First Solomon Islands repatriation flight on Tuesday
26 May, 2020, 7:05 am
The first Solomon Islands repatriation flight is scheduled to take place tomorrow out of Australia.
The Solomon Airlines flight will leave Brisbane for Honiara just after midday local time.
Solomon Islanders who want to board the flight must purchase their own tickets from Solomon Airlines.
A second repatriation flight is being planned for Wednesday to go via Vanuatu and Fiji but will be subject to the airline getting flight clearances.
Foreign nationals wishing to board the flights required Solomons government approval.
All returning passengers will be screened on arrival at Honiara International Airport and will be required to undergo 28 days of quarantine and surveillance in government identified facilities.
Covid-19 testing online
The repatriation flights coincide with the country’s Covid-19 testing facilities coming online.
The health minister, Dickson Mua, praised the achievement and thanked Australia and China for donating the two qPCR testing machines now installed in the new laboratory at the National Referral Hospital.
Mr Mua said passengers arriving on the repatriation flights would be the first to be tested using the new facilities, which he said could do up to 1000 tests with a five hour turnaround for results.
“Today we have our very own testing laboratory with now a short period of time to know the results unlike previously we have to wait for up to five to seven days before we obtain the results,” said Dickson Mua.