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Tourism Solomons: Coronavirus Update – Visitors may be denied entry

Tourism Solomons: Coronavirus Update – Visitors may be denied entry

Tourism Solomons has advised all passengers entering the Solomon Islands via air and sea ports and other points of entry who have been in or travelled through a “restricted country” relative to Coronavirus COVID-19 in the 14 days prior to arrival will be denied entry to the Solomon Islands.

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Further, anyone who has been in or travelled through an “affected country” in the 14 days prior will be required to complete a “health declaration card” and also be subject to screening on arrival.

The new advisory follows further meetings between the Solomon Islands Government and the Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS).

Tourism Solomons CEO, Josefa “Jo” Tuamoto, said the revised assessment further builds on action instigated by local medical authorities in early January in close consultation with their immigration and customs counterparts.

“As an ongoing part of the procedure, all incoming visitors, irrespective of point of entry, are being provided with guidance on what to do if they think they have the infection,” he said.

To date no cases of the virus have been detected in the Solomon Islands.

Previously at the end of January, Tourism Solomons CEO Tuamoto had said, “Our medical authority is on full alert, monitoring procedures have been ratcheted up at air and sea ports and all other points of entry, and health officials are on hand to check all inbound passengers for signs of illness. Vigilance is the key here.”

Also at that same time, the Ministry of Health and Medical Services permanent secretary, Pauline McNeil, said that considering a number of nearby countries which had already recorded suspected cases, the likelihood of Coronavirus appearing in the Solomon Islands could not be ruled out. Ms. McNeil advised that the ministry has already formed a technical working group which includes experts from the World Health Organization and UNICEF.