Travel Bubble with Korea only for vaccinated group travel
The Marianas Visitors Authority emphasized yesterday that visitors to the Marianas aboard flights from foreign countries are required to show a negative PCR test for COVID-19 before boarding their flight—a requirement more stringent than those for ongoing domestic flights from Guam.
The policy aligns with the U.S. national standard for all arriving passengers from foreign destinations. The requirement applies to all flights, including weekly flights by Jeju Air, Asiana Airlines, and T’Way from Korea, which began last Saturday, July 24). Passengers will still need to quarantine for five days at the government’s designated hybrid quarantine resort, and must test negative for a third time before release.
“The Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. and CNMI COVID-19 Task Force have done a tremendous job of preventing COVID-19 at our borders, and all of our offshore travel partners in Korea are aware that all passengers must have a negative PCR within 72 hours prior to embarkation to the Marianas,” said MVA managing director Priscilla Maratita Iakopo. “This requirements for international flights are even more stringent than what has been applied for arriving passengers from Guam, where we still continue to see some cases pop up. With our first flight from Korea last [July 24] and our familiarization tour flight on July 17, we did not have any positive tests,” Iakopo said.
She emphasized that community protection against COVID-19 remains the central point of discussion among public and private sector partners involved in the planning for the pilot program.
Iakopo also emphasized that under the new travel bubble between the Marianas and Korea, only group travel for vaccinated individuals is encouraged, and all nonvaccinated passengers will still need to quarantine for five days.
Under the two-month CNMI Travel Resumption Investment Plan program, after five days of quarantine, passengers will then be allowed to transfer to only two other approved hotels on Saipan. If the program is successful in maintaining community safety against COVID-19, the industry is anticipated to continue a slow and organic recovery over the coming months. (PR)