Guyana COVID-19 Update (updated on August 11, 2020)
Visitor safety and security and destination health and sustainability are our highest priorities. With the rapid change in the world since the World Health Organization declared the novel corona virus a pandemic on March 12, 2020, the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA) is working hard to ensure travellers and all stakeholders receive accurate, relevant, and up-to-date information online and via e-blasts. You can get real-time updates on our Guyana Tourism Authority’s Facebook page or opt into our WhatsApp group (for members of our local sector), or emailing us at email@example.com. Below you can find more information on:
- COVID-19 in Guyana
- International Travel
- Domestic Travel
- Closures and Postponements
- How to Reduce the Risk when Travelling
- Tourism Sector Health and Resiliency
- For More Information
The Novel Coronavirus in Guyana
Guyana recorded its first case of the virus on March 11th, 2020. There are currently four hundreds and ninety-seven (497) active cases, twenty-two (22) recorded deaths and one hundred and sixty-eight (186) recovered cases. The Government of Guyana responded quickly and closed Guyana to all international flights on March 18, 2020.
If someone is suspected as having COVID-19, do not visit any health care facility. Instead make an urgent report to the Guyana Ministry of Public Health via telephone number (592)227- 4986 Ext# 215 between 08:00-16:30h or (592)624-3067 between 16:30-20:00h, and a team will be dispatched to the suspected person’s home. This will avoid exposing others to the virus if indeed someone is infected.
The Cheddi Jagan International Airport at Timehri and the Eugene F. Correia International Airport at Ogle was closed for international flights as of March 18, 2020 at midnight.
The Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) created its phased opening approach of the airports based on the overall approach taken by the National Task Force. This our international airports will follow the below reopening dates:
- Phase 1 – currently : Ongoing repatriation flights.
- Phase 2 – August 28 : Limited incoming commercial flights for Guyanese citizens, permanent residents, international workers and diplomats.
- Phase 3 – September 30 : Limited incoming commercial flights and open to foreign nationals. More international carriers are keen to enter the market at this time due to the combination of foreign and local nationals.
- Phase 4 – October : Expansion of flights.
For international travellers, we urge that you check with your respective airlines for updates on when they will resume flights to Guyana. Pre-Covid-19 Guyana was serviced by direct travel and policy updates in relation to the Coronavirus. For a snapshot of helpful information, please review the following and the links below:
Eastern Airline(set to fly from March 2020)
JetBlue Airways (set to fly from April 2020 and now April 2021)
Trans Guyana Airways
Once someone is travelling to Guyana, they will be asked to follow the below protocol:
- Take a PCR Test 7 days before travel and submit a negative molecular result to the airline to be able to fly
- Wear a face mask while in the airport (as per their policy) and during the flight
- Upon arrival into Guyana, will be decontaminated by airport staff on the ground in Guyana (70% alcohol substance)
- Complete and submit Health Information Form to the Port Health
- Submit negative molecular PCR test results
- Submit to temperature test and evaluation by the Port Health
- Observe social distancing protocols
- If found positive with symptoms of COVID-19, may warrant isolation/quarantine
- Baggage and cargo will be decontaminated prior to leaving the premises
What is the process for securing a repatriation flight?
Persons desirous of returning home via the repatriated flight option are required to adhere to the following guidelines:
- Fill out the repatriation form that can be found on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. https://www.minfor.gov.gy/repatriation-application/
- Complete a Polymerise chain reaction [PCR] test. Results usually take 24 hours.
- Submitted results will be sent to the Ministry of Public Health.
- Once cleared (via a negative test result) from the Ministry of Health their name will be added to the list of persons to be repatriated and submitted to the Airlines.
- Persons are asked to keep checking with the Airlines for available flight
- Please note that the sooner all the information is provided to complete your application, the sooner you will be able to travel home.
Limited domestic travel is taking place. For domestic travellers, we urge that you check with your respective airlines for direct travel and policy updates in relation to COVID-19. For a snapshot of helpful information, please review the following and the links below:
Air Services Limited:All passengers will be screened for flu-like symptoms prior to boarding.
Roraima Airways:Roraima Airways has increased the frequency with which they clean their aircrafts.
Trans Guyana Airlines:All passengers will be screened for flu-like symptoms prior to boarding. Anyone found with a temperature of 38 degrees Celsius and over will be denied boarding. Passengers who are denied boarding because of health concerns will be refunded their fare or given the opportunity to reschedule their travel plans without charge. Passengers who choose to cancel their reservations between 0 and 48 hours prior to flight will be subject to our cancellation policy but TGA will waive the admin/change fee.
