30 Mar 2020

Exodus from Solomons capital after declaration of emergency zone

4:18 pm on 30 March 2020

An exodus is underway from the Solomon Islands capital as hundreds of people return to their home provinces.

People at a bus stop in Honiara, Solomon Islands

Photo: RNZ Pacific/ Koroi Hawkins

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare declared a State of Emergency on Friday amid the Covid-19 pandemic and asked people in Honiara with nothing to do to return to their home villages.

He declared the national capital an emergency zone.

The Solomon Star newspaper reported that packed charter boats left the city bound for the provinces over the weekend, with more trips expected in the coming days.

The government released funds to MPs to help with repatriation to the provinces and outer islands.

The Solomon Islands has no cases of the coronavirus but international flights have been banned.