March 17. The phased opening has now been pushed to August.

The CJIA was scheduled to be reopened on July 1 to limited incoming flights for citizens, permanent residents, international workers and agencies and diplomats, under a four-phase reopening plan.

“Phase one which would have ended on June 30, 2020, is now extended to July 31, 2020, and Phase two will now commence on August 1, 2020,” the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) in a statement on Wednesday.

It added that “this decision was made after careful assessment of the current COVID-19 situation in Guyana and other international ports where flights to Guyana originates.”

As such, no airline has been granted approval for the conduct of scheduled commercial operation.

Director-General of the GCAA Egbert Field noted that his entity and the National COVID-19 Task Force consider the health of Guyanese and the nation as a top priority.

Under Phase one, the following flights will continue to be permitted:

  • limited repatriation flights.
  • outgoing flights,
  • cargo flights,
  • medivac flights,
  • technical stops, and
  • special authorised flights.

The GCAA said it has drafted Regulations and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to guide aviation stakeholders on the measures which are expected to aid in mitigation of the spread of Covid-19 and the full resumption of aviation-related activities.

The Aviation Authority asked for the travelling public’s understanding and patience during these unprecedented times.

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