Choosing life over profit: FAS nations not in a hurry to reopen borders, even if that means further


Some countries have raised the victory flags after completely defeating Covid-19, while a few locations are seeing a new wave of positive cases just after getting past their peak. The freely associated states are among the last countries standing, sharing the hall of fame with nine other countries that have dodged the treacherous pandemic.

Palau, Federated States of Micronesia and Marshal Islands have fortified their borders early on and they are in no rush to reopen to visitors, even if that means blocking their revenue streams longer.

The near termination of transportation across the region has had strong repercussions on their economies, Department of Interior Assistant Secretary Douglas W. Domenech said after announcing the release of technical notes from the Graduate School USA’s Economic Monitoring and Analysis Program (EconMAP) in June.

Heavily dependent on tourism with 20 percent of all its workers employed in the tourism industry, Palau is projected to experience a 51 percent reduction in tourists, with a total expected of about 44,075 visitors, and a further 89 percent reduction in fiscal year 2021, according to EconMap. Overall, Palau is expected to experience a 22.3 percent decline in GDP and a loss of 3,128 jobs, primarily in the private sector.