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  • By Pacific island Times News Staff

Yap bans travelers to prevent entry of Covid-19

Yap airport

No traveler will be allowed to enter Yap as part of the national government’s measure to prevent the entry of Covid-19 into the island state.

Federated States of Micronesia President David Panuelo on Wednesday granted Yap Gov Henry Falan’s request to extend the prohibition on aircraft disembarkation, which was earlier implemented in Chuuk and Pohnpei. Kosrae is not presently receiving air traffic passengers.

The ban on travelers’ entry will continue to be in place until further notice, according to the FSM government.

“While aircraft may continue to arrive in Yap State for the delivery of cargo—and such continued cargo services are encouraged and welcomed—no individual regardless of origin may disembark from aircraft into the FSM States of Yap (as well as Chuuk and Pohnpei),” according to a press release from FSM government.

FSM remains coronavirus-free. Three individuals earlier tested for Covid-19 have been cleared.

“It has become clear that Yap State requires the same assistance to strengthen its quarantine facility capacity as Chuuk and Pohnpei,” 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.”

The president’s public health emergency declaration also prohibits outbound travel to Covid-19 countries, states and territories.

“Citizens wishing to travel outbound must acquire the government’s approval for special circumstances such as returning to a place of employment abroad, returning to a place of education abroad, and attending the funeral for a death in the family.

In an effort to ensure the continued supply of essential goods and services, the FSM government rescinded the 14-day delay for cargo and tanker vessels prior to entering the nation.

“In lieu of the 14- day delay requirement, shipping lines 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 their requirements, including 14-day quarantines,” the FSM government said.

“These expanded health precaution measures will help to ensure the safety of our nation’s citizens,” the president said. “The 14-day delay for cargo and tanker vessels is presently more of a danger to the FSM’s security than if it were to be rescinded. Thus, I rescind the 14-day delay for cargo and tanker vessels only. This will help ensure the continued supply of essential goods and services, including the nation’s health and food security.”

The president reassured his constituency that hospitals will continue to receive medical supplies and supermarkets will continue to receive food. He urged citizens 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.”

The president issued the public health emergency declaration while he was on Guam beginning March 14 to meet with the FBI resident agency in Guam. “The purpose of President Panuelo’s meeting was to review historical and contemporary law enforcement cooperation between the FSM and the United States in areas ranging from personal crimes investigations (e.g. homicide and other violent crimes) to white-collar (i.e. financial) crimes investigations,” according to earlier press release.


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