Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero on Thursday removed the mandatory government COVID-19 quarantine for certain fully vaccinated travelers entering Guam, effective 12:01 a.m. Saturday.

The governor also raised from 50 to 100 the allowable number of people that can socially gather, starting 8 a.m. Saturday.

The easing of these restrictions falls on the May 15 tourism reopening date, more than a year after the pandemic first emptied hotels of tourists.

New clusters and hospitalizations days before the initial May 1 target delayed the reopening by two weeks.

The quarantine exemption, however, will be granted only to those fully vaccinated with U.S. Food and Drug Administration-authorized vaccines for emergency use such as the Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. The full vaccination also needs to be verified before the travelers can skip quarantine.

"Travelers availing of this exemption shall be required to self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and comply with applicable (Department of Public Health and Social Services) Guidance, including for verification requirements," the governor stated in her latest executive order.

Right now, travelers to Guam are required to quarantine for 14 days. Upon arrival, they go directly to the quarantine facility.

They can be offered a test on the sixth day and if they test negative, they can complete the rest of the quarantine at home.

A negative COVID-19 test result no more than three days prior to travel, or documentation of having recovered from COVID-19, must be presented to the airline before boarding the flight.

Passengers will also be required to confirm the information they present is true in the form of an attestation.

Guam remains on Pandemic Condition of Readiness 3, in which most activities are permitted to operate under moderate restrictions to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

The governor continues to encourage eligible Guam residents to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

Her goal is for Guam to achieve 80% herd immunity, which they've estimated to be at least 100,000 of the island's population being fully vaccinated.

Guam's full vaccination rate is now at 60%, and Thursday's opening of the vaccination to children 12 and older could help reach that goal early, officials said.

2 new COVID-19 cases

Two new cases of COVID-19 were identified out of 358 tests performed on Wednesday, the Joint Information Center stated. This brings the total number of officially reported cases of COVID-19 to 8,063, with 139 deaths. The COVID Area Risk score for Guam is 0.4.

On Thursday, the Guam Department of Education confirmed two of its employees tested positive for COVID-19. One is an employee at Tamuning Elementary School, and the other works at F.B. Leon Guerrero Middle School in Yigo.

Haidee Eugenio Gilbert

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