Bougainville extends emergency rules until mid-August

10:20 am on 12 June 2020

The Bougainville Parliament has voted to extend a State of Emergency for another two months.

The SoE was set up to try and ensure that Covid-19 was kept out of Bougainville and, to date, it has been successful.

But MPs considered the potential threat of an outbreak in Papua New Guinea's autonomous region of Bougainville warranted extending the SoE until 14 August.

Cabinet minister Albert Punghau said this would mean the elections, to start at the beginning of August, would be conducted while the SoE remained in place.

Bougainville's Minister for Peace Agreement Implementation, Albert Punghau

Albert Punghau, standing, addresses a meeting Photo: supplied

The SoE restricts movement and travel, though a ban on people flying into the region from Port Moresby was lifted last month.

This week PNG's acting Health Secretary said the country had joined the list of jurisdictions which were Covid-19 free.

The Department of Health said PNG had not had any cases of the coronavirus for the last 44 days.

However health authorities were remaining cautious because of the high number of cases in neighbouring Indonesia which shares a porous border with PNG.