Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has ordered the restriction of small craft vessels to and from the common border between Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea.

The border area between the Shortland Islands and Choiseul on the Solomon Islands side and Bougainville on the PNG side has now been declared as a second emergency zone in addition to Honiara which became effective two weeks ago.

Mr Sogavare said the Restriction of all Movement including Small Craft Vessels, across the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea Border will remain effective until the Order is revoked or the State of Emergency is rescinded.  

The RSIPF has deployed additional officers to the western border onboard Patrol Boat Gizo at the border region to secure our side of the common border. 

“Let us be reminded that a state of public emergency still exists in the country and due to the escalating situation in our neighboring countries, border measures will be tightened and government agencies are assessing and monitoring the situation at our eastern border while preparing to deploy police and border personnel as and when required,” Sogavare said.

Mr Sogavare also encouraged people on the western border with Papua New Guinea to respect and abide by this Order. 

“This Order is made to protect ourselves and country from COVID-19. Our western border cannot be protected if we rely on the police alone. Our good people from the Shortland Islands must also work together with our police,” the Prime Minister said.

Sogavare further appealed to Chiefs and Elders of Shortlands and other remote areas around the fringes of our country, to assist police and relevant authorities in securing our borders and reporting any irregular movement of crafts or vessels to police and other government authorities.