Government announces repatriation of stranded nationals

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THE Government’s Covid-19 Oversight Committee has announced the repatriation of Solomon Islands nationals who are stranded in Australia and Fiji as a result of flight closures due to covid-19.

Chair of the Covid-19 Oversight Committee and Secretary to Cabinet, James Remobatu made the announcement in the latest Travel advisory number two issued on May 14, 2020.

The announcement is made in accordance to the statement issued by Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare on May 1, 2020 on the government’s plans for repatriation.

Remobatu said the government is pleased to announce that Solomon Islands will have the capacity to conduct tests for covid-19 in-country by this week.

The first repatriation flight for stranded nationals in Australia and New Zealand is tentatively scheduled for May 26. The flight will be from Brisbane to Honiara.  All nationals boarding the flight must have valid Solomon Airlines tickets.

The government is also looking at repatriating nationals in covid-19 free Vanuatu and Fiji thereafter. Flight information will be issued as soon as it is finalised.

It is government’s standing position to have all returning passengers from overseas to undergo a mandatory 28 days quarantine in one of the state’s identified quarantine facility.

The government of Solomon Islands is committed to take measures to prevent importation of covid-19 in the country and prevent subsequent outbreaks.

“We urge the stranded nationals to take adequate precautions while being in affected countries and seek immediate medical care in case of sickness,” Remobatu said.

The Government of Solomon Islands takes this time to thank the government of the people’s republic of china and the government of Australia for fast tracking the supply of the two covid-19 testing machines.

“We thank the nation for its prayers, our gratitude to all receiving states for hosting our stranded citizens. Our respect to the families of all stranded Wantoks for your patience and solidarity,”

“We urge everyone to remain united in keeping covid-19 out from entering our borders. With the grace of God we will do all we can to ensure we come out of this stronger and united,” Remobatu said.

–GOVERNMENT COMMUNICATION UNIT

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