Marshall Islands extends travel ban to May 5

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Majuro's COVID19 hotline (Photo from RMI MOHHS}

The Marshall Islands government has extended its travel ban on all international air travel until May 5.

The government has issued several COVID-19-related travel restrictions since late January. The current advisory carries the last directive suspending international air travel to the Marshall Islands.

Planes that require refueling en route to other destinations will be allowed to land in the Amata Kabua International Airport provided that they follow Standard Operating Procedures (SOP). One of the SOPs is the prohibition of human-to-human contact while refueling in the Marshall Islands.

According to the RMI Ministry of Health and Human Services, all domestic passenger air travel between Kwajalein and Majuro on international flights will also be suspended. However, domestic air travel between Kwajalein and Majuro on Air Marshalls is still allowed.

The directive also suspends visits from cruise ships and yachts. Meanwhile, fishing vessels that transited or departed from COVID-19 countries will not be allowed to enter the Marshall Islands’ seaport until further notice.

Fishing vessels exempted by the RMI Ports Authority and other government agencies would have to spend 14-days at sea and follow SOPs before entering the country.

Container vessels and fuel tankers are exempted from the directive but are required to also spend 14-days outside of the Marshall Islands.

While the Marshall Islands is still working on preparing its public health infrastructure to protect the community against COVID-19, it is also in the middle of addressing a dengue fever outbreak.

Last month, Jack Niedenthal, Secretary of the Ministry of Health said the Marshall Islands have been in a State of Health Emergency because of dengue fever and they can’t risk battling two diseases at once until the country is fully prepared.

As of this week, the Marshall Islands remain one of the few countries without a confirmed COVID-19 case.

Here’s the  MOHHS directive in full:

RMI Travel Ban ext 4.4