New vaccination travel requirement for ‘all travellers’
The government said it remains committed to achieving herd immunity against the virus that causes COVID-19 and as such, is mandating that all travellers entering Guyana be vaccinated.
Minister of Public Works Juan Edghill, who has oversight for the aviation sector, told reporters on Monday that unvaccinated persons “would not be able to even board” on a flight coming to Guyana.
Additionally, Guyanese living abroad would also need to be vaccinated before entering Guyana.
“A Guyanese who is living in New York, even if they travelling on a Guyanese passport, needs to be vaccinated before they get in here,” Edghill stated.
He explained that the government’s intent is to protect citizens as well as foreign travellers as COVID-19 continues to rage in many parts of the world.
Meanwhile, when asked if Guyanese who left the country for vacation or business prior to the new regulation, would still need to be vaccinated for re-entry, Edghill said “the port health will deal with that; they have been so advised.”
The minister was further asked how this would be dealt with, but did not provide a clear or definitive response.
“The port health will deal with that, so the port health would have to advise you on that,” Edghill stressed.
The News Room was told by officials at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport that since the airlines are in direct contact with travellers, they have to give account for travellers who are vaccinated or unvaccinated, but this, however, has not yet happened.
Minister Edghill also revealed that it is costing the government millions to treat patients severely affected with COVID-19 at the Infectious Diseases Hospital at Liliendaal.
“We realise that we need to up the whole issue of vaccination,” Edghill said.
Entry into Guyana also requires a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours prior to arrival.
Meanwhile, the updated travel advisory, which took effect on August 8, notes that travellers seeking to enter Guyana will only be required to have been inoculated with a single dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
It stipulates that proof of vaccination means a document indicating that the person has received at least one dose of the Astra-Zenerca, Sputnik-V, Sino-pharm, Sinovac, Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson and Johnson vaccine.
This updated regulation adds to those measures for airports and aircraft that mandate passengers take other precautionary measures in light of the public health pandemic.
Meanwhile, in July, a gazetted regulation made under the Civil Aviation Act stated that nationals of Trinidad and Tobago, specifically, are required to be fully vaccinated before they will be allowed to travel to Guyana.
Then, the News Room was reliably informed that this new regulation is meant specifically for nationals of Trinidad and Tobago and not for those who may stop in the Caribbean country due to an in-transit flight.