In light of the COVID-19 surge during the past few weeks, the Marape Government have put forth a Nationwide Isolation plan for the country set to start next Monday 22nd of March 2020.
Following this announcement; school holidays for the first term have been brought forward to next Monday, this will see schools be suspended for 4 weeks with an expectant resumption of classes on the 19th of April.
In reference to the education calendar all higher learning or higher education institutions have been advised to continue normal operations as per their education calendars.
Strict measures are being placed for these higher learning institutions to adhere to as they go on with normal activities within school premises.
All domestic travel will be restricted as of Monday and the wearing of masks will be made mandatory.
Bus stop wardens and disciplinary forces will be called out to assist with the rolling out of the National Isolation strategy.
Flights to Cairns, Australia have been closed as off 17th March 2021 and Flight capacity between Port Moresby and Brisbane will be reduced by 25%. Even so, passengers are required to present a negative Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test before the date of departure. It is advisable that this test should be conducted three days prior to the date of departure.
The Government is adamant to ensure that normal business operations are not affected and services continue to be performed therefore a strategy on work arrangement has also been put forward and are as follows:
- The wearing of masks is now a mandatory practice the NO MASK NO ENTRY policy is to be adhered to at all government offices.
- All Public Servants are required to undergo COVID-19 testing. Subject to the results of the test, those who test positive will automatically be isolated and a second test is required until the result is negative, they will be allowed to resume work duties.
Any staff feeling sick with COVID-19 symptoms must report the matter immediately to their agency heads and take time off to do tests.
The testing sites in NCD are provided in the image below.
- All Government building must be fumigated and sanitized.
- Social distancing and office sitting arrangements are to be complied with the required spacing of at least 1.5 metres as recommended by the Niupla Pasin Protocols.
- Duty travels domestically are prohibited unless by authority of the Controller. Offices are advised to utilize Zoom and telephone conferences, emails and delve into other social platforms such as whatsapp.
- Meetings and gatherings must include only 10 people or less, and COVID protocols must be closely monitored and complied with to mitigate the risk and prevent the spread of COVID-19.