His Excellency the Governor General Sir David Vunagi has declared that a State of Public Emergency (SOPE) still exists in Solomon Islands.

This is in accordance with Section 16(2) of the Constitution and in light of an assessment of the threat posed by COVID-19 that the Government has conducted.

As recommended in the threat assessment, the risks associated with the continued spread of COVID-19 is a matter of national security.

As such, the Cabinet advised that the state of public emergency still exist in Solomon Islands.

“The Government recognizes that the importation of the COVID-19 could be catastrophic for Solomon Islands considering the limited health resources we currently have and that Solomon Islands will only be safe if the COVID-19 does not enter Solomon Islands,” Sir Vunagi stated in his declaration.

The period of public emergency is the period where the state of public emergency still exist in Solomon Islands by way of a Proclamation, and shall cease to have effect on the expiration of a period of seven days commencing with the day on which the declaration was made.

“However, if Parliament by way of a resolution with the support of two thirds of Members thereof decided to extend that period then it will be extended for a period of 4 months as provided for by the Constitution,” Sir Vunagi said.

“I understand that Parliament will be reconvened for this very purpose.”

His Excellency the Governor General said the Proclamation will now trigger the Emergency Powers Act and accordingly, he will be making the relevant regulations that will contain the powers exercisable during the Emergency Period.

“The Prime Minister will then make the relevant orders upon the publication in the Gazette of the Regulations made under the Emergency Powers Act,” he said.

When the Governor General declared that a state of public emergency exist in Solomon Islands on 25th March this year, the statistics on COVID-19 were 422,566 cases with 18,887 deaths worldwide.

These figures now stand at 15,012,731 cases and 619,150 deaths worldwide. The Proclamation and the Emergency Powers (COVID-19) (No.3) Regulation 2020 will take effect on mid night 24th July 2020.

Source: GCU