The National COVID-19 Task Force (NCTF) on Friday held a special meeting to consider the applications of various groups of Guyanese stranded overseas as a result of COVID-19 emergency measures and who have requested returning to Guyana.
Following is the text of a Task Force statement:
Within the controlled re-entry policy, the NCTF has approved the return of approximately 300 Guyanese nationals who are stranded overseas and who have registered with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs via Guyanese Embassies, High Commissions and Honourary Consuls.
This approval encompasses Guyanese nationals in Trinidad and Tobago and in New York, New Jersey, Florida and other states in the United States of America and also in other countries.
The approval is strictly subject to the following conditions:
- Only applicable to Guyanese nationals resident in Guyana who are stranded overseas and who registered with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as at Thursday, May 21st, 2020 (this approval is not applicable, at this time, to Guyanese nationals who are resident in other countries).
- Guyanese nationals in possession of a valid Guyanese passport (the Immigration Department of Guyana will also accept any passenger whose Guyanese passport expired within six months prior to arrival).
- 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 at least 48 hours PRIOR TO ARRIVAL.
- The applicants or their employers covering all costs for their return.
- Entry is permitted by air only.
The NCTF re-iterates that no person who tests positive for COVID-19 will be permitted entry into Guyana and that ALL arriving passengers must undergo the PCR tests and submit the results (which must be in English) at least 48 hours prior to their arrival in Guyana.
Persons who qualify to return to Guyana under this approval are asked to make urgent contact with their nearest Guyanese diplomatic mission and complete the necessary paperwork and submit the relevant documents and information.
The NCTF reaffirms that Guyana’s airspace remains closed and that the flight applications for each arriving flight related to this approval of the return of the approximately 300 stranded Guyanese must be submitted, by the airline or operator, to the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority for approval.
The NCTF empathizes with Guyanese who have been stranded overseas for several weeks and some of whom have been sheltering in challenging circumstances. The NCTF sincerely thanks Guyanese residents overseas and other persons who have provided shelter and accommodation for these persons. The NCTF anticipates that these persons will return to Guyana over the course of the next two weeks.
The NCTF, within the controlled re-entry policy, is eager to ensure that every Guyanese who is stranded overseas returns home within the shortest possible time while ensuring that the health and safety of Guyanese in Guyana are maintained and not compromised in any way.