With the report of the first COVID-19 death on Guam, the different FSM states have tightened their travel restrictions, issuing mandatory quarantine or barring inbound travelers from disembarking in their respective jurisdictions.
The FSM states such as Yap, Chuuk, and Pohnpei issued separate directives to firm up their travel guidelines, noting that Guam is a major transit hub for travelers to the FSM.
Last week, Yap issued a directive informing the community that all inbound passengers to the island will be quarantined for 14-days at the Matson Sports Complex, the designated facility.
On Saturday, the Pohnpei government enforced an amended emergency order preventing passengers — both residents and non-residents alike — from entering the state. Pohnpei Governor Reed B. Oliver signed the order in response to the imminent threat of COVID-19. The order made exceptions for humanitarian support planes and vessels, and cargo ships bringing essential supplies to the island.
With no flights coming into Pohnpei, its citizens had to postpone their travel plans. During the weekend, a social media post about FSM citizens being stranded at the airport went viral prompting FSM Consul General Teresa Filepin to set the record straight to PNC.
“There are currently no FSM citizens stranded at the Guam International Airport. The post that has gone viral is via a young lady from Pohnpei who is trying to get on a plane last night to Pohnpei. But the state of Pohnpei has restricted disembarking in Pohnpei,” Filepin said.
Filepin said the consulate staffers have been in contact with the young lady who has family and a place to stay on Guam. She also said there were seven University of Guam students from Pohnpei who were also trying to board a flight to Pohnpei on Saturday.
“There were students, UOG students that were supposed to travel to Pohnpei last night, but they couldn’t and they were returned safely to their dorms under the care of the university. So no FSM citizens are stranded at the Guam International Airport,” Filepin stressed.
Now that both Hawaii and Guam have confirmed cases of COVID-19, the FSM National Government issued a national declaration placing the entire nation under a State of National Public Health Emergency.