28 Oct 2020

Solomons PM issues stern warning for citizens awaiting repatriation

6:04 am on 28 October 2020

The Solomon Islands prime minister has warned citizens awaiting repatriation to answer truthfully when going through pre-departure screening.

Solomon Airlines Airbus A320

Solomon Airlines Airbus A320 Photo: lasafotografix

Manasseh Sogavare made the statement while announcing four new cases of Covid-19 in managed quarantine in Honiara on Tuesday afternoon.

The new cases are from a group of young footballers recently repatriated from the United Kingdom.

Their confirmation ended a 24-hour-period without an active Covid-19 case in Solomon Islands, after four people who had earlier tested positive were cleared of the virus on Monday.

Solomon Islands prime minister Manasseh Sogavare.

Solomon Islands prime minister Manasseh Sogavare. Photo: SIG news service

Manasseh Sogavare said it had become apparent some of those recently repatriated had lied during their pre-departure screening.

"It is the solemn duty of every Solomon Islander returning home to protect this country. That simply means tell the truth to the questions in our risk assessment forms," Manasseh Sogavare said.

Sogavare said this behaviour was in breach of the country's Covid-19 regulations and the person or persons involved would be held accountable.

"To those who knowingly lie, they will face the consequences of their actions, which has put this country at risk, after they serve their mandatory quarantine periods," Manasseh Sogavare said.

Meanwhile, local police have increased security at the growing number of quarantine facilities around the capital as more repatriations are planned.

They are also urging locals using outboard motor canoes not to approach foreign cargo and fishing vessels anchored in Point Cruz Harbour.

The main port in Honiara.

The main port in Honiara. Photo: Solomon Islands Ports Authority

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