By Pacific Island Times News Staff
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention will remove Guam, the CNMI and other territories from its travel advisories effective Dec. 6.
U.S. territories, which are currently categorized as international destinations, will be considered domestic.
“As a U.S. territory, we welcome this news which aligns us with our stateside counterparts and better positions us for reopening to our tourism markets sooner,” said acting Gov. Josh Tenorio. “Not only is Guam ‘Where America’s Day Begins,’ but we have continually been a leader in this pandemic response, instituting mandatory travel quarantine, mask mandates, and proof of vaccination requirements earlier than others."
Guam is currently categorized as level 4 (very high risk) destination.
"We believe this change also recognizes the tremendous progress we have made in recent weeks, combating the third surge of Covid-19," Tenorio said.
The CNMI is categorized as level 1 (very low risk), meaning it is listed as a safe destination with low community transmission.
“The White House informed me earlier today that the CNMI will be removed from CDC’s COVID-19 travel recommendations by destination, paving the way for the safe return to normal tourism for our islands," CNMI Gov. Ralp Torres said.
Torres noted that the CNMI is open for business as a tourism destination and has a proven track record during this entire Covid-19 response through travel quarantine protocols, testing requirements and successful vaccination efforts of our people.
"This policy change by the CDC speaks to the strong measures we have in place. CNMI has been a model for the Pacific and the nation in mitigating against Covid -19, and we will continue to keep our hospitalization rate low and safeguard our man’amko, our chronically ill, and our loved ones through strong protective measures and by practicing the 3Ws,” Torres said.