10 Apr 2020

Solomons PM bans small watercraft crossings at border with PNG

9:10 am on 10 April 2020

Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has banned the movement of small watercraft across his country's shared maritime border with Papua New Guinea.

The border, which runs between the Shortland Islands on the Solomons side and Bougainville in PNG, is routinely crossed by residents on both sides who share familial, cultural and trade links.

Solomon Islands' prime minister Manasseh Sogavare.

Solomon Islands' prime minister Manasseh Sogavare. Photo: Supplied

Mr Sogavare's ban on border movements was announced on Thursday as one of two new emergency orders under the country's Covid-19 State of Public Emergency.

The other was to officially announce a curfew exercise in the capital Honiara from 8pm to 5pm Friday night and Saturday as part of preparations for a potential outbreak of Covid-19.

"This is not a mock curfew. Therefore anyone that is found in breach of this order will be arrested."

"Police will be setting up checkpoints around Honiara and within the emergency zone to monitor the movement of people."