CHCC clarifies quarantine, testing procedures as UA resumes flights to the CNMI

UA resumed its CNMI-Guam flights on Saturday. (Still image from the CNMI Office of the Governor's video)

As United Airlines resumed service between Guam and Saipan on Saturday, May 2, the Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation (CHCC) provides clarity on the COVID-19 quarantine process and other options for all inbound travelers.

The first flight on Saturday brought 38 passengers to the CNMI.

In a video posted by the CNMI Office of the Governor, CHCC  Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr. Beth Kohnen said the traveler has two options: get tested or go through the 14-day quarantine process.

Loading the player...

“The process is COTA (Commonwealth Transit Authority) picks them up at the airport and brings them to PIC (Pacific Islands Club, Saipan). We have a team here to receive them. It starts — they pick up their luggage here. They go to customs and meet with quarantine people for fruits, vegetables, invasive species. Then they are screened with a medical screen. If they are doing well, then they are sent to a room here at PIC,” she said.

She said they can either stay 14 days in quarantine or they can have the same tests performed as part of the government’s community-based testing program, and wait for the results.

If those results come back negative, they can leave quarantine early, according to Kohnen.

“We are anticipating that most people will be able to leave within five days. So, that means instead of staying 14 days, they only have to stay five,” she said.

Travelers with a certificate showing a negative test within the last 72 hours are released as well.

“Everyone who either comes through and or is released, and completes quarantine is still asked to do social distancing at home, continue to do handwashing, follow the curfew rules, and be careful about touching their face and mouths,” Kohnen said.

United Airlines told the Commonwealth Ports Authority last week that it will resume its CNMI-Guam flight service starting May 2. UA will be flying into the CNMI, three times a week — Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.