The Solomon Islands government is now looking at charging overseas residents the cost of COVID-19 tests.
Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare in his fortnightly address says up to now, the government is meeting 100 percent of all the COVID-19 tests for all persons entering the country.
“This is currently under review. Many countries require all foreign nationals (and some even their returning citizens) to meet the cost of their COVID-19 tests, in addition to also meeting their accommodation and food costs”, Sogavare says.
He says at the same time the government will introduce some control on the frequency overseas residents can leave and re-enter the country.
Sogavare says frequent trips are putting a lot of pressure on the front-line workers who have not had any rest since the commencement of repatriation in June last year.
“We cannot continue to allow ‘travel at will’ for many foreign nationals for ‘rest and respite’ while our front-liners have sacrificed theirs to protect this country”.
“We will issue a new travel advisory later this week which will specify new requirements on the frequency of travel for foreign nationals that wish to leave and re-enter the country as well as charges for COVID-19 tests”, Sogavare says.
He says the new travel advisory will specify new requirements on the frequency of travel for foreign nationals that wish to leave and re-enter the country as well as charges for COVID-19 tests.
While the Prime Minister mentioned cutting back on frequency of travel for foreign nationals, he did not mention overseas health travel for Ministers of the crown.