288 nationals expected to be repatriated this week
BY MAVIS N PODOKOLO
TWO hundred and eighty-eight nationals are expected to be repatriated from Fiji on December 29 and 30.
These are graduating Solomon Islands students from the University of South Pacific (USP).
As process goes, they will serve their mandatory quarantine period upon arrival before released to be reunited with their families.
Dr Jimmie Rodgers, secretary to the Prime Minister, said as of this week the first two repatriation flights will be from Fiji.
“So we are expecting about 288 new people coming in from Fiji, after that we will not be doing any major repatriation until the 9th of January which is the third and last flight from Fiji to bring the remaining nationals in Fiji.
“And on the 11th of January 2021 a final and third repatriation flight for Manila will be arriving in the country. And that concludes our major repatriation,” said Rodgers.
He said one repatriation flight has been scheduled for January 17 but this date will be confirmed later; the final repatriation flight is planned for February 7, 2021 and this is a high risk repatriation flight.
“When these flights arrives in the country most of our Institutional quarantine Facilities (IQF) should be emptied,” said Rodgers.
He said in between there have been a number of charter flights planned; these flights will bring people from outside who would be involved in major projects and Solomon Islands Government (SIG) has already discussed this with Solomon Airlines.
“With this, a charter flight is scheduled for 24th of January 2021 and this is a major development that the Solomon Islands Government (SIG) will welcome into the country so as soon as that one comes in they are looking at in the high thousands of houses. This company that will come on that charter flight is looking at building 2000 to 5000 houses.
“There is also probably other charter flights that will also coming into the country but dates are yet to be confirmed.
The reason of why they come in later we want to make sure that all our nationals at the quarantine sites graduated from the stations so all IQF will be available to accommodate all who will be repatriated later,” said Rodgers.