COMMONWEALTH Healthcare Corporation Chief Executive Officer Esther L. Muna on Monday said until a multi-jurisdictional shared information system is established to validate vaccination cards, the CNMI will not be entertaining vaccination cards from other jurisdictions.
Inbound passengers who were fully vaccinated in the CNMI are allowed to avail themselves of the modified quarantine option.
However, everyone else will be required to complete their quarantine within the government-designated quarantine site.
Muna said those who are fully vaccinated in the CNMI are easier to validate because they are already in the Commonwealth’s system.
Travelers from other jurisdictions, however, require an extra step, given that CHCC would need to speak with its counterparts in a jurisdiction to verify a person's vaccination card.
“The validation has to be certain,” she emphasized.
At this time, the CNMI can only verify anyone within their system.
She said that each person is categorized into different groups, as per new travel guidelines that took effect on April 29.
The new guidelines divide travelers into these six groups:
• Group A are travelers fully vaccinated in the CNMI.
• Group B-1 are critical and essential workers whose travel was approved by CNMI health officials.
• Group B-2 are essential workers whose travel was approved by CNMI health officials and have proof of vaccination.
• Group B-3 are essential workers who are approved by the CNMI health officials but are not vaccinated or do not have proof of vaccination.
• Group C are travelers from a Level 1 jurisdiction according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Covid-19 travel recommendations, who did not lay over in a Level 2 or higher jurisdiction and who have proof of their official vaccination record.
• Group D are travelers who do not qualify for Groups A, B-1, B-2, B-3, or C.
Travelers in Groups A to B-3 will be transported to the quarantine facility and tested on arrival. Travelers in Groups C and D will also be transported to the quarantine facility and tested on arrival.
For travelers in Groups B-1 and B-2, their homes and lodgings will be inspected by Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. staff and must pass for approval, and all eligible household/lodging members must also be fully vaccinated.
For travelers in Group C, their homes or lodgings will also be inspected by CHCC staff and must pass for approval, and all their eligible household/lodging members must be fully vaccinated.
During quarantine, travelers in all groups will be tested on the fifth day.
For travelers in Group A, monitoring and quarantine are not required, and they are allowed to move freely in the CNMI.
For those in Groups B-1 and B-2, a fifth-day monitoring is required for home/lodging self-quarantine with limited movement.
Those in Group B-3, will be required to undergo fifth-day mandatory quarantine at a designated government quarantine facility with modified transportation to and from place of work.
For those in Group C, a fifth-day monitoring is required for home/lodging self-quarantine while for those in Group D, a standard quarantine at a government facility will be required.
Effective April 29, 2021, if arrival or fifth day Covid-19 testing returns positive, standard quarantine at the government facility will apply.
Thus far, Guam has been working with the CNMI to put a system in place to smoothen the process of validating vaccination cards.
"[We are] absolutely open to [other jurisdictions],” said CEO Muna, noting that CHCC is working with the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention on a multi-jurisdictional shared information system.
If that is not possible, she said, then there would need to be a point of contact within each jurisdiction to verify information as needed.
As of Monday, an average of about five to 10 inbound passengers per flight were deemed eligible for the modified quarantine option.