Health and Travel Alert: Update on National COVID-19 Vaccination Campaign and Emergency Measures (June 11, 2021)

Location: Papua New Guinea

Event: Update on National COVID-19 Vaccination Campaign and Emergency Measures

U.S. citizens in Papua New Guinea (PNG) are advised that the PNG government is in a new phase of its COVID-19 vaccination campaign. Nationally, all persons aged 45 and above, and all adults with comorbidities, are eligible for vaccination—though a number of provinces are offering vaccination to persons aged 18 and above, routinely or upon request. U.S. citizens should contact provincial and district health officials to about obtaining vaccination services.

On June 11, 2021, the Office of the Controller issued updated national COVID-19 emergency measures, including a number of important changes to requirements for travel. U.S. citizens and their organizations are encouraged to review the measures in full. A consolidated, text-searchable version of the measures may be found here.

Among the updates are the following:

  • For travel to PNG, children aged five and under are no longer required to be tested. Travelers should, however, consult their air service providers and other resources to determine if tests are required by the respective airline or by government authorities at transit locations.
  • Fully vaccinated persons who have been in Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, or Vanuatu for the 21 days preceding travel and have not departed an airport terminal while en route to PNG are now only required to quarantine for seven days. Accordingly, travelers originating in the United States, regardless of vaccination status, are still required to quarantine at an approved site for 14 days upon arrival in PNG.
  • COVID-19 tests are not required for interprovincial air travel.

U.S. citizens in PNG are reminded that COVID-19 PCR tests conducted by Air Niugini, in partnership with International SOS, immediately prior to check-in for outbound international flights also satisfy the requirements of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s January 12 Order regarding COVID-19 testing and travel to the United States. Therefore, travelers en route to the United States from PNG do not need to obtain an additional COVID-19 test prior to their check-in with Air Niugini.

Please note that Air Niugini and ISOS are conducting testing primarily based on requirements of the destination country. Accordingly, travelers should inform themselves of such requirements and, particularly in the case of children, request and ensure that tests are conducted as needed. Any passenger aged two or above who does not have a negative COVID-19 test result—or other acceptable documentation—may be refused uplift at any point in their journey to the United States and risk being forced to return to their origin at their own cost.

The Embassy has become aware of a small number of U.S. citizens who have fully recovered from COVID-19 but continue to test positive and, as a result, have faced challenges departing PNG en route to the United States. U.S. citizens in these circumstances are advised to contact ConsularPortMoresby@state.gov for advice and assistance as needed.

The Embassy continues to have capacity to provide all routine and emergency passport services to U.S. citizens in PNG. The Embassy regularly updates its own COVID-19 information page, including the status of consular services and a summary of international transportation options and requirements. The Embassy does not provide health and medical services to private U.S. citizens and cannot make travel arrangements.

The U.S. government does not plan to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to private U.S. citizens overseas. Please follow host country developments and guidelines for COVID-19 vaccination.

Actions to Take:

  • Contact provincial and district health officials to inquire about the availability of vaccination services
  • Avoid non-essential domestic and international travel and take steps to avoid exposure by yourself, your family, and your community to COVID-19
  • Follow the direction of provincial and national governments and health authorities
  • Monitor local media and the PNG government’s COVID-19 portal for up-to-date information on the national situation
  • Monitor the Embassy’s COVID-19 information page for updates on international travel and consular services
  • Consult the CDC website for the up-to-date information on COVID-19
  • Review the Department of State’s COVID-19 crisis page for the latest information on international travel and for a listing of other U.S. Embassies’ COVID-19 information pages

Travel Between PNG and the United States:

  • Carefully review Air Niugini’s travel advice and the “Transportation Options” section of the Embassy’s COVID-19 information page
  • Note that the Embassy’s summary of transportation options is provided for informational purposes only; we cannot make travel arrangements and we cannot direct air service providers
  • Be prepared to take a PCR COVID-19 test at Jacksons International Airport (POM) and arrive at the airport 4-5 hours in advance of your scheduled international departure in order to allow sufficient time for the testing process
  • Test results or documentation to be used for travel should include the traveler’s full name, date of birth, and passport number
  • Consult the CDC’s Frequently Asked Questions about U.S. COVID-19 testing requirements, including for information about extended itineraries with transits in third countries
  • Pay close attention to transit requirements in third countries, including routing, ticketing, and COVID-19 testing requirements, as well maximum transit times
  • Work with airlines directly or with a reputable travel agent who is familiar with PNG, Air Niugini, and Air Niugini’s partner airlines
  • If you transit Singapore or Hong Kong, ensure that you have a consolidated itinerary issued as a single ticket and that you and your baggage can be checked from Port Moresby to first U.S. port of entry
  • If you transit Brisbane or Sydney for more than eight hours, obtain a Subclass 771 transit visa; note that domestic travel within Australia, even to catch onward international flights, is not viable
  • If you transit Australia, complete a Travel Declaration within 72 hours of travel
  • If your transit in Australia is less than eight hours or you are allowed to remain in the airport for the duration of transit, ensure that your bags can be checked through to your first U.S. port of entry
  • If you transit Brisbane, complete this online form within 72 hours of your travel
  • If you transit Sydney, obtain the required quarantine exemption from the New South Wales government; see here for more on transiting in New South Wales

Assistance:

U.S. Embassy Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
Phone number: +675 308 2100
Email address: ConsularPortMoresby@state.gov
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/usembassyportmoresby/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/usembassypom?lang=en

U.S. State Department – Consular Affairs
+1 888 407 4747 or +1 202 501 4444
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