Relaxed airport procedures and 50% occupancy opening of various businesses
In her May 27 press conference, Gov. Lourdes A. Leon Guerrero announced the tourism industry will reopen on a limited basis starting July 1 to visitors from South Korea, Taiwan and Japan. Screening protocols at the Guam International Airport will be relaxed as well. Final guidelines are expected to be released June 1.
“We’re probably not going to require testing,” she said. “We will most likely adhere to home quarantine for our returning residents.”
Hotel occupancy will not be limited but safety protocols such as the use of facemasks will be implemented. There will likely be limitations on congregations in common areas.
The tourism industry will emphasize to target markets that Guam is relatively safe because it implemented aggressive safety measures in a manner similar to the target markets’ respective countries, which resulted in low rates of infection and fatality and has caused them to relax restrictions faster than the rest of the world.
Leon Guerrero also announced that starting May 29 at 8 a.m., dine-in service will be allowed at restaurants, with the exception of food courts, bars and taverns, as long as occupancy is at 50% or less.
Gathering at places of worship will also be allowed but restricted to 50%. Facemasks will be required. .
Gatherings of up to 25 people will be allowed at parks and beaches.
Exercise classes such as CrossFit and yoga classes will be allowed with limitations. Gyms will remain closed.
Military allowed to resume “unrestricted” travel
The U.S. Department of Defense announced May 27 CHamoru standard time that military personnel, family members and civilian employees may resume “unrestricted” travel under certain conditions.
Conditions to resume unrestricted travel rests on two factors: 1) state and/or regional criteria based on the U.S. administration’s Opening Up America Again guidelines and 2) installation-level factors based on conditions on and surrounding DOD installations, facilities, and locations.
DOD also released “Force Health Protection Guidance – Supplement 9,”which provides guidance on deployment and redeployment for service members, National Guard members (in a title 10 or title 32 duty status) and DOD civilian employees deploying within and outside the continental U.S. during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Andersen Air Force Base, the mechanics are there for the Patriot Express to carry personnel and family members. Staff Sgt. Divine Cox of the Public Affairs Office told the Journal, “The Patriot Express hasn’t changed. It’s still every other Saturday. It never stopped flying.”
Bank moves to pre COVID-hours and Saturday opening in Micronesia
BankPacific advised it has opened for its regular hours of 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Monday to Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Fridays and 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday as of May 27.
The same hours will apply in Guam (in Hagatna, Dededo, Tamuning and Agat), the Northern Mariana Islands (in Saipan) and Palau (in Koror).
The re-opening on Saturdays of BankPacific should be popular with businesses and individual clients.
The lack of Saturday banking hours is one reason why banks have seen long lines, as well as the Department of Revenue and Taxation’s mailout of paper stimulus checks and tax refunds in Guam.
Other offices that sent releases include the Guam Hotel & Restaurant Association and TakeCare Insurance and FHP. Readers needing service should contact the offices directly to check the level of service.
Hertz declares Chapter 11, regional rep reacts
Hertz Global Holdings as well as Hertz Corp. and other brand holdings have declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which is designed for reorganizing the financial affairs of companies and enable a business to continue to operate and become profitable. It can be used for large and small corporations, partnerships, and LLCs. Chapter 11 can also be used by some individuals. “Hertz continues to operate as normal in Asia. This includes … Singapore, Guam, Saipan, Thailand, Malaysia, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Brunei, Pakistan, Cambodia, Vietnam, Macao, Japan, Philippines, Korea and India,” according to its vice president for the Asia Pacific Region in a release sent to the Journal on May 27. Triple J Enterprises is the Guam and Northern Mariana Islands franchisee and underscored that message.
Emergency food program draws Guam crowds
By the early hours of the morning of May 27 the line of cars for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farmers to Families Food Program was so long, that the Guam governor’s office announced at 5.30 a.m. that no more cars would be allowed to line up for the day’s Tiyan distribution of 2,000 food bags and boxes.
The next distributions are on May 29 at Tiyan and Dededo Farmer’s Market.
Off-island food is being stored by Matson Navigation Co. and being packed by Pacific Unlimited, according to a May 22 release. Approved distributors are the Guam Department of Education, the Mayors Council of Guam, the Salvation Army, Catholic Social Services Guam, Sanctuary Inc. of Guam and the Guam Homeless Coalition.