Guyana lifts Covid-19 test requirement for arriving passengers, proof of vaccination still required

Guyana has lifted the Covid 19 testing requirements for all international travellers arriving by aircraft, but proof of vaccination is still required, Minister of Health Dr. Frank Anthony said, and is effective from June 18, 2022.

“Having looked at where we are in terms of vaccination, we felt very comfortable that we can now remove the requirement for antigen or PCR testing however, we will still maintain for travellers into Guyana, we will still maintain that they have to produce their vaccination cards before they are allowed on the plane,” Dr, Anthony told media operatives on the sidelines of an event on Friday.

The removal of Covid 19 testing comes two years after it was implemented as a measure to prevent imported cases of the virus which first affected Guyana in March of 2020.

Covid-19 testing site at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, in the height of the covid-19 pandemic

Since the start of the pandemic, Guyana recorded 82 imported cases of the disease.

Dr. Anthony said the decision was made after an extensive evaluation of the current Covid 19 pandemic in Guyana.

Currently, 86.4 percent of the adult population is vaccinated with at least the first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, while approximately 66.8 percent has had two doses, which Dr. Anthony noted, is “relatively high.”

“With vaccination, I think we are in a good position, of course now we want people to be coming for their boosters because that too, is very important,” Dr. Anthony said.

He noted too that Guyana recently introduced vaccines for the 5-11 years age category, which is added to the 12-17 and adult age categories.

“There are no excuses why people can’t get vaccinated,” Dr. Anthony said.

He noted that with the Omicron variant, most people have a mild form of the disease, with symptoms like the common flu.

The Minister believes that Guyana is in a very good position to handle the Covid-19 situation.

“Even if we have people who are positive, we have enough capacity to be able to treat people whether they are in hospital, because at the Ocean View facility we have 198 beds, so if people get sick, we can deal with any surge, in addition to that, at all our regional hospitals we do have beds for Covid-19 patients,” Dr. Anthony said.

“We feel comfortable that we can manage this,” the health minister added.

Dr. Anthony told the media that despite this new development in the travel requirements, the port health will still maintain a presence.

“Cases are relatively high, when you look at what we had in January of this year, where we had in one month more than 30,000 cases, we are not back to that same position,” Dr. Anthony said.

Over the last 24 hours 103 new Covid-19 cases were recorded taking the total number of active cases to 964. Twenty persons are hospitalised countrywide with 10 at  the Infectious Diseases Hospital (Ocean View), and two in the intensive care unit.