Palau, Marshall Islands, FSM extend travel restrictions

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(PNC file photos)

The Freely Associated States — Palau, Marshall Islands, and the Federated States of Micronesia — have passed directives extending their respective travel restrictions in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Palau

The Palau Government has extended its temporary travel restrictions for Hong Kong, Macau, and mainland China until June 30.

Palau President Tommy E. Remengesau, Jr. signed Executive Order No. 440 last week ordering the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Industries, and Commerce to prohibit entry to Palau of all travelers coming from or transiting through the three countries.

Palauan citizens and residents are exempted from the ban but they have to go through a comprehensive health screening and a mandatory 14-day quarantine upon arrival in Palau.

The Palau President also ordered MPIIC to restrict the entry of cruise ships until June 30.

The EO reads: “No cruise ship shall be allowed to enter unless the captain submits satisfactory proof that it has not called in any COVID-19 affected area, and that none of its passengers originated from or transited through an affected area within 14 days of boarding the vessel.”

FSM

FSM President David Panuelo has extended the public health emergency declaration to May 31. While existing travel restrictions remain in place unless amended, there are some specific exceptions.

International commercial carriers and persons traveling from COVID-19 affected jurisdictions are still unable to disembark in the FSM. However, rare exceptions “may be granted on a case-by-case basis.” These exemptions include “certified health experts, technicians, and workers assigned to assist the FSM with respect to COVID-19,” as well as returning medical referral patients.

As with the existing directive, all FSM citizens remain “banned from traveling to any location with confirmed cases of COVID-19.” Exceptions may be granted for FSM citizens who are legal residents of an affected area, or for urgent medical treatment.

Regarding internal travel within the FSM States, travel by air or sea between and within the FSM States is permitted, as long as there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Marshall Islands

The Marshall Islands government has extended its total international air travel ban to June 5.

The updated interim health travel advisory was issued by the RMI Ministry of Health.

Under the updated directive, aircraft that require refueling in the Marshall Islands will be allowed to land but the crew must follow the airport’s SOP. Periodic spot checks will be conducted on airport ground crew and aircraft arriving in the Marshall Islands. No human-to-human contact is allowed.

The directive also suspends all domestic air travel between Kwajalein and Majuro on international airlines. Domestic air travel on Air Marshalls is still permitted.

All cruise ships, including liveaboard vessels and yachts, are also not allowed to visit the Marshall Islands at this time.

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