Date set for first repatriation flight   - Solomon Star News

Date set for first repatriation flight  

22 May 2020

THE first repatriation flight into the country to bring home our nationals who are stranded in Australia and Fiji as a result of flight closures due to covid-19 has been confirmed for May 26.

Chairman of the Camp Management Sector Committee who is also part of the Government’s Covid-19 Oversight Committee Karl Kuper confirmed this on Tuesday. 

Kuper said around 250 stranded locals, including expatriates coming in to assist the government, are expected to board the flight.

He said with that figure, the Quarantine facilities in Honiara are already prepared to accommodate all those who will board that flight. 

“So for us the Quarantine Camp Management Sector Committee, that big number is unprecedented and we are preparing for their arrival,” he said.

Kuper said once they arrived, they will be kept on those quarantine centres for 28 days before they can be released to their respective homes and places of residences.

He dismissed rumours on social media that claimed the first fight would be on Thursday (Yesterday) during the course of the lockdown. 

Secretary to Cabinet, James Remobatu earlier said the repatriation flight was approved in the latest Travel advisory number two issued on May 14, 2020.

Remobatu said it is also made in accordance to the statement issued by Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare on May 1, 2020 on the government’s plans for repatriation.

He said the first tentatively scheduled repatriation flight is for stranded nationals in Australia and New Zealand.  

“The flight will be from Brisbane to Honiara and all nationals boarding the flight must have valid Solomon Airlines tickets.”

He said the government is also looking at repatriating nationals in covid-19 free Vanuatu and Fiji thereafter. Flight information will be issued as soon as it is finalised.

Meanwhile, according to the new COVID-19 regulation 2 which was gazetted last week, all returning passengers from overseas must have to undergo a mandatory 28 days quarantine in one of the state’s identified quarantine facility, an double increase of 14 days in the previous regulation.