Bougainville starts to ease Covid-19 restrictions

12:09 pm on 6 May 2020

Bougainville is to start lifting restrictions imposed to try and stop Covid-19 from entering the autonomous region in Papua New Guinea.

There have so far been no confirmed cases in Bougainville, and while a State of Emergency remained in place, the man in charge of the emergency, police chief Francis Tokura, announced plans for schools to restart and the resumption of work by public servants.


Arawa Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

All schools in Bougainville, except for tertiary institutions, are to re-open next Monday.

The schools will be required to have handwashing facilities, with soap and water, in strategic locations within each school, and if possible, hand-sanitiser in classrooms and other key sites.

Physical distancing rules are also to be adhered to.

The schools also have to be cleaned and disinfected at least once a day.

Bougainville public servants have been told they can return to normal duties today but they must comply with the 'new normal' safe workplace requirements.

Meanwhile travel in and out of Bougainville, will continue to be limited to the delivery of medical equipment and other essential materials, until the required quarantine, isolation and triage facilities are ready.

Once these facilities are completed, all passengers flying into Bougainville will be quarantined.