Guyanese government announced that it is opening its border crossing (The Takutu Bridge) with Brazil from Mondays to Fridays, under the revised national emergency COVID-19 guidelines.
The bridge was closed for more than one year in order to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus. As per the older guidelines, the people were only allowed to cross the border on Fridays.
The health minister of Guyana – Dr Frank Anthony, while addressing the media during a press conference, cited, “This opening from Monday to Friday would allow for people to come across once they are able to produce their vaccination to show that they are fully vaccinated and that they have an antigen test or a negative RT-PCR test that is negative”.
The closure of the border crossing ignited protest in Brazil during the month of September, demanding the measures to be lifted, after which the discussions were held between Guyanese and Brazilian authorities to discuss how both the nations can “enable the safe movement of people and goods during the COVID-19 outbreak“.
The flights between the two nations have also been halted following the viral infection.
Brazil was among the nations that reported the highest infections of the COVID-19 virus, following which the decision was taken to shut the crossing border between both countries.
Takutu River Bridge:
Takutu is a bridge across the Takutu River, which links Lethem in Guyana to Bonfim in Brazil. It was completed in the year 2009 & opened on 31 July 2009. Its official inauguration was on – 14 September 2009, in the presence of leaders of both nations.
An Amount of – US$5 million was invested in making the bridge crossing. The bridge was a project within the – Initiative for the Integration of the Regional Infrastructure of – South America.
The bridge is the only example in the Americas of a land border where drivers must change from driving on the left – (in Guyana) to driving on the right (in Brazil) or vice versa. The changeover is achieved by the means of a crossover bridge on the Guyanese side.