The government of Guam has “denied a request to accept entry” to a cruise ship scheduled to make a port call here in April.
According to the en.ponant.com website the French cruise liner ‘Le Soleal’ is scheduled to leave Fiji April 1st on a 16-day voyage ending at Guam on April 16. The ship is capable of carrying 350 passengers and 150 crew members.
However a joint release issued Sunday evening by the governor’s office, Civil Defense, Public Health and the airport states that the Leon Guerrero administration has decided not to allow the port visit in keeping with “its commitment to the safety of the community.”
Last month the MS Westerdam was denied entry to the Port of Guam, despite a request to GovGuam from the U.S. State Department to allow it to dock here. One woman aboard later tested positive for COVID-19.
In addition the joint release states that ten health care workers will be assigned to the Guam International Airport Tuesday, once their training has been completed.
The personnel will include registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and certified nurse aides.
They will “assess airline passengers for inbound and outbound flights between Guam and countries with travel advisories and health notices relative to COVID-19. Additional health care staff are being recruited,” states the release.
The release also notes that United has been ferrying planes from China back to the U.S. mainland via Guam.
The aircraft were in China for “preventive maintenance” and are being flown back to the states by 4 crew members. No passengers are aboard.
“Out of an abundance of caution” states the release, the crew members who arrived on Saturday aboard two ‘ferry flights’ were “screened by Guam public health nurses upon their arrival and screened and cleared again on Sunday morning, prior to their departure.”
The screenings were in accordance with CDC and Guam public health protocols, states the release.
READ the release from the Governor’s office in FULL below:
Joint News Release
March 8, 2020
6:30 p.m. (ChST)
Ferry Flights from China Monitored; More Health Screenings at Guam Airport
The Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS) continues to work with local and federal partners to address the threat of the virus that causes COVID-19. Currently, there are no persons under investigation (PUI) and there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Guam. Guam continues to assess the situation as it evolves. With any change in status, anticipate timely notification.
Ferry Flights from Xiamen, China to Guam
United Airlines recently acknowledged that “ferry flights” originating from China transit through Guam. These flights are committed to the transport of crew and cargo, and are exempt from the Trump travel ban. These flights have no passengers. Generally, a crew of four U.S.-based pilots pick-up pre-positioned repair parts and/or an aircraft to be flown to Xiamen.
Out of an abundance of caution, crew members on a ferry flight on March 7 were screened at the airport by the DPHSS nurses upon their arrival and screened and cleared again on Sunday morning, prior to their departure. These screenings are in accordance with CDC and DPHSS protocols.
Additional Precautions Taken at the Airport
Ten health care staff working in shifts, including Registered Nurses, Licensed Practical Nurses, and Certified Nurse Aides, will be positioned at the Guam International Airport Authority (GIAA) as early as Tuesday, upon completion of training. As part of their duties, they will assess airline passengers for inbound and outbound flights between Guam and countries with travel advisories and health notices relative to COVID-19. Additional health care staff are being recruited.
GIAA has initiated measures to protect the health of all personnel. Masks and gloves are available to frontline employees. Hand sanitizers have also been installed throughout the terminal and are readily available in high traffic and passenger processing points. GIAA management continues to work with cleaning contractors on sanitation issues and will continue safety briefings across all divisions.
Port Precautions Continue; Cruise Vessel Denied Entry
Honoring its commitment to the safety of the community, the Leon Guerrero-Tenorio Administration recently denied a request to accept entry of a cruise line vessel scheduled to dock at the Port Authority of Guam next month. The Le Soleal is a French cruise ship originating from Fiji and was scheduled to arrive on Guam on April 16. Scheduled to be on board are 350 passengers and 150 crew.
Stay Up to Date with Reputable Sources
It is important to note that the situation can change daily. The community is reminded to only share official notices and visit the following links for the most up-to-date information:
CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
DPHSS website: http://dphss.guam.gov/2019-novel-coronavirus-2019-n-cov/
GHS/OCD website: https://ghs.guam.gov/coronavirus
Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center: https://www.med.navy.mil/sites/nmcphc/program-and-policy-support/Pages/Novel-Coronavirus.aspx
For more information, contact DPHSS Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., at (671) 735-7154.