Message to U.S. Citizens: Updates to PNG Pandemic Measures (February 15, 2022)
Location: Papua New Guinea
The National Control Centre (NCC) announced revised measures under the National Pandemic Act of 2020, which take effect February 16, 2022. Of note, the measures modify the restrictions on travel to Papua New Guinea, including the removal of the requirement to obtain a State of Emergency approval from the NCC prior to travel, as well as removing the prohibition on tourist travel to Papua New Guinea. These revised NCC measures do not affect the current requirement to obtain a visa prior to entry. We are providing the summary below for your convenience, but we strongly recommend you review the text of the measures themselves on the NCC’s website for definitive information.
- Tourists may now travel to PNG.
- Pandemic State of Emergency approvals are no longer required to enter PNG.
- The requirement for non-PNG citizens aged 18 and older to be fully vaccinated to travel to Papua New Guinea remains unchanged. This requirement may be waived only by the Controller himself. The measures do not provide details on how to qualify for or request an exemption.
- The NCC now defines “fully vaccinated” as having “the recommended number of doses for the vaccine within the past six months”; or, having “the recommended number of doses for the vaccine…and have had a booster vaccine.”
- The requirement for a negative result for a COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test performed within the 72-hour period prior to boarding at the first port of departure to PNG remains unchanged.
- Children aged 5 and under are not required to be tested.
- If you test positive, but you have recovered from COVID-19 within the past 3 months, you must present a medical certificate indicating you are no longer infectious.
- The requirement to complete the e-Health Declaration Form prior to departure remains unchanged.
- The requirement to be tested upon arrival remains unchanged. The test is an Abbot Panbio Antigen Rapid Diagnostic Test, and the test may cost up to K350 per traveler.
- There is no automatic quarantine on arrival. However, if an arriving passenger tests positive on the rapid test, a PCR test will be performed to confirm the result. If the PCR test is also positive for COVID-19, the passenger must quarantine for 7 days at an approved quarantine facility or at a private residence, subject to approval of the quarantine officer.
- The ban on gatherings of more than 100 people remains unchanged; however, schools, educational institutions, markets, shopping centers, religious activities, and political rallies/events/gatherings connected to the national election are exempt from this ban but must follow Niupela Pasin health and safety measures.
- Restrictions on domestic travel have been lifted, except that travelers who are symptomatic for COVID-19 may not fly.