The Honiara Emergency Zone is in lockdown for 60 hours effective from 6pm last night to 6am Saturday 22 January 2022.

The Honiara Emergency Zone boundary is from Alligator Creek in the East to Poha in the west end of Honiara.

At its meeting, Cabinet endorsed the lock down after an urgent special address to the nation by Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare Wednesday confirming COVID 19 community transmission in the capital.

The lockdown comes with restriction of movements of persons as ordered by the Prime Minister under Emergency Powers (COVID-19) (Honiara Emergency Zone) (Restriction of Movement of Persons) Order 2022.

“A person must not enter or leave the emergency zone on and from 6.00pm on Wednesday 19 January 2022 until 6.00am on Saturday 22 January 2022, said the order.

The order requires that people should be their own place of residence during the lockdown period.

Those exempted to travel during the lockdown are essential services workers who are covered under the Essential Services Act (Cap. 12).

The lock down in the Honiara Emergency Zone is important for the Ministry of Health and Medical Services to carry out contact tracing of people who travelled on MV Awka’s vessel from Ontong Java on 10 January after a passenger on that trip was tested positive for COVID 19.

Prime Minister Sogavare said, “the full extent of the COVID 19 infection in Honiara is yet to be established. Given that the positive case lives in a household with other people, and some other passengers that travelled on the vessel have been reported to be unwell. I am sad to inform you that we already have community transmission of COVID-19 in Honiara.”

Members of the public are requested to practise basic health activities such as washing hands for 20 seconds or use hand sanitisers, keep social distancing of at least 2 meters apart from another person, always wear face masks and avoid congregating together.

Other measures that are put in place including, all domestic flights to provinces are temporarily suspended – until further notice.

Suspension of all incoming passenger service from international flights – humanitarian cargo flights to continue.

All incoming passenger services from international flights will be suspended until further notice.

Humanitarian cargo services will continue. Other cargo services will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Overseas cargo vessels, fuel and gas tankers will continue to operate as Solomon Islands depend on these vessels for its survival. They do not pose high COVID-19 risks so they will continue to operate during the lockdown period if necessary.