322 Guyanese return on Friday

─brought home aboard Eastern and Caribbean Airlines

DPI, Guyana, Friday, June 19, 2020

Friday afternoon saw the single largest arrival of Guyanese at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA).

The diverse group of 322 citizens who were stranded in Trinidad and Barbados, returned home aboard two flights from Eastern and Caribbean Airlines.

Peter Hopkinson arrived on the Caribbean Airlines flight that touched down at 12:30pm from Trinidad. Though a resident in the Twin-island Republic, Hopkinson’s journey home was vital since his 90-year old father had recently passed away in Guyana.

Guyanese being processed at CJIA on Friday

Citizen, Levi Holmes

Citizen, Peter Hopkinson

Citizen, Aqilah Shepherd

“My mom is suffering. She has known him for 80 years. So, I came back to be with her, to make sure she’s okay,” he told the Department of Public Information (DPI).

In light of the COVID-19 guidelines and the 7-day quarantine that all returning passengers have to observe, Hopkinson said he will have limited physical interaction with his mother until given the all-clear at the end of the quarantine.

“We are here, just from the efforts of the Guyanese government. So, it is a service provided by them. Therefore, we have to make sure we follow their guidelines. It is very important,” he continued.

Another citizen, Levi Holmes, after making his way through the sanitisation, temperature screening and personal information-sharing sections at CJIA said he was stranded in Barbados for four months after merely travelling for a two-week Indigenous trade show.

While crediting the support his Barbadian friends provided during the lockdown of Guyana’s airports, Levi listed a few steps he will take to be safe amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“I will try my best to stay much at home and to be out of the heavy traffic,” Levi added.

Aqilah Shepherd, one of the many law students who are now back on Guyanese soil after studying at the Hugh Wooding Law School (HWLS) in Trinidad highlighted her reasons for returning home.

“Aside from being with my family, I think that I will feel more comfortable preparing for exams at home in an environment where I’m comfortable and I have full support,” Shepherd explained.

The National COVID-19 Task Force (NCTF) has extended the nation’s emergency measures to July 2, 2020. During this period, the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) will proceed with its phased reopening of the airports that cater to limited repatriation flights, among other provisions.

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Coronavirus disease spreads primarily through contact with an infected person when they cough or sneeze. It also spreads when a person touches a surface or object that has the virus on it, then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth. We urge citizens to practice good hygiene and social or physical distancing also adhere to the guidelines provided by the Ministry of Health, Guyana.