Processing time for arriving passengers to be reduced

In an effort to reduce waiting time and increase efficiency at Guyana’s airports, government will be removing the requirement for completion of the COVID-19 passenger locator form for persons arriving in the country.

Persons standing in line at the Airport.

Government had implemented the use of the locator form as part of several measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19, particularly for persons entering the country.  

President, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali said Sunday, that he has received complaints over the last four weeks of a situation where  three flights came in at one time, causing some delays because of the requirement of filling up that form.

He said arriving passengers had to fill the form, and join several lines before completing the process. The removal of the requirement is one of the immediate measures that will be taken to accelerate the full reopening of the economy.

Going through the process at Airport

Now all of this was necessary because of Covid, but we have to navigate now into the future, so that locator form is no longer needed, because the immigration form captures all of the information that is on that form, so which means that when you come in now, you will be advancing straight to immigration,” President Ali said.

He said he took the time to observe the process through immigration, which took about three to four minutes for each passenger.

“We have to take that time down because, in today’s world you have an advanced passenger information system, that gives you all the information, even before the passengers arrive here. So, you already know who you need for secondary checking, so we have to bring that time down, we have to make it more efficient, we have to make the ease of travel more efficient.”

“So, these are some of the things that the pandemic brought upon us that we now must advance out of the system as we move forward,” President Ali noted.

The COVID-19 pandemic was one of the key agenda items discussed at the CARICOM Heads of Government Meeting and Central American Integration System (SICA).

President Ali said it was the first time in two years the leaders met physically.

“We have been navigating through the Covid pandemic, though not over, we have made substantial enough progress in the management to have our first face to face contact.”

One of the issues discussed at the high-level meeting was the region’s capacity to produce its own vaccines. President Ali said several countries have expressed interest in working with the region in this regard.

Looking at pandemics of the future, or whether we will need an annual jab, annual covid jab as a population, we have to look at the capacity and how we build the regional capacity to produce so that we can be self sufficient and not reliant on external forces that may not come in a timely manner,” the Guyanese leader said.

The CARICOM Heads of Government meeting was held on March 1 and 2 in Belize.