Guyana postpones re-opening of airports after sharp rise in COVID-19 cases

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Guyana postpones re-opening of airports after sharp rise in COVID-19 cases

(KAIETEUR NEWS) – The local aviation authority has canceled plans to re-open the country’s international airports after a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases.

Instead of a planned July 1 opening, the process has been pushed back to August 1, the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) said yesterday.

The country’s borders and airports were closed in March as the world battled the virus pandemic which has crippled flights.

The two international airports are the Cheddi Jagan International Airport and the Eugene F. Correia International Airport.

“The Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) after consultation with the Ministry of Public Health adjusted its ‘Four Phase Reopening Plan’ for international airports. This decision was made after careful assessment of the current COVID-19 situation in Guyana and other international ports where flights to Guyana originates.

“The Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) after consultation with the Ministry of Public Health adjusted its ‘Four Phase Reopening Plan’ for international airports. This decision was made after careful assessment of the current COVID-19 situation in Guyana and other international ports where flights to Guyana originates.

In recent days, Guyana saw steep increases in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases,” the authority said in a statement yesterday.

Guyana’s confirmed cases stood at 245 on Tuesday with 10 new cases. Ten persons have died.

GCAA’s Director General, Lt. Col. Egbert Field, noted yesterday that the GCAA and the National COVID-19 Task Force considered the health of Guyanese and the nation as top priority. Thus, it was imperative to adjust the ‘Four Phase Reopening Plan’.

“Phase one which would have ended on June 30, 2020 is now extended to July 31, 2020 and Phase two will now commence on August 1, 2020. The proposed dates in the GCAA Four Phase Reopening Plan will continue to be dictated by the COVID-19 situation.”

Under Phase one, GCAA has been permitting limited repatriation flights; outgoing flights; cargo flights; medivac flights; technical stops and special authorised flights.

“In light of the foregoing, no airline has been granted approval for the conduct of scheduled commercial operation.”

The authority said it has drafted regulations and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to guide aviation stakeholders on the measures which are expected to aid in mitigation of the spread of COVID-19 and the full resumption of aviation-related activities.

“The GCAA in conjunction with the Ministry of Public Health and the National Covid-19 Task Force will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation. The Authority asks for the travelling public’s understanding and patience during these unprecedented times.”

The CJIA has introduced a number of measures including installation of wash sinks, signs and equipment to monitor temperatures of passengers.

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