Police Commissioner and Controller of the PNG COVID-19 National Pandemic Response David Manning released new control measures following a briefing with the PM and the National Control Centre leads.
Notable among the new changes are that:
• Passengers 5 years and under are no longer required to be tested prior to entering PNG;
• Passengers who have been fully vaccinated and travel from a low to medium risk country are eligible for 7 days quarantine and home quarantine; and
• Private health facilities, including the extraction industry are included as eligible to administer vaccines, but only under the coordination/MOU of their PHA to adhere to recording and reporting requirements and persons vaccinating are registered Health workers.
Previous Measure 13 has been revoked and the requirement not to test prior to domestic travel is now included within Measure 3.
Mr Manning said all citizens must comply with the measures which are aimed at mitigating the spread of COVID-19.
He said measures that require the public’s full support and cooperation include Measure 9 on Business & Social, Measure 10 on National Mandatory Mask Wearing and Measure 11 on National Public Transport Measures.
He said for PNG to come out of the pandemic the public’s cooperation is very important in observing the requirements within all the measures and especially the requirements in business and social, mandatory mask wearing and the requirements for public transportation.
The following are some of the requirements under measure 9, Business and Social:
• All businesses, social venues, markets, shopping centers, schools, educational institutions and places of worship must comply with the “Niupela Pasin” guidelines for the duration of the pandemic;
• An immediate ban is placed on gatherings of over 10 people;
• Venues or parts of venues must immediately close for the duration of the Pandemic that provide nightclub and pub activities and services or sell and supply alcohol for consumption without food, except restaurants;
• Venues or parts of venues that operate a restaurant or for food consumption on premises may operate subject to ensuring that all persons on entry and exit from venues must wash their hands with soap or hand sanitizer and they must follow all other hygiene standards as issued by the Controller;
• Venues or parts of venues that provide gambling activities and services may open if they ensure strict adherence to the COVID-19 safety guidelines issues by the Controller in relation to operating a gambling activity and service; and
• No licensed premises shall sell takeaway alcohol on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, except restaurants who may continue to serve alcohol as regulated by their liquor license.
Mr Manning said it has been brought to his attention that certain businesses are conveniently disregarding the control measures or interpreting them to suit their own interests.
“The measures are very clear and should be easily understood by all. Furthermore, on the enforcement of these orders the provincial police commands are expected to issue specific supporting directives to policemen around the country so as to ensure they are enforcing compliance without causing any inconvenience to the public.
The measures will continue to be reviewed and amended as required.