Solomons nurses returning from Vanuatu stopped

11:03 am on 5 November 2021

A group of Solomon Islands nurses and their families were prevented from boarding a flight home from Vanuatu at the last minute.

Vanuatu's main international airport Bauerfield at Port Vila

Vanuatu's main international airport Bauerfield at Port Vila Photo: RNZI/Beverley Tse

The 19 nurses were due to fly out of Port Vila on Wednesday on an Air Vanuatu charter flight but were told they couldn't board the plane.

One of them, Dudley Toata, said they were told they could not return if they were not fully vaccinated against covid-19.

However, he says they weren't told this before they went to the airport.

Due to two detected positive covid cases in Port Vila among passengers from New Caledonia, the Solomon Islands government has declared that everyone coming into the country must be fully vaccinated.

Solomon Islands students were also due to board the same flight.

It will be a further month to fly out for those without one vaccine due to the distance between getting the first and second doses.

Air Vanuatu was already given green light by civil aviation to depart from Bauerfield Airport yesterday to Solomon Islands.