Closures and Postponements
Under the guidance of the Ministry of Public Health, the Government of Guyana has instituted a phased approach to opening our economy and businesses. Guyana is currently in Phase 4which includes:
- curfew between 20:00h – 06:00h (8pm and 6am)
- essential businesses (supermarkets, markets, banks, etc) are allowed to be open from 06:00h – 17:00h (6am-5pm)
- hotels and lodges are allowed to be open for 24 hours
- social distancing and wearing of face masks protocols must be observed at ALL times
- face masks are required to be worn in public spaces
- except where provided in the Emergency Measures, every person should remain in the confines of their own home with the exception of ninety (90) minutes of exercise in open public spaces (social distancing observed)
- there are restrictions on all social activities. This includes planned activities along the sea wall (with the exception of exercise), attending bars and gymnasiums
- restaurants are allowed to be open from 06:00h – 20:00h (6am-8pm) for take-out, drive thru or delivery, and outdoor dining can take place from 06:00h – 18:00h (6am-6pm) under strict COVID-19 guidelines
- no more than 10 persons are allowed to attend gatherings (including funeral or wedding)
- public transportation is allowed to operate at a 75% capacity to cater for social distancing protocols
- public and private sector employees can return to their place of business on a rotational basis
How to Reduce the Risk when Travelling
As recommended by the WHO, residents and international travellers can reduce their risk of the coronavirus infection by:
- Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water for a recommended 30 seconds.
- When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – through the tissue away immediately and wash hands
- Avoid close contact with anyone that has fever and cough
- Maintain a social distance of 3 feet
The Ministry of Public Health also urges no large gatherings (of more than ten persons), have restricted the number of attendees permitted at weddings and funerals, and have reduced the recommended persons allowed in public transpiration to half of the vehicle’s capacity.
Tourism Sector Health and Resiliency
The Guyana Tourism Authority is increasing collaboration with the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) to improve Guyana’s capacity at a destination level to provide cost- effective, quality health, food safety and environmental sanitation (HSE) solutions to the threats impacting our tourism sector.
This is uncharted territory for Guyana’s travel and tourism sector, and the situation is changing daily. Tourism businesses and travellers that are flexible and able to make decisions and changes quickly to increase their resiliency and that of their partners and establish a safer environment for their guests.
The GTA is also encouraging the sector to take additional measures, in consultation with global and local public health authorities, to make their cleaning and hygiene protocols even more rigorous. We are created the GTA Hygiene and Sanitation Protocol that acts as a guide for local tourism businesses in creating their own policy. At a glance, our top tips are below:-
Tourism Accommodation Establishments (Hotels)
- Guests must be reminded of cleanliness, hygiene and social distancing practices and protocol.
- Staff must be required to wear surgical or non-medical masks.
- Public spaces and the front desk must be cleaned and disinfected frequently.
- Staff must be trained on the most common signs and symptoms of the coronavirus infection – fever, dry cough and shortness of breath.
- Staff must be reminded that symptoms occur 1-14 days after exposure and persons can be asymptomatic.
- Routine cleaning and disinfecting of all contact surfaces in guest rooms must be scheduled and performed.
Interior Lodges and Resorts & Tour Operators
- Drivers/captains must perform routine cleaning and disinfection of vehicles.
- Employers/vehicle and boat owners must provide all operators with PPE and cleaning products/disinfectant wipes.
- Employers/vehicle and boat owners must ensure sick employees/drivers/captains stay at home.
- Drivers/captains must frequently clean their hands with an alcohol-based hand rub, or wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Signage for cough and sneeze etiquette and hand sanitising in vehicles/boats must be visible in by passengers.
- Tour groups must be manageable and adhere to social distancing protocols. The use of microphones should be encouraged.
- The number of vehicles/boats used must be increased to ensure that social distancing precautions are adhered to.
- Transport providers must ensure that all vehicles/boats are sanitised before and after each tour.
- No sharing of equipment, such as spotting scopes should be allowed.
- Gear that is reused between trips must be disinfected.
- Travellers must be encouraged to walk with their own sanitising products/masks. Tour guides will also provide the same if needed.
For More Information
the Guyana Tourism Authority will continue to monitor the situation and reliable sources closely and make informed and evidence-based decisions accordingly. The authority is encouraging travellers and the travel and tourism sector to do the same. Below is a list of helpful websites:
- Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases Dashboard from Johns Hopkins University
- ThePandemic Business Checklist by Action Coach and COVID-19 Business Continuity Planning Checklist by Social Rank Media are two great resources to help inform your business planning and communications during this time.
- World Health Organization (WHO) Caribbean Public Health Agency
- Centres for Disease Control and Prevention
- Ministry of Public Health Guyana
Guyana Health Advisory
Contact us About Safety and Security in Guyana
Healthier, safer tourism in Guyana
This novel, innovative program is addressing the health safety and environmental threats that impact on the Caribbean to tourism through real-time early alert and response system to tourism health and safety threats., food and environment safety training, hospitality standards and globally recognised certification and branding. You can read more here. Participating facilities will be branded and accredited by CARPHA, CTO, CHTA as a preferred healthier, safer facility, allowing for a marketing and branding competitive advantage
- Accommodations are encouraged to register now here to be eligible for recognition as a healthier safer destination.
- Training materials for using THiS system are available here.
- Links to the THP program, the Tourism and Health Information System (THiS.org) system and training materials:
- Overall presentation on the Tourism and Health program (by Dr Indar) can be accessed here.
- Tourism and Health program brochure is available here.
- Presentation on the Tourism and Health Information System (THiS.org)
- See THiS Live Demonstration Training video here.
- Step by step Training Instruction for using the THiS (by Dr Alexander) is available here.
- Registration forms for the THiS can be accessed on this link.