BY JARED KOLI
People from high-risk countries will have to take two doses of covid-19 vaccine before they can travel to Solomon Islands.
This is according to senior advisor to the Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) Dr Yogesh Choudhri when answering a question during a talkback show yesterday.
Mr Choudhri said once they complete the two doses then they can travel to Solomon Islands, but after one month.
“We have divided the countries into different groups, that is, countries with no case, low risk countries, moderate risk countries, high risk countries and extremely high-risk countries.
“The requirements for entry into the country are two or three tests negative before you can board a flight to Solomon Islands.
“For extremely high-risk countries – we are encouraged that they should be vaccinated before they come to Solomon Islands and have 21 days of quarantine upon arrival in Solomon Islands.
“Two doses of vaccine will be required of them before they can come to Solomon Islands,” Choudhri said.
He said the entry is guarded, and will only be for the citizens who are in those countries and people who are considered important to SIG projects.
“Otherwise we are not allowing anyone to come from an extremely high risk country into the Solomon Islands right now,” he said.
Choudhri said MHMS is watching the situation globally as new covid-19 strains emerge.
“We want to prevent those strains from entering the Solomon Islands,” he said.
National Health Emergency Operation Centre (NHEOC) Incident Controller Dr Nemia Bainivalu said the government also issues travel advisories for travellers who wish to travel to Solomon Islands.
“We also categorised nationals and non-nationals. One of the standard requirements is the number of tests you have to take, and we based on our analysis of the different categories of the countries that you are in,” he said.
Mr Bainivalu said MHMS wants Solomon Islands citizens to vaccinate before they travel back home.
“We issue travel advisories through the Solomon Airlines, High Commission offices in the countries through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Ministry of Education also issue travel advisories to students studying abroad such as in the Philippines, Papua New Guinea and Fiji.
“We also issue a code of conduct form which specifies the protocols, rules and procedures one has to follow when entering the country,” Bainivalu said.