Yap State, Micronesia
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Yap State, Micronesia

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Federated States Of Micronesia Travel Guide

Key Facts
Area

702 sq km (271 sq miles).

Population

104,966 (UN estimate 2016).

Population density

149.9 per sq km.

Capital

Palikir (Pohnpei).

Government

Federal Republic in free association with the USA.

Head of state

President David W. Panuelo since 2019.

Head of government

President David W. Panuelo since 2019.

Electricity

120 volts AC, 60Hz. American-style plugs with two flat pins (with or without grounding pin) are standard.

Scattered across the Pacific Ocean, the Federated States of Micronesia is the epitome of paradise – with its powdery shores, crystalline waters and colourful coral reefs – but its lack of connectivity and relative obscurity means few travellers actually make it here.

Comprised of some 607 islands, this archipelago is not the easiest place to get to, but it certainly rewards those who do make the journey. In islands like Chuuk, visitors will find vast lagoons of monumental beauty, filled with shipwrecks, kaleidoscopic corals and sandy beaches. The islands are a dream for divers, and many argue that the area’s diving and snorkelling ranks among the best in the world.

It’s not all about natural beauty, though. The Micronesians themselves combine a profusion of languages, customs and folklore, which are captivating to witness. The archipelago is defiantly archaic too, which is wholly refreshing: on the island of Yap, islanders still trade using an ancient stone currency. Some Micronesians can also be glimpsed wearing traditional garments and throughout the nation you are likely to stumble across snatches of unique island music and witness zesty, time-honoured dances.

Though a sovereign nation now, the archipelago has been dragged from pillar to post by various colonial powers. The Portuguese, Spanish, Germans and Japanese have all laid claim to the territory, followed by the USA, which took over the administration the nation in 1947. However, in 1986, the Federated States signed a Compact of Free Association with the USA, allowing for independence with US defence support.

The islands suffer from remoteness and lack of industry and infrastructure. There is development potential, but as yet Micronesia remains dependent on US aid. Tourism is one industry that could potentially boost the island's fiscal situation. However, even if tourism does take off, with 607 islands to speak of, finding some deserted shores to relax on shouldn't be too hard.

Travel Advice

Coronavirus travel health

Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for Micronesia on the TravelHealthPro website

See the TravelHealthPro website for further advice on travel abroad and reducing spread of respiratory viruses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

International travel

Commercial flights to and from Micronesia remain very limited. Check with your travel company for the latest information.

Entry and borders

See Entry requirements to find out what you will need to do when you arrive in Micronesia.

Returning to the UK

When you return, you must follow the rules for entering the UK.

Be prepared for your plans to change

No travel is risk-free during COVID. Countries may further restrict travel or bring in new rules at short notice, for example due to a new COVID-19 variant. Check with your travel company or airline for any transport changes which may delay your journey home.

If you test positive for COVID-19, you may need to stay where you are until you test negative. You may also need to seek treatment there.

Plan ahead and make sure you:

  • can access money
  • understand what your insurance will cover
  • can make arrangements to extend your stay and be away for longer than planned

Travel in Micronesia

The situation may change rapidly, including in neighbouring countries. Follow local guidance at all times.

You should comply with any additional screening measures put in place by the Federated States of Micronesia authorities.

Accommodation

Hotel and other accommodation for visitors may not be readily available given the closure of the border. You will need to approach accommodation providers for the latest information on whether they are open.

Public places and services

Shops, restaurants, bars, and other public places are mostly open as normal. There are some restrictions on travel between the islands of Micronesia by air and sea, journeys will only be permitted if: you’re an essential worker; you’re travelling as a result of a family emergency; or you’re returning to your state or residence, or location on employment or educational institution. You should follow the advice of local authorities on social distancing measures.

Healthcare in Micronesia

Your emotional and mental wellbeing is important. Read guidance on how to look after your mental wellbeing and mental health

View Health for further details on healthcare in Micronesia.

See also the guidance on healthcare if you’re waiting to return to the UK.

COVID-19 vaccines if you live in Micronesia

Wherever possible British nationals should aim to be vaccinated in the country where they live. We will update this page when the Government of Micronesia announces new information on the national vaccination programme. You can sign up to get email notifications when this page is updated.

The Micronesia national vaccination programme started in January 2021 and is using the Pfizer/BioNTech / Moderna / Janssen (Johnson and Johnson) vaccines. British nationals resident in Micronesia are eligible for vaccination. Further information on the vaccination programme is available from the FSM Department of Health and Medical Services, their COVID helpline is (691) 350-4161.

Find out more, including about vaccines that are authorised in the UK or approved by the World Health Organisation, on the COVID-19 vaccines if you live abroad.

If you’re a British national living in Micronesia, you should seek medical advice from your local healthcare provider. Information about COVID-19 vaccines used in the national programme where you live, including regulatory status, should be available from local authorities.

Finance

For information on financial support you can access whilst abroad, visit our financial assistance guidance.

Further information

Latest information on Micronesia’s response to Covid-19 will be published on the website of the National Government.

If you need urgent consular assistance, contact your nearest British embassy, high commission or consulate. All telephone numbers are available 24/7.

Crime

Crime levels are low. There have been reported incidents of sexual assaults. Visitors should be vigilant, especially when alone.

Local travel

There are treacherous channel currents and rogue waves in parts of the islands. You should wear appropriate safety equipment and take local advice at all times if you’re taking part in adventure sports.

Mobile telephones

International roaming isn’t available in the Federated States of Micronesia. This means that your UK mobile phone will not be usable.

Although there’s no recent history of terrorism in Micronesia, attacks can not be ruled out. You should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be in public areas, including those frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers.

