21 Mar 2022
Controller Manning issues new pandemic measure
Commissioner of Police and Controller of the PNG National Pandemic Response David Manning today revoked previous Measure No.2 issued under the National Pandemic Act 2021 and replaced it with a new measure which becomes effective on March 21, 2022.
Key changes to Measure 2 include:
1. The definition of fully vaccinated has been changed to remove the requirement of a booster and the timeframe of being vaccinated within 6 months; and
2. Requirements for entry into PNG by boat/cruise ships etc are included. Under the new measure, a passenger or crew who travel to PNG on a cruise ship etc, do not have to have a test within 72 hours of boarding, however they do have to test on arrival. The requirements for arrival by plane do not change.
Under the new Measure No 2:
1. No person, except citizens or permanent residences, are permitted to board an aircraft, vessel or vehicle bound for Papua New Guinea or otherwise enter Papua New Guinea, unless they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 using one of the vaccines listed in Schedule 2, unless they are under the age of 18.
2. For the purposes of paragraph 1, a person is considered fully vaccinated if they have received:
a. A single dose vaccine as listed in Schedule 2;
b. A second dose of an accepted 2-dose vaccination as listed in Schedule 2;
c. Received 2 doses of any “mix-and-match” combination of accepted COVID-19 vaccines as listed in Schedule 2;
3. Travel operators or private organizations – as relevant – bringing persons into PNG will check all persons at check-in or before departure for the documents listed in Schedule 1, a person must not be allowed to book a flight or board an aircraft, vessel or vehicle bound for PNG without the documents applicable to their mode of travel.
4. Subject to paragraph 5, 6 and 7, no person is permitted to board an aircraft bound for PNG unless:
a. They have been tested for COVID-19 within a 72-hour period prior to boarding at their first port of departure to PNG; and
b. Have returned a result indicating they do not have detectable levels of COVID-19.
5. For the purposes of paragraph 4, only Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) shall be accepted.
6. Children aged five years and under are not required to be tested in accordance with paragraph 4.
7. For the purposes of paragraph 4 and 8:
a. If a person has within the last 3 months tested positive for COVID-19; and
b. Their COVID-19 test result required under paragraph 4 and 9 is positive;
a medical certificate from a registered medical practitioner from their country of departure, certifying that the person is no longer infectious for COVID-19 shall be accepted in lieu of a negative COVID-19 test result.
8. All incoming arrivals, except children under 5, shall be tested for COVID-19 on their day of arrival at the first port of arrival, the protocols and procedures for which are covered in Schedule 3.
9. Persons who test positive for COVID-19, shall have a second confirmatory PCR Test.
10. If a person tests positive for COVID-19 on the PCR test:
a. Subject to paragraph 7, they shall be quarantined for 7 days at:
i.) An approved quarantine facility (as listed in Schedule 4) the choice of which shall be the individual and at the individuals own cost; or
ii.) At home, if the quarantine officer is satisfied that a person can safely isolate at home away from other persons (ie: in a self-contained house, unit or apartment).
b. The quarantine officer must provide in writing to the individual a notice that they are to quarantine; and
c. The quarantine officer must provide information in writing (provided by the relevant authorities) to the individual as to appropriate methods of travel to an approved quarantine facility or location; and
d. The relevant testing organization shall notify the National Control Centre or the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary informing them of the positive test result.
11. A child (any person under the age of 18) who tests positive for COVID-19 shall be quarantined at home with a parent or guardian.
12. No incoming arrival may leave the port of arrival without being tested except under the following circumstances:
a. Approved in writing by the Controller to do so;
b. In the case of an emergency, as directed by authorized officers, including a member of the National Airports Authority or the Royal Papua New Guinean Constabulary; or
c. In the case of a medical emergency.
13. Any person who refuses to be tested in accordance with paragraph 8 shall at the discretion of the Controller:
a. Be quarantined, details of this quarantine shall be conducted on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the Controller and at the individual’s own cost; or
b. Returned to their original Port of Departure, at the individual’s own cost.
14. Subject to paragraph 6 and 9, no incoming arrival shall be quarantined.
15. ISOS shall test all incoming arrivals on commercial flights coming from Australia.
16. Trakpro shall test all other incoming arrivals arriving on commercial flights, for which they may charge up to K200 to an individual required to be tested upon arrival.
17. The responsibility for the testing of persons not arriving on commercial flights is on the organization that is transporting the person, who must ensure that all arriving persons are tested and the organization is to bear the cost of the testing.
18. All incoming arrivals shall be tested using Abbot Panbio Antigen Rapid Diagnostic Tests (Ag-RDT).
19. For the purpose of these Measures, a person arriving into PNG on any aircraft is taken not to arrive in PNG if the person does not leave the plane or the immediate vicinity of the aircraft for the purposes of conducting pre-flight inspections and refueling.
20. For the purpose of these Measures, a person arriving into PNG on any vessel is taken not to arrive in PNG if the person does not leave the vessel.
21. The Controller may exempt a person from some or all of the International Travel Measures, at his sole discretion and subject to conditions he imposes.
22. A person or organization that allows a person to board an aircraft bound for PNG in breach of these Measures shall be deemed to have committed an offence under the National Pandemic Act 2020.
23. A person that attempts to or does enter PNG in breach of these Measures shall be returned to their original port of departure at the cost of individual if they did not take reasonable steps to ensure compliance with these Measures.
These measures are in compliance with the COVID-19 measures issued by the International Civil Aviation Authority.
Authorized Officers shall ensure appropriate levels of surveillance and border monitoring systems are in place throughout the country for international travel and in particular at the traditional border crossing areas.
These Measures come into effect on 21 March 2022 and shall apply until the end of the Declaration of a Pandemic under the Act, or as varied or revoked by the Controller.