FSM declares COVID-19 state of emergency

FSM president David Panuelo

The FSM government has reinstated a State of National Public Health Emergency in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic, revoking a previous declaration issued earlier this year.

FSM president David Panuelo signed the declaration Saturday, which was made under the guidance of the FSM cabinet and COVID-19 task force, and in consultation with the World Health Organization (WHO).

According to the Office of the FSM President, the declaration reinstates most of the travel restrictions in the previous document but with alterations. Under the present declaration, FSM citizens are banned from traveling to countries, states, or territories with confirmed cases of COVID-19 (e.g. the United States of America, Japan, Australia, the People’s Republic of China).

However, exceptions may be granted by the FSM Government for those traveling out of economic necessity, education, urgent medical treatment, or for immediate family emergencies.

FSM citizens are still banned from traveling to China.

Persons traveling into the FSM are required to reside in a COVID-19 free jurisdiction for 14 days. This is consistent with the previous declaration.

Travelers originating from Guam and Hawaii with no symptoms of COVID-19 will be permitted to travel to the FSM, but will be subject to mandatory quarantine upon their arrival.

Hawaii and Guam have a big FSM population.

“The purpose for keeping Guam and Hawaii open regardless, but with much greater screening procedures, is in part to ensure timely importation of supplies and materials (including medicines, food, and the mail), the successful sending of samples should COVID-19 arrive in the FSM, and the continued movement of healthy travelers,” according to information posted by the FSM government.

Panuelo said. “It is with the importance of keeping our country safe that my delegation and I are undertaking the fourteen days quarantine in Guam, and working on acquiring medical certificates for the purpose of meeting Pohnpei State Government’s requirements.”

“In Pohnpeian, we would say ‘kitail ehupene’—or we are one together. My fellow Micronesians, we are all one together; we will face this calamity with resolve, and in time we will overcome it.”

Here is the FSM emergency declaration: