Sat. Feb 29th, 2020

Palau extends duration of entry restrictions, includes cruise ships

Palau has extended the duration of the preventive measures undertaken by Executive Orders 433 and 435 through an Executive Order 436.

The National Emergency Committee and the Ministry of Health have recommended that Palau extends the duration of preventive measures it has in place in response to growing threat of COVID-19 outbreak.

President Tommy Remengesau Jr. signed EO 436 extending prohibition of direct flights from mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau to Palau from February 29 to March 31, 2020. Furthermore, the prohibition of entry of passengers that have originated from or transited through mainland China, Macao, and Hong Kong in the last 14 days is also extended to March 31, 2020.

The Executive Order added a new restriction prohibiting entry of cruise ships to Palau from March 1 to March 31 unless the captain “submits satisfactory proof that the vessel has not called in mainland China, Macau or Hong Kong” and that none of the passengers originated from or transited through those destinations in the last 14 days.

The EO stated that the COVID-19 or novel corona virus has not been identified in Palau, but the threat of it being imported is heightened.

It further reported that as of February 12, 2020, 44,787 cases have been identified world wide with 44, 311 cases within mainland China and 476 confirmed cases outside of China.  1,110 people have died within China with 1 death in Philippines and 1 in Hong Kong.

The EO clarified that travel between Palau and Japan, Taiwan, Republic of Korea, Republic of the Philippines and Guam are not prohibited.

The EO reiterated the roles of different ministries handling different responsibilities pertaining to international coordination, quarantine and reporting.

The Executive Order 436 was signed yesterday, February 13, 2010.