QUARANTINE DAYS SLASHED

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Cabinet agrees to decrease period spent in quarantine.

BY MAVIS N PODOKOLO

CABINET has agreed to decrease quarantine period for travellers who wish to enter Solomon Islands by modifying it into three categories according to COVID-19 risk profile of countries, says Dr Jimmie Rodgers.

Dr Rogers Secretary to Prime Minister said this modification is also carried out on quarantine requirements and the pre-departure requirement for travellers.

He stressed this modification was made in three folds.

 The first one is whatever changes set in place will still be able to protect our country. Secondly many countries are now reopening their borders and this means quarantine conditions must be made slightly more attractive so that people and investors can come into the country. And thirdly is to commence re-generating the country’s economy so, these three are balanced and are currently focused on.

Rodgers said for the categories initially there are five but now the Over Sight Committee has narrowed it down to three.

“The first category is people traveling from COVID free countries now need to do one pre-departure test within 72 hours of arriving in Honiara and there quarantine period reduced to seven days from the current 14 days mandatory quarantine period,” he said.

Rodgers said when they are in quarantine they will only have one test on day six or seven and if the result returned negative they will be discharged.

“Now if some one is from COVID-free country and comes into the Solomon’s from a moderate risk country that person will be quarantined for 10 days and will have two tests. If that person comes through a high risk country that person on arrival will be quarantined for 14 days and will have three tests. This is what the regulation mentioned,” he said,

In addition Rodgers said for moderate risk countries and now Fiji is part of this there is one pre-departure test required within 72 hours of arrival and then 10 days quarantine after arrival and during the quarantine will be having two tests one within 48 hours day two and last one between day 10 and nine.

“If test results returned negative the person will be discharged. If however the person from a moderate risk country come through a high risk country then the person will be quarantined for 14 days and will have three tests before discharged,” he said.

Rodgers further adds the final group is from high risk countries with high rate of community transmission.

He said they must present two pre-departures tests one between day nine and 11 before departure and one within 72 hours of arrival in Honiara.

He said on arrival they will have 14 days quarantine. Currently this group will go through 21 days quarantine and will have three tests that will take place on day 13 and 14, if tests returned negative they will be discharged on day 14.

“So, the reason for the decrease of quarantine periods is because of the requirement of full vaccination. If travellers are not fully vaccinated they will be denied entry into the country except if they are exempted under the regulations”.

“Very importantly for each of the categories there will be risk assessment done by health and the IC will increase pre-departure requirement or post-arrival requirement depending on the risk.”

“If the risk is picked up before there will be changes to keep the country safe,” he said.

Rodgers said the most important part of the decision by the cabinet is that it is now a mandatory requirement that any one 18 years and above who want to come into the country must be fully vaccinated meaning they can only travel into Solomon Islands after having two doses of vaccine except for Johnson vaccine which is single dose.

 And they can only travel four weeks after the final dose, so that is mandatory there is no exception except in very few circumstances that are defined in the regulation.

He echoed the above statements yesterday during the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet’s (OPMC) radio talk back show on COVID-19 update on the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation (SIBC) in Honiara 


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