The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has further raised the travel warning for Guam from level 3 to 4, posing a new setback to the reopening of the island's tourism.
Level 4, which indicates a very high risk of exposure to Covid-19, advises travelers to avoid all travel to the destination. A total of 142 destinations are currently in this category.
Guam tourism was initially scheduled to reopen on May 1, based on the "path to half" marker. Although more than 50 percent of the island's eligible population have been vaccinated, the government was compelled to hold off on the tourism reopening plan following the discovery of two Covid clusters and variants of concern.
Covid-19 tests over the past seven days averaged 10 cases as day. To date, there have been a total of 8,103 officially reported cases of Covid -19 with 139 deaths, 89 cases in active isolation, and 7,875 not in active isolation. The CAR Score is 0.7.
“This upgrade in travel risk should not be viewed as a setback in our recovery but a reminder that we must keep the basic Covid-19 mitigation measures in place," Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero said.
She reminded residents to continue wearing facemasks, washing their hands, and watching distance. These protective measures, she added, remain to be the best safeguards for the community.
“Reopening our island is dependent on our ability to hold ourselves accountable. If you’re sick, stay home. If you’ve been exposed to a positive case, self-quarantine and get tested," the governor said.
"We know all too well how a single positive case can multiply into a cluster and the adverse effects on families, schools, and businesses. Please do your part to protect one another and keep Guam safe,” she added.
Guam remains in Pandemic Condition of Readiness 3, but some restrictions have been eased, and the crowd limit for social gatherings and most businesses has been raised to 75 percent. However, the occupancy limit for drinking establishments has been reverted to 50 percent.
The government, following CDC's recommendation, has waived the quarantine requirement for travelers who have been fully vaccinated.
“This virus can be beaten and we know how," Lt. Gov. Josh Tenorio said. "While we have seen more positive cases in our community in recent weeks, data tells us most of these individuals were not immunized."
With the expansion of age eligibility for the Pfizer vaccine to include adolescents, health authorities said the vaccine program will cover 10,000 more individuals.
"With more of our population eligible for the vaccine, more people can receive the protection it provides," Tenorio said. "For those 12 years of age and over, please get the free Covid-19 vaccine and help our island in our effort to Liberate Guam from this pandemic.”