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New Measures for Bougainville

Regional Pandemic Controller for Bougainville and Health Secretary Clement Totavun, today announced new measures for Bougainville in response to the rise in the Delta Variant across other parts of the country.

Apart from the mandatory COVID-19 ‘Niupela Pasin’ measures of social distancing, wearing of face masks and frequent hand washing or use of hand sanitizers, new measures were also issued on travelling passengers into Bougainville from other provinces.

Mr Totavun in a media conference today explained that under the new measures all inbound passengers arriving in Bougainville through the airports and seaports must have a valid reason for travel, which includes:

  • Students returning to their usual place of residence or returning to their educational institution (one-way tickets to be issued);
  • Persons returning to their usual residence;
  • Essential business travel;
  • Seeking medical assistance and medivac;
  • Emergency transport, but not limited to repatriation of deceased persons.

All inbound passengers are also required to produce a valid negative test result for COVID-19 and this must be presented to quarantine officials upon arrival in Bougainville.

“A rapid diagnostic test (RDT) or GeneXpert test as outlined in Schedule 2 must be done in the province of departure within 48 – 72 hours prior to boarding a flight to Bougainville,” he explained.

Other measures included the adoption of mandatory wearing of face masks in the following places:

Premises or any portion thereof which are used as a place of business for the sale or offering for sale of goods or services, and includes a mall or similar structure which contains multiple places of business;

  • Health facilities;
  • Sporting facilities;
  • Churches, mosques, synagogues, temples, or other places of worship;
  • Community centres including indoor recreational facilities;
  • Libraries, art galleries, museums, zoos, and other similar facilities;
  • Convention centres, arenas, stadiums, and other event spaces; and
  • Government facilities 

Speaking on the vaccination program, Secretary Totavun said that the Health Department has already begun the region-wide vaccination program starting in North Bougainville followed on by Central and South, and this includes advocacy sessions in the communities about the COVID-19 vaccine.

“Vaccines are safe; they provide a good level of protection from the COVID-19 virus. I encourage our people who are 18 years and above to visit our hospitals and health facilities in the region and get the vaccine that is now available,” he said.

Currently, the Johnson and Johnson vaccine and AstraZeneca vaccine is being administered in hospitals across Bougainville.

You can download your copy of the New Measures here.

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