Despite the low number of COVID-19 infections in the CNMI and the increasing number of people being vaccinated, Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios said the CNMI needs to maintain its current COVID-19 safety protocols and urges everyone to take the necessary precautions even if the CNMI is now at Level Green, which is the safest level in the community vulnerability rating scale.
Palacios said in an earlier interview that the CNMI being on Level Green “does not mean that everything is fine,” and spoke of the importance of travelers being fully vaccinated.
“[Moving from Level Blue to Green] doesn’t mean that everything is fine. We still have to take certain necessary precautions like masking and social distancing and [limiting] unnecessary exposures. … Vaccination is very critical, not just in the CNMI but even folks that are coming into the Commonwealth, and even folks that are leaving the Commonwealth, let’s say for Korea,” said Palacios.
Right now, in addition to the CNMI being placed on Level Green, the CNMI has already inked a Travel Bubble agreement with South Korea that creates a dedicated travel corridor between Saipan and South Korea for tourists, a group of media, travel agents, and social media influencers from South Korea have arrived to promote the Travel Bubble, has welcomed many Guam fishermen for the 37th Annual Saipan International Fishing Tournament a week ago, and , as of July 21, has fully vaccinated 69.3% of the eligible population, and has not seen a case of community spread in almost four months.
The CNMI-Republic of Korea Travel Bubble arrangement took effect on July 1, Palacios said the CNMI will only accept tourists from South Korea who are fully vaccinated with proof.