22 June 2020
The Government repatriated 82 Papua New Guineans from Australia and New Zealand by a chartered Air Niugini flight from Sydney, Australia, on June 16 2020
Out of the 82 citizens, 43 were Regional Seasonal Employment (RSE) Workers who flew in from New Zealand.
Chief of Protocol Mr. Morea Veratau, was present at the airport to receive the passengers
A representative of the RSE workers, Mr. Henry Maino thanked the Department of Foreign Affairs & International Trade especially the Government under the leadership of Prime Minister Hon. James Marape, for undertaking this humanitarian exercise to bring them and other fellow stranded citizens safely back home during this global pandemic.
Mr. Veratau was grateful that the charter returned safely into the country with the citizens, as it was aborted earlier due to some travel and compliance issues.
He thanked the governments of Australia and New Zealand, and the PNG diplomatic missions in Wellington, Canberra, and Sydney for their support and collaboration and coordination through the various agencies of the three different Governments, to effect a successful repatriation of the citizens during these different times, especially with regards to international travel and transits.
The stranded citizens were screened on arrival by the Health Authorities and NAQIA team, and were later transported to the designated government -funded hotels for their 14-day quarantine.
Mr Veratau said over 273 PNG citizens stranded in Australia have now been repatriated back into the country.
The Government through the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade continues to arrange and coordinate Air Niugini charters into the Asian Region to repatriate stranded PNG citizens.
DFAIT including the PNG Diplomatic Missions and Consular Posts overseas will continue to maintain contact with stranded citizens and provide necessary consular assistance to them whilst waiting to be uplifted.