Authorities in Guyana announced revisions to the nightly nationwide curfew imposed in efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, as other restrictions remain in place until at least November 30. The nightly curfew will be reduced to run from 22:30-04:00 (local time), and during curfew hours all persons will be required to stay-at-home. An additional curfew will be enforced overnight on November 11-12 running between 20:00-05:00 for the November 11 elections.
Authorized businesses, including shops selling food, may operate between 04:00 and 21:30. Restaurants and food establishments may open for delivery, drive-through, and takeaway services during these hours. Gatherings are limited to a maximum of ten people in most regions and private parties, supporting events, vigils, wakes, and receptions are currently banned. Entertainment establishments including bars, clubs, rum shops, discotheques, and public pools remain closed. Public sector workers will continue operating on a rotational basis. Individuals continue to be encouraged to remain in their homes as much as possible. Outdoor exercise is limited to 90 minutes per day and individuals are required to wear a face mask in public. Gyms and fitness centers may reopen at 50 percent capacity. Places of worship are permitted to operate at a 25 percent capacity with 45-minute sessions only. Sporting events are permitted, subject to approval from health officials. All businesses and establishments permitted to operate are required to adhere to government measures using enhanced sanitization procedures, following social distancing guidelines, and enforcing individuals to wear personal protective equipment.
Special measures are in place in Region 1, Barima-Waini, and Region 9, Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo. Non-essential travel into and out of the specified regions is restricted until November 30. The physical distance of 1.8m (6ft) between persons shall apply at gatherings which cannot exceed more than five persons. Additional testing and sanitization will be required at government buildings and means of transportation. Anyone who tests positive will be placed in controlled isolation.
The country's two international airports Cheddi Jaggan International Airport (GEO) and Eugene F. Correia International Airport (OGL) reopened to international commercial flights on October 12. Those entering by air will be required to present a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test taken up to seven days before travel. Travelers will be required to observe additional health screening and temperature checks on arrival. Tests taken up to 72 hours before travel will not be subject to additional testing. Those whose tests are taken four to seven days before travel will be required to take a second COVID-19 test on arrival at their own expense and may be required to quarantine. Land borders with neighboring Brazil and Suriname remain closed to foreign nationals, cargo transportation is exempt. Domestic travel by land, sea, and air is limited to 75 percent passenger capacities and for governmental purposes and travel to obtain or provide essential goods and services only.
As of Monday, November 2, there have been 4208 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 126 associated fatalities in Guyana. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected in the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.
Measures adopted by
local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately.
Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are
likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers
are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival
to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due
to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine
upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.