CNMI hopes to reopen for tourists on July 15

(PNC file photo)

The CNMI may reopen to tourists in just less than two months but the final decision depends on the results of its islandwide community testing program.

CNMI Gov. Ralph DLG Torres said the commonwealth hopes to reopen for tourists on July 15.

During an online press conference aired on KKMP radio and hosted by Gary Sword, the governor said his administration is working on its reopening plans alongside tour and airline partners based in Asia including Skymark Airlines of Japan, which announced plans to resume flight services to Saipan at the end of July.

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Governor Torres said July 15 was a tentative target date and that “the CNMI community, first of all, needs to feel safe before the islands can again welcome tourists.”

Economic consultant to the governor Matthew Deleon Guerrero said the more people get tested for COVID-19, the more information the government will have as it decides how and when to reopen

According to CHCC CEO Esther Muna, 10 percent of the CNMI population have so far availed themselves of the free COVID-19 tests.

As of May 26, the CNMI had seven active COVID-19 cases, 13 recoveries, and two deaths.