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As South Korea cases spike again, Guam's July 1 reopening date for tourism can change

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HAGÅTÑA (The Guam Daily Post) — As Guam prepares to reopen its tourism industry a month from today, a major source of tourists — South Korea — closed hundreds of schools that had reopened days earlier after a spike in cases of Covid-19.

According to the Korea Times, hundreds of South Korean schools were closed again because of high infection rates in their communities. It cited the Ministry of Education as saying that 838 schools of the 20,902 nationwide that were supposed to reopen on Wednesday did not, including in Seoul, and hundreds closed on Thursday in Seoul, Bucheon and other cities.

Guam plans to reopen to tourists from South Korea, Japan and Taiwan starting July 1.

Manila-Guam flights to resume

In other news, Philippine Airlines has  announced the resumption of flights from Manila to Guam in less than two weeks. Guam's first Covid-19 cases came from the Philippines.

The airline announced its Manila-Guam service resumes on June 12, every Friday and Monday. PAL's Guam-Manila service, every Saturday and Tuesday, starts June 13, the airline has announced.

The governor's office stated it will continue to track the situation from the island's visitor markets and the number of Covid-19 cases locally.

If the data calls for it, Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero will reimplement the 14-day mandatory quarantine for arriving passengers, said Press Secretary Krystal Paco-San Agustin. 

The Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services set up a Covid-19 testing site at the parking structure of the former Royal Palms Hotel in the Tumon tourist district on Thursday morning. Photo by  Norman M. Taruc/The Guam Daily Post

'That decision can change'

"While July 1st is a target date to safely reopen tourism from select markets, that decision can change if the data does. This means that while the governor has no authority to close an FAA facility, the mandatory quarantine of inbound non-resident travelers can be imposed if the data demands it," Paco-San Agustin stated.

"Nothing is more important to Governor Leon Guerrero than protecting the health and safety of our people. That’s why the governor’s decisions to relax or enhance restrictions are always based on the latest data available, the advice of her Physicians Advisory Group and other experts in Public Health, and the four major criteria we described weeks ago," the press secretary added.

South Korea recloses parks

In South Korea,  new clusters of the coronavirus have been identified in recent days, leading the government to close not only schools but also parks and museums — and people are being urged again not to gather in big numbers, The Washington Post reported.

The Yonhap News Agency reported that on Wednesday, the same day hundreds of schools reopened, more than 60 cases of coronavirus were confirmed at a distribution center in Bucheon, between the western port city of Incheon and the capital of Seoul. It said that on Thursday, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed 79 new infection cases, including 69 linked to the center owned by Coupang, the country's leading e-commerce giant, the Washington Post reported.

November 2020 pssnewsletter

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