Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare says Cabinet has approved a recommendation by the Oversight Committee (OC) to establish three risk categories for incoming passengers.
“This is another measure to prepare the country when re-opening our borders,” Sogavare said.
“Cabinet has lifted the suspension on incoming international flights, lifting of the suspension means the Oversight Committee can now schedule incoming flights, and only people approved by the Oversight Committee subcommittee will be allowed to enter.”
Sogavare says the new measure will have different predeparture and quarantine requirements for all incoming passengers. The three risk categories are for those travelling from, or transiting through, a country that is classified as COVID-19 free, has moderate risk or high risk.
Sogavare explained that for those passengers traveling from a country classified as COVID-19 free there will only be 1 predeparture test 72 hours before the flight date and 7 days quarantine on arrival. Passengers will also be required to take 1 test while in quarantine on day 6 or 7, and discharged on day 7 if negative.
He says even if passengers originated from a COVID-19 free country but transited through a moderate risk country, they will be required to spend 10 days in quarantine and have 2 tests, and released on day 10 if both tests negative. If they transited through a high-risk country, they will be required to spend 14 days in quarantine and have 3 tests, released on day 14 if all tests return negative.
The Prime Minister says if passengers originated from a moderate risk country, they will be required to undergo 1 predeparture test 72 hours before the flight, and spend 10 days in quarantine on arrival. They will also take 3 tests on day 2, 9 and 10, while in quarantine and discharged on day 10 if tests return negative. If they transit through a high-risk country than they will spend 14 days in quarantine and have 3 tests conducted, and released if all tests are negative.
Sogavare says if passengers are from a high-risk country, they will be required to do 2 predeparture tests, the first test has to be between 9 to 11 days before travel date and the second test 72 hours before travel date. They will also be required to spend 14 days quarantine after arrival, and have 3 tests conducted while in quarantine on days 2, 7, 13 and discharged on day 14 If all tests return negative.
He says for those travelling with unvaccinated dependents under 18 years of age the following will apply. If from a COVID-19 free country, 10 days quarantine and two tests. If from moderate risk countries 14 days quarantine and three tests. If from high-risk countries 21 days quarantine and four tests.
Sogavare says that bringing our citizens home comes with risks, and the government is working hard to ensure that appropriate measures are in place to manage these risks.