New quarantine rules take effect; not many tourists expected, if any

Despite the relaxing of quarantine requirements, not many tourists are expected soon.

The island’s quarantining rules changed Friday, opening the door to tourists from low-risk countries.

But one of our main source markets, Japan, didn’t make the cut.

Adelup issued a list of low-risk areas qualifying for the island’s modified quarantine rules which went into effect today. And Japan is not there.

For Asia, the low-risk areas are South Korea, Taiwan, and Malaysia.

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Carl Gutierrez, GVB President, said: “Japan seems to be spiking in some areas and they’re just right at the borderline of that particular cut-off point of where they go from low to high. And so, we’re monitoring it and trying to figure out how to deal with this particular situation because it can change in 2 or 3 days. And we don’t necessarily want to send out that message…if there’s more going on than just a spike in the moment.”

Gutierrez was on the line with K57 radio Friday morning, saying he believes Japan will get this spike under control quickly.

As of today, incoming travelers from low-risk areas who are staying on Guam for less than 5 days will not be subject to testing or quarantine. If they’re staying more than 5 days, then they’ll have to get tested to prove they’re negative.

Gutierrez says the average tourist stays on Guam — 4.9 days — helped shape the new quarantining update in rules. And while they won’t be asked to take a test or quarantine, all the 5-days-or-less vacationers will be monitored.

“We have a really good system that starts at the airport and goes to the hotels and tracing apps that are in place. The hotels will also be responsible to continue to communicate those things to public health,” Gutierrez said.

He added that they’re still trying to coordinate a “safe-travel” bubble between Guam and the three source markets — Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan.

“Because we can be ready, but if Japan continues to test their people as they come back home and quarantine them, it’s not going to work,” Gutierrez said.

A bigger issue Guam is facing is that if there’s a ban on travel to the US, Guam gets lumped into that so Gutierrez says they’re trying to differentiate and carve out Guam from the US somehow.

“We’ve got other people working on that in Washington, DC. We’re working with (Congressman) Michael San Nicolas, with the Republican Party here, we’re working with the White House,” Gutierrez said.

As for flights actually coming in, no big flocks of tourists are expected soon with any current Korean flights mostly bringing back residents who’ve been stuck during lockdowns.