17 Aug 2020

Solomons repatriation on hold due to lack of quarantine space

4:56 pm on 17 August 2020

Flights into Solomon Islands that were supposed to bring home seasonal workers from Australia and New Zealand on Sunday were cancelled because of a lack of space in quarantine.

It has been revealed that the flights from Brisbane and Auckland were cancelled on Friday on the advice of the government's Customs and Excise Division.

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Photo: RNZI

In a statement the government apologised to its citizens and other intending travellers and said new dates for repatriation flights would be announced in the coming weeks.

The cancellation came as both Australia and New Zealand moved to contain community outbreaks of the coronavirus in parts of their countries.

But officials said the main reason for the cancellations was that accommodation in the government-designated quarantine sites were still occupied by people from previous repatriation operations.

Meanwhile repatriation flights for Solomon Island students in the Philippines were being planned for September and October.

There are around 340 Solomon Islanders studying there.

The Philippines have recorded over 160,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and almost 3000 deaths.

Solomon Islands still has no cases of the coronavirus.