A 36-hour lockdown will be imposed this week in the emergency zones of Honiara and on Guadalcanal. The lockdown will start on Wednesday 20th May at 6pm and lifted on Friday 22nd May 6am.

“It will not be an exercise as an Order will be issued making it law. Officers of the RSIPF will arrest anyone who contravene the Order which is expected to be gazetted this week,” says Acting Commissioner of Police, Mostyn Mangau.

Acting Commissioner Mangau explains: “Any one breaking the Order could be fined a maximum of $10,000 or imprisoned for five years or both.”

During the lockdown the following must be observed.

  • No one will be allowed to leave their place of residence.
  • All businesses will be closed during that period.
  • No vessels including OBMs will be allowed to leave or arrive at the Honiara port after 6pm on Wednesday 20 May 2020 until after 6 am Friday 22 May 2020.

Only the essential and emergency services will be allowed to move around during the 36-hour lockdown.

The essential services include:

  • Health workers;
  • Police officers;
  • Officers of the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO);
  • Ambulance officers;
  • Staff of the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation and all FM stations in Honiara;
  • Officers of the Central Bank of Solomon Islands and other Banks; and
  • Staff of the utility companies including SIWA, SIEA, Solomon Telekom and B-Mobile.

The emergency services include:

  • Health workers
  • Police Officers
  • Officers of NDMO
  • Red Cross Officers
  • Officers of the Ministry of Infrastructure Development
  • Officers of the Ministry of Finance; and
  • Officers of the Maritime Services

Acting Commissioner Mangau says that any and all exemptions granted during the last curfew in April is no longer valid for this lockdown. Everyone will have to reapply for a new exemption. 

There will be police check points in eight locations - Poha River, White River, Rove, Honiara City Council Roundabout; Kukum Roundabout, Ranadi Roundabout, Lungga Bridge and Alligator Creek.

"Six compliance teams will also patrolling areas outside of the checkpoints. Anyone with a life threatening emergency is encouraged to approach any police check point closest to you," Acting Commissioner Mangau explained. 

In his nationawide address on Friday Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare said the  lockdown is a "standard procedure to test the city’s capability and preparations for any possible COVID-19 positive case."

He said experts around the world have also been calling on countries affected by COVID-19 to continue to be vigilant and to be prepared for a second wave of infections.

“The Lockdown is also the Government’s strategy to maintain this heightened alertness with regards to the global warnings of a perceived second wave of infection”, the Prime Minister said.

He said the lockdown is a requirement of preparedness to ensure the capability and effectiveness of all frontline agencies.

Sogavare said this lockdown is for the good of the people.

In the event the Government declares the country’s first confirmed case of Coronavirus (COVID-19), the capital City, Honiara will face a lockdown.

With RSIPF Media Unit