GEORGETOWN, Guyana – The Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has warned that persons could face up to one million dollars and five years in jail if they fail to comply with the stipulated regulations for preventing the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) when the international airports open next month.
GCAA has also issued a number of rigid public health guidelines and regulations to airlines, ground handlers and airport authorities under the heading “Healthy-Safety Measures and Practices at Airports and on Aircraft during a Public Health Pandemic”.
The document stipulates that all passengers are required to wear a mask at the airports and throughout their flights except for identification by law enforcement officials. They are also required to replace masks which have become wet or soiled and those who do not adhere to safety requirements will be refused access to the airport or aircraft or be removed therefrom.
Passengers who do not comply will be fined GUY$50,000 with the GCAA recommending N95, KN95 and FFP2 masks when flying.
“Any person or passenger who without reasonable excuse fails to comply or observe the health-safety requirements during flight, commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction of a fine of up to $500,000.”
Additionally, if a person acts out in a manner “endangers an aircraft or any person in an aircraft commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of G$3,000,000 and to imprisonment for five years.”
The regulations also indicates that if a passenger interferes with the discharge of a crew member’s functions, that person is liable on summary conviction to a fine of one million Guyana dollars and to imprisonment for two years.
A one million dollar fine is also to be imposed on anyone who uses threatening words at an airport or in an aircraft and disobeying orders from a pilot or crew member along with three-months imprisonment.
The authorities said that a system will remain in place where all passengers travelling to Guyana will be required to present a negative result from a PCR COVID-19 test seven days prior to travel except children under 12 years old accompanied by an adult who tested negative.
Passengers will be disinfected on the terminal and present their results along with their “Emergency Disease Screening Tool” forms which they will fill out onboard the aircraft.
According to the regulations, “passengers presenting or submitting a false or ‘non-factual’ molecular biological PCR test to the aircraft operator and to Port Health shall be liable to pay a fine of not more than GUY$250,000 upon summary conviction.”
The GCAA also announced that flights will be scheduled so as to avoid overcrowding at the airports.
The Cheddi Jagan International Airport was set to reopen on July 1st for international commercial flights. However, in an earlier statement, the GCAA said it had consulted with the Ministry of Public Health and has made some adjustments to its reopening now scheduled for August.