A total of 126 stranded nationals arrived 7pm last night on board the Solomon Airlines special flight IE690 from Brisbane, Australia.

This also marks the 5th batch of government coordinated repatriation of stranded nationals overseas and dozens of foreign nationals exempted by the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (OMPC).

All passengers wore facemasks throughout the flight and encouraged to have food and water prior to boarding.

Upon arrival at the tarmac, the passengers underwent thermal screening and chaperoned to waiting vans heading straight to the 15 Government Operated and Diplomatic Quarantine Stations in Honiara.

Under the Emergency Powers COVID-19 Regulations 2020, returnees are subjected to in-country testing by the Health Sector. They will also undergo swab testing in the first 48 hours when settling in their quarantine rooms.

So far, the government has repatriated more than 500 persons from neighbouring countries; which includes Australia, Vanuatu, Fiji and New Zealand - all underwent the 14-days mandatory quarantine period.

Coordinated repatriation facilitated by the COVID-19 Oversight Committee through government line of ministries will continue.

This week’s Government coordinated flight are scheduled as follows:

- Thursday 23 July - IE691 Honiara to Auckland - 8:00am
- Thursday 23 July - IE692 Auckland to Honiara - 2:15pm
- Friday 24 July - IE693 Honiara to Brisbane - 11:15am

Our country remains COVID-19 FREE to date. The Government remains committed to implementing strict measures to prevent the importation and potential spread of COVID-19 within its borders.

Meanwhile, the National Disaster Council (NDC) Arrangement remains the country’s response coordination mechanism for the pandemic.

Source: NDC