In what has become a trend in the last few months, the phased reopening of Guyana’s international airports has been delayed again. The Official Gazette of Guyana issued on Monday confirmed that the country’s gateway will remain closed until September 30, 2020.
The extension comes just hours before the previously issued directive is set to expire. Scheduled international flight operation in Guyana has been continuously suspended since March 18.
The gazette noted that limited repatriation flights, outgoing flights, cargo flights, medivac flights, technical stops, and special authorised flights will continue to operate.
Aviation stakeholders have been preparing for the restart of aviation activities since the GCAA implemented Regulations and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to mitigate the spread of Covid-19 virus.
GCAA’s Director-General Egbert Field on Friday said, “The airport is ready; the Civil Aviation Authority is also ready but we cannot do things in isolation. We have to make sure that everybody is on the same page and everybody is ready. If one part is not ready then it cannot happen.” He added that the Ministry of Health is an important stakeholder in this decision.
In the interim, GCAA has approved a slew of flights to repatriate citizens and residents stranded in the Caribbean and North America. Eastern Airlines has weekly flights from Miami and New York scheduled through the end of October, while a Caribbean Airlines flight from Trinidad has been scheduled for September 9.
Guyana has seen a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases with a confirmed total of 1,234 and a death toll of 36; and 6 pm to 6 am curfew has been reimplemented.