SERVICES for all international flights are now suspended until further notice.
Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare said only humanitarian cargo flights will continue.
Mr Sogavare said the suspension of all international flights is to help the health and camp management teams redirect their efforts to manage an increase of COVID-19 cases due to local community transmission.
“All available quarantine stations are now redesignated holding areas for locally generated transmission of COVID-19,” Mr Sogavare said.
He said it is also safer for international passengers not to enter the country at a time when all the country’s resources are directed to managing the unfolding COVID-19 situation in the country.
“Humanitarian cargo services will continue.
“Other cargo services will be considered on case-by-case bases.
“Overseas cargo vessels – fuel and gas tankers – will continue to operate. Solomon Islands depend on these vessels for its survival, they do not pose high COVID-19 risks so they will continue to operate during the lockdown period if necessary,” the Prime Minister said.
These strict measures are imposed after a COVID-19 case was detected in Honiara yesterday. The person infected was among the passengers that travelled to Honiara from Ontong Java on 9th January 2022 onboard MV Akwa. The vessel arrived from Ontong Java in Honiara on 10th January 2022.
According to the Prime Minister, the person was sent for swabbing by his employer who upon listening to the Prime Minister’s address yesterday was concerned as this individual has just returned from Ontong Java.
He said the health team has been busy since yesterday to identify and contact trace the passengers that arrived in Honiara from Ontong Java onboard MV Akwa on 10th January 2022.
The Prime Minister urged all passengers who travelled on that vessel and those in contact with them to urgently call these telephone numbers 115 and 25256.