BY BARNABAS MANEBONA
PRE-ARRIVAL requirements for people travelling to Solomon Islands during this State of Public Emergency (SOPE) period are not negotiable state Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare.
In order to minimize the risk of further importation of Coronavirus (Covid-19) into the country, Mr Sogavare said all foreign nationals and returning citizens must comply with strict entry requirements.
For foreign nationals, all foreign nationals wishing to enter the country must first be approved and exempted to enter the country by the Prime Minister and have their names gazetted. Second, they must comply with the country’s strict pre-departure quarantine requirements.
“I advise all foreign national that just having your names on the gazette does not guarantee entry into the country. Each must comply with our strict pre-departure requirements applicable to the country you are in. If you do not comply with the pre-departure COVID-19 requirements applicable to the country you are travelling from, that is an offence and any person committing such offence is liable to prosecution after the quarantine period ends,” said Sogavare.
For citizens, the Prime Minister said citizens do not require approval to enter the country. However, each returning citizen must comply with Solomon Islands strict pre-departure quarantine requirements before they can enter.
“If citizens do not comply with the pre-departure COVID-19 requirements applicable to the country you are travelling from, that is an offence and any person committing such offence is liable to prosecution after the quarantine period ends,” said Sogavare.
Meanwhile, it is understood that National Government while still dealing with Covid-19 will also introduce some control on the ‘frequency’ foreign nationals can leave and re-enter the country.
This is because Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare said such frequent trips put a lot of pressure on the country’s Covid-19 front-liners, all of whom had not had any rest since the start of repatriation in 2020.
To date, there is no new additional Covid-19 positive case in Solomon Islands from the 17 registered.