It’s not a lockdown: AG - Solomon Star News

It’s not a lockdown: AG

27 March 2020
AG John Muria Jnr.

ATTORNEY General of Solomon Islands, John Muria Junior says the declaration of State of Emergency here is not a lockdown, as it is happening in other neighbouring countries that have contracted the coronavirus.

Mr Muria made the clarification after the Governor-General Sir David Vunagi declared the State of Public Emergency for the Solomon Islands over the period of 4 months, starting mid-week.

“The declaration does not mean that a lockdown will be enforced as currently circulated in the social media,” he said.

He said a lockdown is a measure available under emergency powers.

“At the moment the government is considering all measures and will be implementing certain measures as when necessary by an order made under the emergency powers regulations,” he said.

Muria Jnr, however, explains the state of public emergency declared is a situation in which a government is empowered to perform actions or impose policies that it wouldn’t normally be permitted to undertake.

“A government can declare such a stage during a natural disaster, medical pandemic/epidemic, civil unrest or armed conflict.

“Such declarations are designed to alert citizens to change their normal behaviour and orders government agencies to implement emergency plans,” he added.

Meanwhile, several citizens have already called on the government for lockdown and for a total shutdown of international flights in and out of the country.  

Melanesian neighbours Papua New Guinea and Fiji are now in lockdown stage following their recent encounter with positive cases as well as Australia and New Zealand whilst the Solomon Islands only closes its borders to non-citizens.