RMI closes borders to international inbound flights for two weeks


The Marshall Islands government updated its travel advisory today, with an announcement that it will close its borders to international inbound flights for the next two weeks.

The Marshall Islands will start enforcing the total suspension from March 8 until March 22.  Planes that require refueling en route to other destinations will be allowed to land in the airport provided that they follow the RMI Ports Authority’s Standard Operating Procedures (SOP).

One of the SOPs is the prohibition of human-to-human contact while refueling in the Marshall Islands. 

Meanwhile, the government suspended both air and sea travel from several countries with COVID-19 cases. The list includes the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong, Macau, South Korea, Italy, Japan, Iran, Germany, France, and Spain. 

All cruise ships and yachts are suspended from visiting the Marshall Islands until further notice, according to the advisory. Container vessels and fuel tankers that deliver supplies to the RMI, including vessels coming from the restricted countries, are exempted from the suspension.

However, the vessels are required to spend 14 days in a coronavirus-free territory or country outside of the RMI. 

The advisory was released by the RMI Ministry of Health and Human Services. In a message posted on social media, Jack Niedenthal, Secretary of the RMI Ministry of Health said that they are asking people not to travel to the Marshall Islands. 

“Residents, RMI Citizens and potential visitors residing in the United States of America are strongly advised to cancel all travel to the RMI. The RMI is still in the process of building infrastructure and capacity to respond effectively to COVID-19. Health facilities in the United States are far more capable of managing a large outbreak of cases,” he said.

Here’s RMI’s latest travel advisory: