Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero on Wednesday morning announced that travelers with negative PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to arrival on Guam could also skip quarantine, effective 12:01 a.m. on July 4.
The governor's Physicians Advisory Group recommended she lift additional COVID-19 travel restrictions once 75% of Guam's adult population 18 years or older got fully vaccinated.
As of Wednesday, 75.2% or 90,266 of Guam's estimated 120,039 adults got fully vaccinated, according to preliminary count from Krystal Paco-San Agustin, the governor's director of communications.
"That is why today I have signed Executive Order 2021-15 and it says that effective July 4 at 12:01 a.m., all passengers entering Guam with a negative PCR test 72 hours prior to arrival are exempt from quarantine," the governor announced in a video posted on her Facebook page.
At present, non-vaccinated passengers with a negative PCR test result within 72 hours of arrival could also skip government of Guam quarantine but are still required to quarantine at home subject and self-monitoring pursuant to Department of Public Health and Social Services guidance.
This is in addition to the current policy that enables fully vaccinated travelers to enter Guam without quarantine.
Right now, those fully vaccinated with Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech and Johnson & Johnson Janssen vaccines, as well as vaccines authorized by the World Health Organization such as AstraZeneca, could skip quarantine upon arrival on Guam.
Antigen test, home quarantine
The governor's latest executive order also stated:
- Effective at 12:01 a.m. on July 4, incoming travelers who, upon arrival in Guam, present a negative antigen test taken within 72 hours of arrival in Guam, shall be subject to home quarantine and monitoring as provided in applicable Department of Public Health and Social Services guidelines.
- Travelers who do not qualify for an exemption from quarantine or home quarantine shall be quarantined at a government facility pursuant to DPHSS guidance.
Members of the Governor's Recovery Task Force on Wednesday clarified that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still requires international travelers to have negative PCR test within 72 hours of arrival.
This means, they said, that travelers from foreign countries are highly encouraged to get PCR test rather than antigen test, so they don't have to be required to go into home quarantine.
Guam Visitors Bureau officials and others from the task force welcomed the governor's lifting of additional restrictions, saying it makes Guam more attractive for tourists to visit once again.
The same executive order also extends Guam's declaration of a public health to July 31.
Guam remains on Pandemic Condition of Readiness 3, during which most activities are allowed with moderate restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19.
80% herd immunity goal
The governor said Guam has almost achieved Operation Liberate Guam's mission to vaccinate 80% of the adult population, at which time more pandemic restrictions would be lifted.
She earlier said when the 80% herd immunity is reached by July 21, the mask mandate would be lifted, there won't be any cap on social gatherings and businesses would be back to 100% occupancy, among other things.
The governor, a registered nurse, also reemphasized that the COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective at preventing serious illness, hospitalization and even death.
This story will be updated.