UK Counter Terrorism Policing has information and advice on staying safe abroad and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack. Find out more about the global threat from terrorism.

There’s a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time.

There are heavy penalties for drug offences.

Homosexuality is not widely accepted in the Federated States of Micronesia. Open displays of affection between same-sex partners may offend. See our information and advice page for the LGBT community before you travel.

This page reflects the UK government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British Citizen’ passport, for the most common types of travel.

The authorities in Micronesia set and enforce entry rules. For further information contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to. You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.

Entry rules in response to coronavirus (COVID-19)

Entry to Micronesia

Federated States of Micronesia has declared a “state of public health emergency”. No passengers are allowed to disembark any air or sea vessel originating outside of Federated States of Micronesia, with the exception of individuals granted an exception from the National Government or those working on commercial sea vessels abiding precautionary measures and protocols.

Regular entry requirements

Visas

Tourist/visitor visas are issued on arrival and the duration of stay is authorised for the number of days requested. You may extend your visa by up to 30 days. Subsequent extensions may be granted for another 30 days but the total time of stay shall not exceed 90 days. There is no fee charged for an extension of stay. Visa extensions are available from: Chief Immigration Officer, Palikir, Pohnpei. Telephone: + (691) 320 5844 / 320 2605, fax; +(691) 320 7250 / 6240.

Passport validity

Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 120 days from the date of exit from Micronesia.

UK Emergency Travel Documents

UK Emergency Travel Documents are not valid for entry into, or transit through, Micronesia.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for Micronesia on the TravelHealthPro website

See the healthcare information in the Coronavirus section for information on what to do if you think you have coronavirus while in Micronesia.

General health information

At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the latest country-specific health advice from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) on the TravelHealthPro website. Each country-specific page has information on vaccine recommendations, any current health risks or outbreaks, and factsheets with information on staying healthy abroad. Guidance is also available from NHS (Scotland) on the FitForTravel website.

General information on travel vaccinations and a travel health checklist is available on the NHS website. You may then wish to contact your health adviser or pharmacy for advice on other preventive measures and managing any pre-existing medical conditions while you’re abroad.

The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or bought in the UK can be different in other countries. If you’re travelling with prescription or over-the-counter medicine, read this guidance from NaTHNaC on best practice when travelling with medicines. For further information on the legal status of a specific medicine, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate
of the country or territory you’re travelling to.

There are clear links between mental and physical health, so looking after yourself during travel and when abroad is important. Information on travelling with mental health conditions is available in our guidance page. Further information is also available from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC).

There has been an increase in reported measles cases in Micronesia. Make sure your vaccinations are up to date.

Medical facilities in Micronesia are adequate for uncomplicated treatment. For more serious or complicated problems, medical evacuation (to Guam or Australia) may be needed. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation, including medical evacuation by air ambulance.

If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 911 (the central dispatch number for the country) ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you’re referred to a medical facility for treatment.

The Islands of Micronesia are vulnerable to natural disasters, including tropical cyclones, floods and severe droughts. Monitor local and international weather updates from the World Meteorological Organisation carefully and follow any instructions issued by the local authorities.

See our Tropical cyclones page for information and advice about what to do if you’re caught up in a storm.

The currency used in Micronesia is the US dollar. Credit cards are accepted in most hotels. ATM facilities are limited.

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission. If you need urgent help because something has happened to a friend or relative abroad, contact the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) in London on 020 7008 5000 (24 hours).

Foreign travel checklist

Read our foreign travel checklist to help you plan for your trip abroad and stay safe while you’re there.

Travel safety

The FCDO travel advice helps you make your own decisions about foreign travel. Your safety is our main concern, but we can not provide tailored advice for individual trips. If you’re concerned about whether or not it’s safe for you to travel, you should read the travel advice for the country or territory you’re travelling to, together with information from other sources you’ve identified, before making your own decision on whether to travel. Only you can decide whether it’s safe for you to travel.

When we judge the level of risk to British nationals in a particular place has become unacceptably high, we’ll state on the travel advice page for that country or territory that we advise against all or all but essential travel. Read more about how the FCDO assesses and categorises risk in foreign travel advice.

Our crisis overseas page suggests additional things you can do before and during foreign travel to help you stay safe.

Refunds and cancellations

If you wish to cancel or change a holiday that you’ve booked, you should contact your travel company. The question of refunds and cancellations is a matter for you and your travel company. Travel companies make their own decisions about whether or not to offer customers a refund. Many of them use our travel advice to help them reach these decisions, but we do not instruct travel companies on when they can or can not offer a refund to their customers.

For more information about your rights if you wish to cancel a holiday, visit the Citizen’s Advice Bureau website. For help resolving problems with a flight booking, visit the website of the Civil Aviation Authority. For questions about travel insurance, contact your insurance provider and if you’re not happy with their response, you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Registering your travel details with us

We’re no longer asking people to register with us before travel. Our foreign travel checklist and crisis overseas page suggest things you can do before and during foreign travel to plan your trip and stay safe.

Previous versions of FCDO travel advice

If you’re looking for a previous version of the FCDO travel advice, visit the National Archives website. Versions prior to 2 September 2020 will be archived as FCO travel advice. If you can not find the page you’re looking for there, send the Travel Advice Team a request.

Further help

If you’re a British national and you have a question about travelling abroad that isn’t covered in our foreign travel advice or elsewhere on GOV.UK, you can submit an enquiry.We’re not able to provide tailored advice for specific trips.

Visa and passport information is updated regularly and is correct at the time of publishing. You should verify critical travel information independently with the relevant embassy before you travel.