CNMI to reopen for tourism in July


The CNMI government has announced its COVID-19 recovery plan and is set to reopen for tourism in July.

CNMI officials unveiled their Community-Focused Economic Recovery Plan on Wednesday, May 13.

In attendance were Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. Chief Executive Officer Esther Muna, and the governor’s Covid-19 Task Force Chairman Warren Villagomez.

They said the CNMI will reopen for tourism on July 15.

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The plan is a product of the governor’s economic task force, which is composed of officials from various government agencies, the Hotel Association of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Marianas Visitors Authority, the Saipan Chamber of Commerce, as well as business leaders from the Japanese, Korean, and Chinese communities.

Tan Holdings Vice President for Corporate Business Development Alex Sablan said the economic plan will unfold “gradually, keeping safety in mind.”

He added that the plan may establish thermal imaging within a large corridor and that tourists may be asked to have their temperatures taken at building entrances.

He said the CNMI “will never be COVID-free, but we can be as close to COVID-free as possible.”

Sablan said that health guidance and requirements — notably the Commonwealth’s community testing initiative — will play an important role in the implementation of the economic recovery plan.