Guyana has joined several other nations in requiring travellers to be vaccinated for entry and the Cheddi Jagan International Airport in its capital Georgetown, has put a marketing spin on the requirement, presenting it as an “easier” way to travel.
In a press release issued this week, the airport stated, “Cheddi Jagan International Airport wishes to notify passengers that they are no longer required to submit the Passenger Locator/Health Declaration Form prior to travelling to Guyana. To further enhance the passenger travel experience, a decision was taken to discontinue the use of the form, with immediate effect.”
It continued, “For entry, persons are ONLY required to provide the following documents: A negative Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test, taken no later than seven (7) days; if it is within four (4) – seven (7) days, a second test is required at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport; and proof of vaccination.”
The minister of public works, who has oversight for the aviation sector, Bishop Juan Edghill, stated that the vaccination requirement for people entering Guyana will take effect from Sunday, August 8, 2021.
All foreign travellers who are travelling to Guyana must be fully vaccinated and must have taken a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to arrival to be allowed entry.
The airport is following guidelines developed by the Guyanese Ministry of Health and implemented in August 2021.
The advisory said an individual is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after the required doses of the COVID-19 vaccines have been taken. That is, an individual who has taken double-dose vaccines like the Sputnik V, Sinopharm and AstraZeneca vaccines and others would be fully vaccinated two weeks after taking the second dose
New guidelines also stated that these fully vaccinated individuals will be required to present proof of vaccination for inspection upon arrival.
It was indicated that the airlines will be tasked with verifying PCR test results presented. It was noted that if an individual took a PCR test more than 72 hours (or three days) prior to the flight but less than seven days, such a person will be required to have a second test done upon arrival.
Individuals with a PCR test taken longer than seven days beyond their flight will not be allowed to board the flight to Guyana.
Earlier in July, a gazetted regulation made under the Civil Aviation Act said nationals of Trinidad and Tobago, were required to be fully vaccinated before they will be allowed to travel to Guyana.
Now, the requirement has been expanded to everyone seeking entry.
Guyana is among an increasing number of nations which requires proof of vaccination for entry. Others are the Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Trinidad and Tobago, and Brazil.
In Trinidad and Tobago, travellers need proof that they completed a full vaccination using a COVID-19 vaccine approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) 14 days prior to their intended arrival to enter the country.
WHO-approved vaccines are Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna and Sinopharm. Even though the Russian Sputnik V is widely used, it has still not been granted emergency use authorisation by the WHO.