PM reminds travellers to respect SOPE regulations

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APPROPRIATE legal action will be taken against anyone who breaches the State of Public Emergency (SOPE) regulations without approval and without compliance to our pre-departure requirements.

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare during his nationwide address this week said this applies to incoming passengers whether foreigner or citizen.

The Prime Minister echoed the warning following the latest two unapproved entries by Solomon Islands citizens that opened up the country to potential entry and transmission of COVID-19.

Sogavare said citizens of this country have the responsibility to protect this country.

The Prime Minister re-emphasised that no-one is above the law.

“Please work with us to facilitate your return. Please respect the laws governing your re-entry during the SOPE. Please do not enter the country illegally and without approval. If you do, you will be charged after your mandatory quarantine period. If you bring COVID-19 into the country by illegally entering it, you will face the consequences of your action that endanger the lives of the rest of the population of this country,” the Prime Minister highlighted.

Sogavare urged Solomon Islanders who are stranded outside Solomon Islands, that the Government is making every effort to bring them back home.

However, he said repatriation of citizens must be done “to make sure that we do not inadvertently bring the Delta variant into the country.

“It takes only one COVID-19 positive person to enter the country undetected to spread the virus throughout the country,” he said.

The Prime Minister said the saddest thing about these two illegal entries is that the Government had already put in place the arrangements to bring those citizens home within the next few weeks.

“By entering illegally, you have put yourself in trouble by breaching the SOPE regulation, and you have also put the country at risk from COVID-19,” he said.