Guyana COVID-19 Update (updated on May 1, 2020)
- The Corona virus 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
American Airlines: Flights to and from Guyana are suspended from March 16, 2020 to May 6, 2020 from MIA and JFK – New York.
Caribbean Airlines: Caribbean Airlines operated one departure flight daily from the Cheddi Jagan International Airport in Guyana to JFK, New York until Monday, March 23, 2020. Passengers whose travel plans may be impacted by the COVID-19 will be allowed to rebook without attracting change fees if your ticket was issued on/before March 31, 2020 with an original travel date between February 3, 2020 to June 30, 2020.
Copa Airlines: Copa Airlines has cancelled all flights, starting today, March 22, 2020, at 11:59 pm for a period of 30 days. This comes as the Government of the Republic of Panama (their travel Hub of the Americas) has temporarily suspended its airport operations.
Eastern Airlines: Eastern is offering repatriation flights from Georgetown to Miami. Contact the US Embassy in Georgetown (ACSGeorge@state.gov) for more information. In addition, Eastern is waiving change fees for travel to or from JFK – New York and Georgetown, Guyana for passengers with tickets issued from March 4 – 31, 2020. Passengers will be permitted to change free of charge to a flight of equal or lesser value up to 6 months from the original ticket issue date. If the new flight is priced higher, the customer must pay the fare difference.
JetBlue Airways: JetBlue has announced that airline will be pushing back its launch (to October 26, 2020) into the Guyana market as it revises its operations globally because of the coronavirus concerns. JetBlue will waive change/cancel fees for customers travelling March 10 – April 30, 2020. Customers may rebook their flights for travel through October 24, 2020
Liat Airways: Liat has suspended all flights into and out of to the following territories as of March 23, 2020 until further notice due to airport closures in the highlighted regions. These countries include Guyana, Trinidad, Martinique, Guadeloupe and St. Maarten. The airline continues to waive the change and cancellation fees for passengers travelling between March 12 – June 30, 2020 who would have booked their flights before March 31, 2020.
Surinam Airways: Surinam Airways have halted flights to Guyana from Suriname starting March 13, 2020 due to the closer of the Johan Adolf Pengel International Airport (March 14-21) in Suriname.
Trans Guyana Airways: Trans Guyana Airways will give a full credit and waive all cancellation/rescheduling fees to all affected passengers from the closer of Zorg en Hoop Airport and Johan Adolf Pengel International Airport in Suriname (March 14-21).
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 Airways: 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 mandatory curfew from 6pm to 6am for all businesses and services not deemed essential.
- Essential businesses (including hospitals, pharmacies and hotels) can remain open and operational for 24 hours and are required to take the necessary steps, including social distancing, with staff and clients to help minimise the spread.
- Most restaurants in Guyana have closed their dine-in service and operating curbside pick- ups and delivery from their opening hours until 6pm.
- The Cheddi Jagan International Airport at Timehri and the Eugene F. Correia International Airport at Ogle will be closed from March 18, 2020 at midnight to June 3, 2020.
- For the Guyana/Brazil Border restricted access is being granted to the border towns of Lethem and Bonfim for citizens of Guyana and Brazil who are returning home for a period of 15 days (March 20 – April 3). Access to the border towns are being granted during the hours of 7:00am – 10:00am and 4:00pm – 7:00pm. You are advised to walk with proper identification and other related documents.
- The Management of the Guyana/Suriname Ferry Service wishes to notify the general public that the service is suspended until further notice. The MB Sandaka was set to be sailing to Suriname March 18, 2020 to accommodate any remaining passengers. That has since been cancelled.
- Peanut &Sons Speedboat Service will not be operating its service from Charity to Moruca in Essequibo from March 23 until further notice.
- Cara Lodge and King’s Hotel in Georgetown are closed to guests until further notice.
- The Georgetown Zoo closed will be closed from March 17, 2020 until further notice. The National Park and the Botanical Gardens will remain open to the public.
- Flyhill, Kaimcumbay, Quatata, St.Cuthbert’s and Yupukari villages are not accepting any visitors until further notice.
- Caiman House in the village of Yupukari has closed the lodge for three months starting March 12, 2020. They will be taking tentative bookings starting June 15, 2020.
- The Iwokrama River Lodge will suspend tourism activities from March 19 – Apri 6, 2020 and will not be accepting travellers during this period.
- Karanambu Lodge is closing its doors from March 23, 2020 to June 23, 2020 (90 days) or until further notice to help combat COVID-19. They are still offering ‘lifetime credit’ to all travellers and guests who opt to postpone instead of cancelling their stay at the lodge.
- The Surana Community is closed to visitors until further notice.
- Most public events have been cancelled or postponed until further notice. This includes the North Pakaraima Mountain Safari (April 5 – 12), Rupununi Rodeo (April 10-13), Sand Creek Rodeo (April 13), Caribbean Urban Forum (June).
- The U.S. Embassy Guyana is suspending immigrant visa appointments. Applicants will be contacted with instructions for continued visa processing when we resume normal operations.
How to Reduce the Risk when Travelling
- 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
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 their cancellation policies are increasing their resiliency and that of their partners. As this is a fluid situation, we strongly encourage leniency with cancellation policies and
temporarily modifications within Guyana’s tourism sector as necessary to accommodate changing travel plans.
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. More detailed recommendations follow:
For Hotels, Interior Lodges and Resorts, we urge that you:
- Implement more rigorous cleaning and hygiene protocols and maintain the highest standards of cleanliness and hygiene in your vehicles, food services and facilities
- Disinfect and sanitise all rooms, bathrooms and common areas more frequently
- Make takeout meals more accessible
- Double-space tables and chairs if possible
- Try to best accommodate your current guest and though with future bookings for any reservation changes
- For staff working beyond the curfew hours, provide them letters printed on the company letterhead, signed and stamped highlighting their place of work, working hours and reason for travelling during the curfew hours.
- Both staff and drivers need to have their own individual letters. For an example of the
letter, kindly email firstname.lastname@example.org to request same.
- Keep up to date with the situation and adjust as need be
For Transportation Service Providers, Tour Operators, and Guides, we urge that you:
- Implement more rigorous cleaning and hygiene protocols and maintain the highest
standards of cleanliness and hygiene in your vehicles, food services and facilities
- Cater to the needs of your guests currently on a tour
- Try to best accommodate your next immediate guest booking changes and rescheduling
- Ensure to disinfect and sanitise all possible points of contact and shared space
- Keep up to date with the situation and adjust as need be
- 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 General Travel Advisory
- Be extra vigilant when visiting banks or ATMs. Visitors are advised to change currency only at legitimate exchanges at hotels or airports and are discouraged from exchanging currency on the street.
- Be aware of your surroundings. It’s important to be cautious, especially while travelling at night.
- Travel in groups and in general, avoid walking at night and opt to book cabs from designated service providers
- Travelling in the interior is best done with the help of tour operators who can make all of the necessary travel arrangements.
- Avoid travelling around with large amounts of cash, do not display signs of wealth, such as wearing expensive watches or jewellery, and do not physically resist any robbery attempt.
- Travellers are encouraged to make photocopies of IDs and passports.
- Always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Purchasing travelling insurance is recommended. Review our “Travel Tips for a smooth journey to 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.