18 Apr 2003

Marshall Islands bans travellers from Asian countries and Canada as caution against SARS

10:40 am on 18 April 2003

The Marshall Islands has banned entry by any travellers coming from four Asian nations and Canada, in an effort to block the SARS respiratory illness from getting into the island country.

The order bans visitors coming to the Marshall Islands from Guandong and Shanxi Provinces and Hong Kong in China, as well as Singapore, Vietnam and Toronto in Canada.

The order notifies all Marshall Islands embassies to cease issuing visas to individuals from these countries.

According to Immigration officials, after the ban had been issued, two Chinese nationals, who arrived in Majuro on Air Kiribati from Fiji, were refused entry and were returned on the same plane back to Kiribati.

To date there have been no suspected or confirmed cases of SARS in the Marshall Islands.