Governor Lou Leon Guerrero announced Wednesday afternoon the lifting of additional restrictions to allow for limited dine-in service at island restaurants and permit the conditional reopening of Guam to tourists from South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan.
“After meeting with the Physicians Advisory Group and economy advisory group, I am announcing further relaxation of restrictions during PCOR 2 and the conditional reopening of Guam’s tourism markets from South Korea, Japan, and Korea effective July 1,” the governor said.
Practically speaking, what the decision means is that visitors from Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan will no longer be subject to the mandatory 14-day quarantine.
However, returning Guam residents will still be subject to quarantine although they’ll be allowed to do it at their own homes
“Japan removed their health emergency earlier this week. South Korea has been able to contain further transmission, and Korean Airlines will begin flights in June. Taiwan has led one of the best responses to COVID-19,” the governor said.
The re-opening of tourism, of course, is subject to continued low to no positive cases of COVID-19. The island remains in PCOR 2 and July 1 is still just over a month away.
“We wanted our industry to be prepared and we wanted to signal this to them so that they can begin preparations to again bring back our tourism industry. I am informed that in the market, it takes anywhere from 30 to 45 days of lead time in order for us to start again booking business and visits to Guam,” the governor said.
In addition to the conditional re-opening of the tourism market, a series of other restrictions will be also be lifted.
Effective at 8 a.m. Friday morning, dine-in restaurant services can resume and churches will be allowed to hold services inside. But both will be limited to a 50% occupancy requirement.
Public parks and beaches will also be open again and social gatherings of up to 25 people will be allowed.
However, food courts, bars, and taverns, and gyms must remain closed.
“If, at any point, we see an increase in cases, I will not hesitate to re-implement social isolation measures. I will not jeopardize human life and risk, an even longer period of recovery,” the governor said.
Three additional positive cases of COVID-19 have now raised the total number of confirmed cases to 170. Five have died and 143 people have been released from isolation and they are presumed recovered.
Right now there are only 22 active cases of the disease on Guam