Public urged to adhere to lockdown orders

ATTORNEY General Muria John (Jnr) calls on the public and especially people residing inside the Honiara Declared Emergency Zone to respect and adhere to the lockdown orders, which will come into effect next Sunday, 29th at 6:00 pm and cease on Tuesday, 31st at 6:00 am.

“Lockdown orders are valid and constitutionally sound,” Muria said.

“This has also been confirmed by the High Court of Solomon Islands in Mitoro v Regina Criminal Case No. 1 of 2021,” he added.

“Failure to follow the lockdown orders is a breach of the law and you will be arrested and charged,” Muria said in a radio talkback show.

Director of the National Disaster Management Office, Loti Yates, also explained during a media briefing over the weekend that the simulated lockdown will be inconvenient for our communities but heightening our preparation and response capabilities for COVID-19 and especially the Delta-variant is paramount is at this stage.

He kindly urge Honiara residents to accept and listen out to media outlets for the simulated lockdown as frontline agencies conduct case scenarios to test their response mechanisms.

The revised COVID-19 Lockdown Plan was updated to provide guidance to emergency responders attending to suspected covid-19 cases in the communities, and limit public movement to restrain transmission of the virus.

The plan provides the overarching framework for managing lockdowns in a location of interest.

It specifies the governance arrangements, the roles and responsibilities of responding agencies as well as the continuation of specific essential services during the lockdown period.

The lockdown plan is supported by a series of Terms of References and Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) for frontline agencies.

Any person breaking the Lockdown Order will be liable to a maximum penalty of SBD$15,000 or face imprisonment for 5 years, or both, under the Emergency Powers (COVID-19) (No.2) Regulations 2021.

The lockdown is only for the Honiara Declared Emergency Zone from Aligator Creek to Poha.

Police teams will set up 10 checkpoints inside the emergency zone and mount surveillance operation.

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