United Airlines flights coming from Guam to Palau this March 7, 21 and 22 are chartered to bring in medical personnel from the US Health and Human Services Department to assist Palau with the COVID-19 vaccination efforts.
The chartered flights will be the first flights from Guam to bring people to Palau after the last repatriation from Guam in July of 2020.
President Surangel Whipps Jr. during his press conference this week reported that the flight is funded through a grant from the US CARES Act. Since it is bringing only a few people in, both the United States Embassy in Palau and the Japan Embassy in Palau have requested that their embassy staff who have been stuck in Guam be brought in on the March 21st flight.
Furthermore, it was reported that all of those coming have undergone testing and quarantine and will also quarantine upon arrival per Palau’s Communicable Diseases Regulations.
Olbiil Era Kelulau, both Senate and House, requested a meeting with Minister Charles Obichang of MPIIC and Ritter Udui, EOC’s Incident Commander, last Tuesday to inquire into these planned arrivals.
A source from this meeting said that members of OEK understood and accepted the arrival of the HHS personnel but were still not fully accepting of the flight on the 21st bringing other passengers who are not part of the HHS program.
Minister Obichang said that Palau has an established protocol for handling incoming travelers and those protocols will be followed.
Since the report of these incoming flights, there have been inquiries from Palauans in Guam and other US destinations on how to get on these flights to Palau. The flights are chartered and as of this publication, they have not been opened to new passengers.