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PNG Announces New domestic travel measures after COVID-19 cases spike

 With the rise of COVID-19 cases in the country the Commissioner of Police and Controller of the PNG COVID-19 National Pandemic Response David Manning issued new measures on domestic travel which become effective on Monday 22 March.


A restriction has been placed on travel from one province to another province by foot, vehicle, vessel or aircraft unless approval is given by the Controller or Provincial Administrators and for valid reasons such as:

• Students travelling for studies or returning home (one way ticket);

• Person returning home (one way ticket);

• Essential Business Travel;

• Medical Reasons; and

• Emergency travel and repatriation of deceased persons.

Mr Manning said no roadblocks are to be established by any person including authorised officers except for the provincial borders and as directed by the Controller in writing or by relevant provincial police commanders. However, the provincial borders of NCD and Central Province and Central Province and Gulf Province will have no roadblocks established.

Mr Manning says all domestic flights must comply with the following:

• Hygiene and social distancing restrictions;

• Passengers are tested negative for COVID-19 a day prior to travelling;

• An Antigen Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) shall be accepted;

• If a person is tested positive, he/she may not travel;

• Should a person refuse to be tested, he/she may be quarantined by the province at a suitable location for 14 days. This is not considered a criminal offence;

• Passengers must have results indicating they do not have detectable levels of COVID-19;

• All passengers must fill out a National Department of Health form on arrival which will be supplied by the Provincial Health Authority;

• Airline staff will have to check the passenger's temperature ensuring it is below 37.5C to travel;

• Anyone with a temperature of 37.5 degree celsius and above will not be checked in for travel;

• As a precaution measure, provinces can test those entering the provinces for COVID-19 using Only Real Time Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Test;

• All medical transportation and medical evacuated flights are exempted from all stated above;

• Any person or organisation that breaches these measures is deemed to have committed an offence under the National Pandemic Act 2020;

• All authorised officers appointed by the Controller pursuant to the Act shall carry out and enforce these measures accordingly; and

• These measures come into effect on 22 March 2021 and shall apply until the end of the Declaration of a Pandemic under the Act, or as varied or revoked by the controller.


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