The Government of Kiribati has officially declared a further extension of its border closure in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The Government advises that this extension will remain effective until the end of February 2021 where it will be further reviewed. Special approval is required for humanitarian flights to transport essential equipment, medical supplies, and medevac operations.
In addition, Kiribati nationals travelling back on government arranged repatriation flights can enter Kiribati. A Repatriation Taskforce setup by Cabinet has been planning recent repatriation exercises to bring back all I-Kiribati stranded overseas since November last year.
The Taskforce is currently working with partners and neighbouring countries to repatriate remaining stranded nationals and Seafarers who have been affected by the border closures as a result of the pandemic.
The undertaking is being conducted in accordance with Standard Operating Procedures that seek to safeguard the public from the potential entry and transmission of COVID-19. All repatriated nationals would be required to undergo mandatory quarantine at a Government-designated facility on South Tarawa.
Throughout the repatriation period, Kiribati borders will remain closed to foreign nationals unless specific directions are given to enable critical and lifesaving operations and activities in Kiribati. During the border closure, the provision of medical supplies and cargoes will continue under the established COVID-19 safety procedures and protocols to ensure necessary support to strengthen the national health system and to support the needs of the people.
The Government 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: Office of Te Beretitenti)