By MIRIAM ZARRIGA
THE country has given the green light for commercial flights to nine Pacific island countries on Air Niugini and four other airlines, according to National Pandemic Controller David Manning.
The nine countries are Fiji, the Solomon Islands, Nauru, the Federated States of Micronesia, Vanuatu, the Cook Islands, Samoa, Palau and Niue.
Flights are now allowed from Australia, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Nauru, Federated States of Micronesia, Vanuatu, the Cook Islands, Samoa, Palau and Niue.
The airlines permitted to operate are Air Niugini, PNG Air, Hevilift, Tropic Air and Pacific Direct Ltd.
Those travelling to PNG need to have a letter, international air passengers travel form, passport biodata page, work permit (if applicable), visa (if applicable), home quarantine request (if applicable), PCR test result (negative), approved international air passenger travel form and e-health declaration form barcode.
Meanwhile, travel restrictions imposed on West New Britain have been lifted.
The new measures come into effect from Friday Jan 22. Social distancing and mandatory mask wearing continues with no alcohol to be sold on weekends.
The Autonomous Bougainville Government also require passengers to seek approval from the Bougainville state of emergency controller before travelling and to obtain a quarantine medical clearance certificate 48 to 72 hours before departure.
Land borders continue to be closed including maritime border crossings.
Port Moresby’s Motukea Port and ports in Rabaul, Lae, Madang and Kimbe are the only official maritime ports of entry for vessels and cargo shipments. Individuals trying to return to PNG via Port Moresby must be tested for Covid-19 within a seven-day period prior to boarding an aircraft and have returned a result indicating they do not have detectable levels of the Covid-19.
Only real time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests will be accepted.
By MIRIAM ZARRIGA