• By Pacific island Times News Staff

Kosrae bans entry of international travelers


Palikir, Pohnpei— Like its three other sister states, Kosrae is forced to suspend its hospitality in a bid to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in the Pacific nation.

Effective immediately, Kosrae will prohibit the disembarkation of passengers from international commercial flights, completing the shutdown of all entry points into the Federated States of Micronesia.

FSM President David Panuelo on Wednesday granted Kosrae Gov. Carson K. Sigrah's request to authorize the temporary closure of the state border, following similar moves by Chuuk, Yap and Pohnpei.

Kosrae's quarantine facility is still under construction, Sigrah told the president.

"The Panuelo-George administration and Governor Sigrah, in addition to Governors Falan, Elimo, and Oliver of Yap, Chuuk, and Pohnpei respectively, agree that it is in the collective interest of the nation to prohibit disembarkation from passengers on international commercial carriers until further notice. Disembarkation of crew, such as for the purpose of aircraft maintenance, is allowed so long as said crew do not leave their operations area," states a press release from FSM Information Service.

Although the FSM States of Yap, Chuuk, and Pohnpei have formally declared their intentions to prohibit the disembarkation of passengers from international commercial carriers, and Panuelo has repeatedly pronounced his support to uphold these requests.

On March 17, Sigrah declared Kosrae under state of emergency, but the declaration did not include the prohibition on entry of passengers who are FSM “citizens, nationals and residents.”

This was not previously an issue on the premise that Kosrae had been temporarily divorced from international carrier air service, but as flights are scheduled to land in Kosrae on April 13 and 14, the president had requested that Kosrae formally advise whether it wished to allow the disembarkation of passengers or not.

"As of April 8, the FSM national government respects the wishes of all four FSM States to prohibit the disembarkation of passengers from international commercial carriers; the national government maintains its mandate of a 14-day quarantine for any arriving passengers in the event an FSM State chooses to relinquish its travel ban," FSMIS said.

"Outbound travel from the FSM to Covid-19 affected jurisdictions remains prohibited for all FSM citizens, with limited exceptions."

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