New protocols and restrictions will now be in effect for any incoming vessels to the CNMI.
The details were released in a Memorandum from the Chairman of the Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force on Tuesday.
The Chairman, Warren Villagomez, said in consultation with the Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation (CHCC), the Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force will be enforcing surveillance and testing requirements for motor vessel (M/V) ships and mariners to ensure the prevention of community transmission of COVID-19 from off-island travelers:
• Merchant marines who are traveling to Saipan through Saipan International Airport will be subjected to current screening and quarantine procedures as described at governor.gov.mp.
• Ships whose sole mission is to unload cargo and/or refuel and depart CNMI will not be required to register and will not be tested as long as all ship personnel remain at the dock.
• Ship personnel, including residents, are not allowed to use boats to transit from ship to shore. This puts CNMI residents at extremely high risk of community transmission should the resident have the COVID-19 virus.
• Ships whose mission includes any planned interaction with community members must adhere to current CNMI COVID-19 requirements including but not limited to registration, testing, and quarantine.
• In order to ensure mariners follow requirements, the Division of Customs will lead enforcement and accountability by mariners and their employers.
The memorandum does not state how long the new protocols will last.