The first Solomon Airlines repatriation flight from Philippines will arrive tomorrow.
The flight was scheduled to arrive on Sunday, the 27th September, but has been rescheduled to arrive on Tuesday, 29th September, said spokesperson for Oversight Steering Committee (OSC).
The rescheduling of the flight will allow our health authorities time to coordinate changes to the passenger list for the first and the second flights, the statement explained.
“Basically, all those that had tested positive from the first two groups of students, plus all those that had been in contact with them will now come on the third flight, and some students that had been scheduled in the second flight who have 3 consecutive negative tests will be moved to the first flight that will arrive on 29th September,” the OSC spokesperson said.
The spokesman stated; “testing has been commenced for the last group of students initially scheduled to come on the 3rd flight, as some of these students from will need to be rescheduled to travel on the second flight to ensure there are adequate numbers of students to fill the second flight.
“Therefore, the actual date for the second flight will likely be in mid-October but it will be confirmed as soon as the Oversight committee sees and consider all the test results,” explained the spokesman.
The OSC also indicated that the date for the 3rd flight might be shifted a little to ensure all our students that had tested positive and their contacts have adequate time to comply with our mandatory 3 consecutive negative tests before travelling home.
“The change of dates also suited Solomon Airlines as it has an approved scheduled flight to Brisbane on 30th of October with many passengers already securing connection flights to other destinations from Australia within 8 hours of arrival in Brisbane,” the OSC spokesperson stated.
The flight IE620/21 will depart Henderson airport today, 28th September at 10:00 am to Manila via Biak (Indonesia). It returns on the same route arriving in Honiara on 29th September 5 pm.
A total of 144 students are expected to arrive on the first flight.
This 1st Philippine repatriation flight will be the 12th flight the Solomon Airlines will do. Of the previous 11 flights, 6 were from Brisbane, 2 from Vila and Nadi, 1 from Auckland, 1 from Guangzhou, China and 1 from Apia, Samoa.
In addition to the 3 repatriation flights to Manila, another repatriation flight has been scheduled by the OSC from Auckland on 25th October 2020.
The Government through the OSC will continue to update the public on these flights through the media and its weekly Sunday Radio Talk Back Show.
Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) continues to lead the Government’s multi-sectoral approach to stem COVID-19 infiltration on our shores. All government agencies and stakeholders are providing the required support through the National Disaster Operations Committee (N-DOC) and Provincial Disaster Operations Committee (P-DOC) Sectors.
N-DOC Camp Management Sector Committee maintains and continues to manage all the government approved Quarantine Station in Honiara and Western Province.
At the moment, only 35 persons are undergoing quarantine at the government-managed Quarantine Stations.
This batch is from the recent Brisbane flight on 15th September. Majority of the passengers entered the country under exemption and are accommodated in approved diplomatic Quarantine Stations, monitored by the Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS).
The Solomon Islands remains COVID-19 FREE to date. The Government remains committed to implementing strict measures to prevent the importation and potential spread of COVID-19 within its borders.