Marshall Islands temporarily lifts travel ban for 19 students stranded in Chuuk

(PNC file photo)

The Marshall Islands government has temporarily waived its strict ban on international travel to assist a group of Marshallese students traveling back home from Chuuk, FSM. 

Upon arrival in Majuro on March 16, the students were quarantined in the designated facility in the CMI Arrak Campus. 

The quarantined group consists of 19 Marshallese students who were studying at Xavier High School in Weno, Chuuk. The students returned to the Marshall Islands after school officials decided to close the campus on March 13 following drought and coronavirus outbreak concerns. 

According to information from the RMI Chief Secretary, the government was first alerted by Marshall Islands president David Kabua on Friday, March 13. The Office also received a request from concerned parents who requested for government assistance. 

The Marshall Islands Secretary of Health Jack Niedenthal and the Public Health team informed the parents that strict protocols would be followed, starting with a briefing upon arrival in Majuro. 

“We really admire the parents of these kids for understanding the situation, we know how unusual these times are, but all of us have to work together and cooperate to protect our country,” Niedenthal said. 

According to the Marshall Islands’ Chief Secretary, while the students are quarantined they will be able to communicate with their families online since the Arrak Campus has internet and wifi. 

The Marshall Islands enforced the international travel ban earlier this month. Niedenthal said the ban would allow the Marshall Islands to prepare its public health infrastructure.

Here’s the advisory from the RMI Chief Secretary: