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Guam announces ‘Air V&V’ vaccination-and-vacation program to boost tourism

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Guam’s Visitors Bureau (GVB) has unveiled an ‘Air V&V’ program, offering travelers a vaccination during their vacation to boost tourism, as the US island territory in the Western Pacific recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Speaking ahead of the launch of the initiative, GVB president Carl Gutierrez hailed the move as giving “a shot in the arm to our tourism industry” by providing visitors with a “unique and valuable service.” Tourism is a key element of the island’s economy, with the University of Guam having estimated that arrivals fell by 76% in 2020 compared with the previous year.

This programme captures a unique demographic of travelers around the world that are tired of waiting to get vaccinated in this pandemic.

Guam’s Governor Lou Leon Guerrero formally signed off on the initiative last week, and it will come into effect when the island relaxes its Covid-19 quarantine measures early in July. The first arrivals are expected on July 6, and up to 30,000 are predicted to take advantage of the scheme this year.

The proposal will offer travelers the option of having either the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson vaccines at clinics across Guam, while a dozen hotels will provide accommodation for those booking the package. The measure is aimed primarily at US citizens living abroad and US green card holders, but non-US citizens aged 12 and older are also eligible.

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Guam has recorded 8,060 confirmed cases and 139 deaths from the virus to date, with 160,795 doses of a Covid-19 vaccine having so far been administered to its population of 167,000. It is currently enforcing only a moderate level of Covid-19 restrictions, which include the wearing of a mask on public transport and the observance of social distancing guidelines. Unvaccinated travelers are required to be tested for Covid-19 before departing their home country, and must quarantine for seven days on arrival.

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