Kiribati extends border closure

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The Government of Kiribati has officially declared a further extension of its border closure in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

This new extension will remain effective until the end of June 2021 when another review is expected to take place for further determination of Kiribati’s border settings.

During this extension period, special approvals can be obtained for humanitarian flights to transport essential equipment, medical supplies and for the conduct of medevac operations.

Government’s Repatriation Taskforce that oversees the repatriation of Kiribati nationals abroad will continue to plan and facilitate repatriation exercises to bring back all I-Kiribati stranded. The Taskforce is also coordinating with relevant Ministries to mobilize Kiribati students to commence their studies at tertiary level in Fiji alongside key workers and other members of the travelling public.

Standard Operational Procedures that seek to safeguard the public from the potential entry and transmission of COVID-19 will remain in force for all incoming travellers including a mandatory quarantine of 14 days at the Government-designated facility on South Tarawa. This has proven helpful to the Government’s effort to maintain Kiribati’s COVID-19 free status.

The provision of medical supplies and cargoes will also continue under the established COVID-19 safety procedures and protocols to ensure necessary support is provided to strengthen the national health system and to address people’s needs.

The Government acknowledges the dedicated service of all frontline workers and all who are involved in the success of repatriations to date and continues to appeal to the general public and Kiribati’s development partners for their continued cooperation, support and understanding to ensure the necessary arrangements are strictly followed so that risks are managed and the health safety of all is not compromised.

Source : TAK Newsletter, 15th March 2021

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