Stranded Guyanese now have to self-quarantine at home upon return
The stranded Guyanese who have sought approval from Government to be repatriated home will be mandated to spend one week in self-quarantine at home.
This was decided by the National COVID-19 Task Force (NCTF) on Tuesday, clarifying that this quarantining is to be done at the respective homes of these persons. Over the course of seven days, they are not permitted not leave their homes for any reasons, other than to seek emergency medical attention.
“The NCTF also clarifies that Guyanese who are stranded overseas and who have received permission to return to Guyana are required to home quarantine for seven days immediately following their arrival,” the Task Force said.
To return home, persons must complete the repatriation form and submit a COVID-19 PCR test 48 hours prior to arrival. Only persons with negative results will be permitted to enter Guyana.
“The NCTF reaffirms that no person who tests positive for COVID-19 will be allowed to return to Guyana at this time. For the avoidance of doubt, home quarantine means quarantining at their respective private residences,” the Task Force said.
This new revelation means Government has ditched the idea of quarantining these persons at guest houses or hotels. Initially, a notice by the Public Health Ministry had said that persons returning home could stay at the Government-assigned quarantine facilities or pay for accommodation at designated hotels. The hotels listed were Brandsville Apartments at Pike Street, Kitty and Bacanas Guest House at Charlotte Street, Georgetown.
To be accepted on board one of the incoming flights, Guyanese nationals must complete the application for entry form. This form can be found on the Foreign Affairs Ministry’s website, as well as on those of Guyana’s embassies, consulates and honorary consuls overseas. Subsequently, an email confirming receipt of application would be issued, followed by confirmation of the intended date of travel.
Approvals have followed through for Guyanese nationals in Trinidad and Tobago and New York, New Jersey, Florida, and other states in the United States of America. It is open to other countries and is subject to certain strict conditions.
For months a group of Guyanese stranded in the US had written the COVID-19 Task Force, urging that they be granted permission to return home. One of the most recent letters, dated May 18, stated that those Guyanese were willing to abide by all established protocols to return home, including being tested. In an interview, those persons said they were desperate to return home.
Following mounting pressure, the caretaker Administration, through the Task Force, finally announced that it had approved the conditional return of some 300 Guyanese stranded overseas.
Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) Director General Egbert Field disclosed this week that the first set of Guyanese stranded abroad, starting with those in Barbados, will arrive in Guyana in the second week of June. In the third week, those in North America will be put on flights to return home.
In anticipation of their arrival, the Cheddi Jagan International Airport – which has been closed since mid-March – underwent sanitisation with the establishment of specialised protocols to welcome these persons safely.
Guyanese can visit https://www.minfor.gov.gy/featured/travel-advisory-for-repatriation-of-guyanese-nationals-stranded-overseas/ for more information. Contact can also be made with Foreign Service Officer Comica Johnson on telephone numbers (592) 618-4929 or office (592) 226-1606, ext 276 or email: [email protected] for more information.