Repatriation plans for Guam-stranded Micronesians underway

Micronesian citizens who have been stranded on Guam for nearly eight months due to borders shutdown in the Federated States of Micronesia are anticipated to head back home next month, the FSM government said.

Livingston A. Taulung, secretary of FSM Department of Health and Social Affairs, said the government is finalizing its negotiation with a Guam hotel that will provide lodging for FSM citizens, who will be pre-quarantined prior to their repatriation.

“Our memorandum of agreement with the hotel has reached legal sufficiency with the Department of Justice, and as of this morning we finalized our proposed text for the memorandum of agreement with the medical provider,” said Taulung, who also chairs the FSM Covid-19 Task Force.

Taulung said repatriation-related activities are likely to begin "in the coming weeks," with the first wave of repatriates arriving "sometime in October." No specific dates have been set, he added.

Last month the national task force announced plans to implement a 14-day pre-quarantine on Guam with two tests, followed by arrival and onsite quarantine for 14 days and additional tests.

He said the bulk of the executive branch’s $1.7 million supplemental budget has been earmarked for expenses related to pre-quarantine processes on Guam, including a charter flight via an international commercial carrier.