The U.S. is heading in the right direction, Europe seems to be getting things under control as well, while here on Yap we have about 40% of the population fully vaccinated.
We do not anticipate reopening until early 2022.
With that knowledge I must announce that that MantaFest 2021 program is officially canceled. There is no way, in my opinion, that both the FSM Government and the Yap State Government are going to agree to open the borders anytime soon, and even if they open, there will undoubtedly be all sorts of restrictions placed on arrivals so that no one can affectively come for a vacation.
This breaks my heart as I miss everyone, and I miss the diving.
Who could ever believe that I have been unable to travel and there is no end in sight?
It is an extraordinary situation that I am still not used to. Every morning, instead of going to the resort and diving with our friends from all around the world, I am checking the news hoping that the end of the tunnel will be in sight soon. There is light, but no green light yet and that is very frustrating.
I’m very sorry having to email this message, but it wouldn’t be responsible and fair towards you to give you hope that we could all be together for MantaFest this year.
Even the changed dates in October are just not realistic anymore. It is sad but that is the reality we are forced to deal with.
Please keep following my blog (mantaray.com/blog/). I hope you are enjoying reading the updates from our beautiful island as I certainly enjoy updating you. I am very much looking forward to the day I write the blog with the headline, “Yes, we’re open again.”
Although our reopening date is unknown, please have a look at our “Grand Re-opening Specials. As a MantaFest participant in 2022, you can benefit from our “Get 3 Extra Nights for Free” offer when booking our 7, 11 or 14-night MantaFest package.
Finally, please help us spread the word that Manta Ray Bay Resort & Yap Divers is the dive resort to visit once things are back to normal again.
Friends, adopted family and buddies, please stay safe and healthy. My family and I, as well as our staff, cannot wait to have you as our guests again.
William “Bill” Acker
Manta Ray Bay Hotel and Yap Divers
Editor’s note: The website for the Manta Ray Bay Resort is www.mantaray.com. On July 29, the Journal received a release from the Office of the President of the Federated States of Micronesia, advising that through Congressional Resolution 22-33, the Jan. 31, 2020 Declaration of Emergency of President David W. Panuelo has been amended.
One amendment notes that as of July 25, “49.6% of the eligible adult population defined as citizens 18 years and older have been fully vaccinated and formalizes that the “FSM’s COVID-19 vaccination goal is to transition from COVID-19 free to COVID-19 protected with at least 70% vaccination coverage.”
This emphasizes that the executive and legislative branches of the FSM National Government are cooperative, aligned, and in agreement in this area, the release said.
An additional amendment said, “Government employees or workers hired to assist the national and state government with essential services” are amongst the categories of individuals eligible for repatriation efforts, in addition to the historical categories of medical patients, capacity-building personnel, etc.” The practical effect is that non-medical professionals, including teachers, consultants, engineers, etc. are eligible for entry into the FSM on a case-by-case basis as determined by the COVID-19 Task Force, the release said.
Additionally, “Citizens who are currently free of COVID-19, but had “been infected with COVID-19 in the past but had since fully recovered and determined to be non-infectious according to established health protocols and guideline[s] of the National Task Force” are amongst the categories of citizens eligible for repatriation. … it is still mandated for repatriating persons to be fully vaccinated, and to either test negative for COVID-19 OR to have medical documentation confirming recovery of prior infection.”
The practical effect is that a citizen who came up as COVID-19 positive on previous repatriation efforts, but is now free of infection, will be able to come home, the release said.
Other amendments in the Resolution said that “interstate travel on international commercial airlines shall be permitted for personnel providing technical assistance supporting the FSM’s COVID-19 preparedness and response; FSM citizens residing in the FSM are required to undergo COVID-19 vaccination subject to the protocol of the Task Force and any employee of the FSM National Government and its offices or agencies who fails to comply with this requirement within 30 days, absent reasonable justification, shall be placed on leave without pay. As vaccination rates increase and risk profiles decline, the COVID-19 Task Force is empowered to make appropriate adjustments to how the Declaration of Public Health Emergency is implemented, the release said.
The declaration of a public health emergency in the FSM is due to expire Sept. 30. mbj