FSM Information Services
41 FSM Citizens & Diplomats Enter Pre-Quarantine in Guam for Repatriation to the FSM on December 5th
PALIKIR, Pohnpei—On November 20th and November 21st, 2020, forty-one (41) individuals—consisting of MiCare-insured medical patients and their attendants, students, and diplomatic staff who are directly attached to foreign Embassies—entered the Government of the Federated States of Micronesia’s (FSM) pre-quarantine site in Guam. In addition to the 14-day pre-quarantine period in Guam, every individual being repatriated will be required to undergo an additional mandatory 14-day quarantine period upon arrival in the FSM, tentatively scheduled for December 5th, 2020.
All repatriating persons will undergo the same COVID-19 testing and security protection regimes. All preventative and protective measures necessary to effectively complete this repatriation successfully are being implemented and put into effect both in Guam and in the FSM. Access and visitation to designated pre-quarantine and quarantine facilities is restricted.
It is the intention of the FSM National Government to repatriate its citizens genuinely stranded abroad in an urgent timeframe that simultaneously respects the Nation’s capacity to do so and maintains the safety of the Nation’s citizens within the FSM’s borders. For this purpose, although the FSM National Government is unable to provide a specific date for the next repatriation flight, the planning and execution of such remains an ongoing priority in the FSM COVID-19 Task Force.
If the tentatively scheduled December 5th repatriation effort is successful, it will be the first of the FSM’s ongoing initiative to safely return the Nation’s stranded citizens’ home.
Citizens stranded abroad and wishing to repatriate into the FSM are likely to be keen to know whom best to contact regarding the repatriation process, including repatriation procedures. Citizens are advised that the personnel appropriately able to answer these public queries are the Manager for Environmental Health & Preparedness, Mr. Moses Pretrick, and the Special Assistant to the President for Public Information/Press Secretary, Mr. Richard Clark.
Citizens are encouraged to note that only the FSM COVID-19 Task Force can make decisions on the repatriation process, with guidance given to them by the 21st FSM Congress through Congressional Resolutions extending the Declaration of Public Health Emergency. Decisions being made for repatriation efforts are collectively developed in the FSM COVID-19 Task Force, in close consultation with the State Task Forces; no single individual, to include elected and appointed officials, can, or does, unilaterally make repatriation decisions on a case-by-case basis.
“I have demanded an airtight repatriation regime, and that is precisely what we’re doing,” His Excellency David W. Panuelo, President of the FSM, said in a statement. “While I understand citizens may be worried about the repatriation, there is no need to be fearful, and to demonstrate why, let us review the scenario in full. To enter the pre-quarantine site in Guam and begin the 14-day pre-quarantine period, every repatriating person had to submit a COVID-19 test. There are multiple more COVID-19 tests during the pre-quarantine period. There is no contact during the pre-quarantine, and all medical and food services are delivered through certified vendors. On December 5th, the repatriating persons will be escorted to the aircraft on a disinfected vehicle with COVID-19 tested drivers wearing appropriate PPE such as masks and gloves. The chartered humanitarian U.S. Armed Forces aircraft the FSM has requested will be disinfected, and the crew tested for COVID-19 and wearing appropriate PPE, such as masks and gloves.”
“Upon arrival in the FSM,” the President continued, “All repatriating persons will be tested for COVID-19, electronically cleared through Immigration and Customs with no physical contact, and immediately escorted to the designated quarantine facility, which carries a minimum 14-day experience. All repatriating persons and onsite medical staff, who will live in the quarantine site for the duration of the repatriation, will be tested for COVID-19 multiple times. National and State law enforcement will ensure the quarantine site is secure and that access and visitation are prohibited. Every single repatriating person will undergo the same COVID-19 testing and security protection regime.”
“Ever since our border closed in March, our citizenry have been split into two distinct groups: those who wish to maintain the border closure until the Pandemic is no longer a threat, and those who wish to reunite with loved ones stranded abroad. As your President, I am obligated to protect and secure our Nation’s borders and to keep you safe from external threats. We remain COVID-19 free, and we are implementing an airtight process to keep the COVID-19 virus out. I will not allow community transmission of the virus in our country. That said, I am not only the President to those of us here at home, but also to our brothers and sisters abroad. I am responsible for all of you, and I am committed to ensuring our citizens return safely home while our Nation’s citizens in the FSM remain safe from the virus.”
“I’ve asked our Task Force to keep me updated on the development of vaccines, and there are positive developments on a vaccine that will be available soon in the months to come. Our Nation has reserved adequate funds, in the millions of dollars, that we can purchase an effective vaccine to cover 100% of our population, beginning with frontline workers and vulnerable members of our society. Until every person is vaccinated, our border must remain closed—but we remain committed to bringing our stranded citizens home safely.”