- Guam lifted travel restrictions for travelers fully vaccinated or arriving with a negative PCR test prior to arrival. The Guam Visitors Bureau launched the Air Vaccination and Vacation (Air V&V) Program with over 900 visitors from 5 chartered flights from Taiwan (8 more flights scheduled.
- The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) has lifted more travel restrictions as 70% of the CNMI’s eligible population have completed their COVID-19 vaccine series. The CNMI was able to secure a travel bubble agreement with South Korea, which took effect on June 30, 2021. The agreement facilitates the safe resumption of air travel between the two countries during the COVID-19 pandemic; It is the first travel bubble agreement for South Korea and the CNMI.
- The Republic of Palau reopened its borders on May 30th for fully vaccinated travelers. Palau secured a travel bubble agreement with Taiwan, which took affect in April.
- The Federated States of Micronesia coordinated repatriation flights for residents in May with support of the U.S. Department of Defense followed by other flights thereafter.
- The Marshall Islands coordinated repatriation flights for residents in April and continue to evaluate this need.
The road to a full recovery is still a long stretch away. But in the absence of tourism, some good have emerged from it. We’ve seen our waters replenish with marine life, our corals looking healthier, the natural environment thriving and our people appreciating and exploring more of the islands that visitors from across the world come to experience. The “reset” button has been pushed and we must take advantage of this time to improve our infrastructures, safeguard our natural environment, and develop a plan that would satisfy both the demands of visitors and the well-being of our people, environment and culture.
PATA Micronesia Chapter