Controller David Manning made this statement whilst admitting that the repatriation exercise is not progressing as quickly as other countries.
“This is an ongoing activity and we remain committed to assessing case-by-case arrangement to not only see how best we can facilitate but subsidise cost for our citizens returning back home. The main focus now is clearing the stranded citizens in Australia, then work across to the Pacific but the only restriction is the availability of flights.
“Flights in and out of Singapore have been closed and may have an impact on citizens stranded there as well,” Manning said.
He stated there have also been requests on medical grounds for self-quarantine at home or residence outside of the designated quarantine venues, stressing this is subject to an approval process and on a case-by-case basis.
Manning said he is committed to repatriating every single stranded Papua New Guinean back home and assured that the discussions and negotiations with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade will continue to progress this.
Close to 800 citizens are to be repatriated back into the country with the majority in Australia and many scattered across the Pacific and other parts of the world. All persons repatriated will undergo a 14-day quarantine in select facilities upon their return.