Guyana will no longer require international travellers to present a negative COVID-19 test for entry. This was announced on Friday last by the Ministry of Health.
Prior to this announcement, travellers were required to present a negative test result from a recognised test such as PCR or Antigen, that was taken within a 72-hour window of entry to Guyana.
With this requirement being lifted, citizens are concerned that there may be an influx of covid 19 cases and even more so, that the crime rate may increase since many sustained their livelihoods through conducting these tests.
Mahesh Ramroop, a businessman, related to MTV News Update that “This is nonsense, they should have never do that. Now people who use to make a bread off doing them test got to suffer and even who work with them might ga start rob and kill people because them can’t feed them family.”
He added, “If covid case raise me na go surprise because anybody can come and go as them please.”
Another citizen, Sherry Paul told MTV News Update, “I don’t think is a good thing they do there because so much covid case we go get and it putting we children lives at risk. Now when you ga send them pickey to school this is more stress. Who knows how much people get knock off cause of that now what them go do they might ga start rob who got a job but wa you go do you can’t blame them.”
Our team also spoke with a vendor, Stacy Michaels, who explained “well when then mask wearing raise I suffer big blows I can only imagine wa all them place like New Vision and so doing now because they got people working for them and them people ga feed them family, but if them people get knock off you can’t blame the people is the health ministry decision nobody can’t tell them nothing. The Minister should really lookback and see and do something because if people start thief you go hear nobody ain’t go say is them fault.”
However, there were a few citizens who supported the Ministry’s decision.
Alex Patnow, a wholesaler said he was not aware that the requirement was lifted. But appeared pleased when our team informed him of the change as the joy on his face was clearly visible.
This is because “I travel a lot and it does be real expensive to do them test steady steady. So I thank the Minister for doing that for we.”
“I went waiting for the country to do that long. How long we go live like this people ga get use to covid. You know how it hard everytime you ga travel you ga take out a extra money out you pocket to do them test, then how long long you ga wait. So it is a good initiative by the government,” Alexander Persaud a teacher added.
COVID-19 restrictions still mandate that 12 years and older are still required to be fully vaccinated before being granted entry into the country.
Meanwhile, the Health Ministry has urged persons to practice public health safety measures such as mask wearing, hand sanitising, and getting their COVID-19 jab.