Three FSM states are now enforcing travel bans

FSM seal (PNC file photo)

Yap, FSM has now joined Chuuk and Pohnpei in prohibiting aircraft passengers from disembarking in the state.

The restrictions were established to prevent the entry of COVID-19 in the Federated States of Micronesia, one of the few nations without a confirmed case.

Another FSM state, Kosrae, is not presently receiving air traffic passengers, according to information from the Office of the FSM President.

While aircraft may continue to arrive in Yap State for the delivery of cargo, no individual regardless of origin may deplane in Yap until further notice (as well as Chuuk and Pohnpei).

“It has become clear that Yap State requires the same assistance to strengthen its quarantine facility capacity as Chuuk and Pohnpei,” FSM President David Panuelo said. “For this reason, among others, and in the best interest of protecting the Nation and its citizens, no travelers may disembark in the State of Yap until further notice.”

Panuelo signed an emergency declaration on March 14 which prohibits FSM citizens from traveling to countries and territories with confirmed cases of COVID-19.

However, the FSM government can grant approval for outbound travel for “special circumstances” such as education or employment.

The FSM National Government also rescinded the 14-day delay directive for cargo and tanker vessels entering the nation. This is to ensure the uninterrupted delivery of essential supplies to the FSM.

However, shipping vessels must comply with extra health precaution measures supervised by the FSM State Departments of Health and Port Authorities. Fishing vessels licensed in the FSM and arriving into the nation’s borders are still subject to the 14-day quarantine requirement, according to the Office of the FSM President.

“Hospitals will continue to receive medical supplies just as supermarkets will continue to receive food,” Panuelo said. “Citizens are urged to keep their food purchases at the same level as if there wasn’t a pandemic, so as to ensure everyone is able to buy plenty. I respectfully request all citizens to shop with kind consideration of others and their families. Our supply lines are not in any jeopardy.”

As of March 25, there are still no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the FSM.