Guyana has become the first Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country to impose new entry requirements for travellers coming from China where there has been an upsurge in coronavirus (COVID-19) cases.
“Starting from 8th January 2023, all passengers two years and older, originating from the People’s Republic of China, will be required to get a COVID-19 test (such as a PCR test or an antigen) no more than two days before their departure from the PRC, Hong Kong, or Macau, and show a bona fide negative test result to the airline/carrier upon departure,” according to an official statement.
It said variants of the SARS-CoC-2 virus continue to emerge worldwide and in light of the present surge in COVID-19 cases in certain parts of the world, and to decrease the chance for entry of a novel variant of concern, the Ministry of Health will be implementing a requirement for a negative COVID-19 test.
“A no less than 48 hours or documentation of recovery for all passengers (2 years and older) travelling directly or in transit to Guyana from the People’s Republic of China, and the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong, or Macau,” will also be required, according to the statement.
The ministry said the requirement applies to these passengers regardless of nationality and vaccination status and will also apply to persons travelling from the PRC via third-country transit and to passengers on connecting flights to Guyana
“Passengers who tested positive more than 10 days before the flight can provide documentation of recovery from COVID-19 in lieu of a negative test result,” and “airlines and other ports of entry must confirm the negative COVID-19 test results or documentation of recovery for all passengers before they board or deny boarding to non-compliant passengers.”
The statement said the requirement to show a bona fide negative test result has been shown to decrease the number of infected passengers boarding airlines and it will help to slow the spread of the virus “as we work to identify and understand any potential new variant that may emerge.
“The Ministry of Health will continue to monitor travel patterns, adjust our approach as needed, and keep the Guyanese public informed in a timely manner.”
The announcement by Guyana comes even as Executive Director of the Trinidad-based Caribbean Public Health Agency (CAPHA), Dr Joy St John Thursday said that several coronavirus (COVID-19) variants that are causing surges in the United States, the United Kingdom and China have “been circulating in the Caribbean since last year”.
But St John urged regional countries against shutting down their borders or implementing travel restrictions as a means of curbing the spread of the virus.
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