In the face of the Covid-19 coronavirus spread worldwide, the Marshall Islands on Thursday extended its “total suspension of international travelers coming into (the country) via air travel until May 5,” according to a new travel advisory issued late Thursday.

It also ramps up restrictions on fishing vessels following an incident earlier this week with fishermen coming ashore before they had met the 14-day quarantine period.

“Because Covid-19 is a national threat these requirements will come into affect immediately,” said the new Covid-19 travel advisory issued by Health Secretary Jack Niedenthal, following a meeting of the country’s National Disaster Committee and the Cabinet on Thursday.

Head of the Pacific IFRC Office, Kathryn Clarkson and the Marshall Island's Jack Niedenthal

Head of the Pacific IFRC Office, Kathryn Clarkson and the Marshall Island’s Jack Niedenthal
Photo: Giff Johnson

The Marshall Islands remains one of a few countries globally without a confirmed case of the coronavirus.

The government has also banned all outbound government-funded travel since the end of January.

The travel ban has been aided by both Nauru Airlines and United Airlines suspending regular service.

Prior to March 20, United provided four weekly round trip flights connecting the Marshall Islands with Guam and Hawaii – now both Covid-19 hotspots.

United has scheduled one roundtrip flight for the Marshall Islands for April 13-14, its only scheduled flight for the month.

Aircraft are still allowed to land at Majuro and Kwajalein for refueling, but are required to abide by “no human contact” protocols.

In addition to updating its travel advisory, the Ministry of Health and Human Services has been conducting outreach sessions with church and community leaders to prepare people for actions that will need to be enforced if Covid-19 is confirmed in the Marshall Islands.

SOURCE – RADIO NEW ZEALAND

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