BY BARNABAS MANEBONA
SOLOMON Islands ban on foreign vessels and aircraft entering the country will be officially lifted on July 1 2022 and onwards.
Having full reopening of International borders soon means that the normal clearance functions on foreign vessels and aircrafts imposed during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) period will return to their usual authorities.
Prime Minister (PM) Manasseh Sogavare during his nationwide address yesterday said in relations to foreign vessels entering Solomon Islands, the Comptroller of Customs will assume control of coordinating the clearance of all foreign vessels entering the country.
This is by using the remote clearance method until it is safe to return to the normal boarding of vessels to conduct clearance.
“All foreign vessels that only enter the country to off load or load cargos of fuel or cooking gas are not required to have their crews checked for Covid-19 prior to entry into Solomon Islands.
“All logging vessels are still required to have one negative PCR Covid-19 test prior to departure from their last port and if no crew is ill during the journey to Solomon Islands, the crew will not be retested on arrival in Solomon Islands unless testing is indicated.
“The Director of Fisheries will assume in normal assessment of all fishing vessels entering our ports, only the carrier vessels are required to test their crews prior to departure for Solomon Islands,” said Sogavare.
With aircrafts, PM Sogavare said the approval of normal aircraft traffic to enter and land at Solomon Islands international airport will revert back fully to the Civil Aviation Authority of Solomon Islands (CAASI).
Based on assessment by the health authority, the Prime Minister said the Covid-19 situation in the country had improved markedly over the past several weeks and Cabinet has decided that international borders will reopen fully.