600 Plus Citizens Still Awaiting Repatriation Abroad

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    OPMC File Photo of an earlier Repatriation Flight (Photo: OPMC)

    BY ALEX DADAMU

    MORE than 600 Solomon Islands citizens are still awaiting repatriation abroad.

    However, According Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare in his address this afternoon, stated the next phase of repatriation can only commence after the quarantine stations become available.

    Sunday Isles understood that 4 repatriation flights were undertaken last week and two cargo runs that also brought in 16 passengers per run.

    In total 531 passengers were brought in the past week.

    According to Prime Minister Sogavare, the Ministry of Health have prioritised the testing of all passengers that arrived from Manila on Wednesday 9th December,

    “I am extremely pleased to inform you all that the first test for all 133 passengers from Manila have come back negative,” the Prime Minister said in his address this afternoon.

    Prime Minister Sogavare in the meantime, revealed that in anticipation of the availability of quarantine beds following the release of the current occupants, the government have agreed the following repatriation schedule:

    • Tuesday 29th December 2020 – 1st repatriation flight for Fiji

    • Wednesday 30th December 2020 – 2nd repatriation flight for Fiji

    • Saturday 9th January 2021 – 3rd repatriation flight for Fiji

    • Monday 11th January – 3rd and final repatriation flight for Manila

    • 17th January 2021 – Repatriation flight from Brisbane and Auckland

    • 7th February 2021 – Repatriation flight from AKL – for citizens from Europe, Africa, UJK, USA, Canada, Cuba, and other locations.

    Sogavare however cautioned that the 7th February 2021 flight will be a high-risk flight – which is the reason it is being scheduled in February.

    “In between these flights the cargo runs will continue with 16 persons entering each week and the Airline will also undertake at least one Commercial Charter flight,” Prime Minister Sogavare said.