Thursday 25 March 2021
Curfews have not been imposed under new measures issued on 18 March by the Controller of the PNG COVID-19 National Pandemic Response Mr David Manning.
All members of the public are urged to not accept and disseminate information that has not been sanctioned and approved by the Controller.
All and any release of information from the National Control Centre will only be from the Media and Public Information Cluster of the NCC.
Members of the public are also advised that police are not and will not be charging any fees for any services rendered under the pandemic.
It has been brought to the attention of the Controller that messages have been circulated in the social media that police are charging K100 fees to process travel approvals.
Mr Manning said this is totally false and is now being investigated. The person or persons who sent out this message will be dealt with under our Cyber Crime Laws.
Meanwhile all residents and citizens are reminded that they are expected to comply with the new measures which became effective on Monday 22 March. Thirteen measures have been ssued since March 18.
Under Measure 9 – business and social, which covers all businesses, social venues, markets, shopping centres, schools, educational institution and places of worship:
- An immediate ban is placed on gatherings of over 10 people;
- Venues or parts of venues that provide night club or pub and gambling activities shall close beginning Wednesday March 24 and are to remain shut for the duration of the pandemic;
- Venues that sell alcohol or supply take-away alcohol or alcohol for consumption without food are to also close beginning Wednesday March 24 and are to remain shut for the duration of the pandemic;
- Venues or parts of venues that operate as restaurant or food consumption on premises may operate subject to all persons on entry and exit from venues must wash their hands with soap or hand sanitiser and follow all other hygiene standards as issued by the Controller;
- Operating hours for retail outlets are from 7am to 8pm;
- Restaurant shall operate from 7am to 10pm;
- Service stations may only operate from 7am to 10pm;
- No club, recreational or professional sporting matches shall be allowed to play, except for recreation sporting games of no more than 4 persons;
- All schools, educational institutions, markets and shopping centres must comply with social distancing requirement and safe and hygienic practices as issued by the controller including social distancing of at least 1.5 metres between each person and all persons on entry and exit must wash their hands with soap or hand sanitizer;
- Religious activities may continue to operate but congregation size of any religious activity to be at a maximum of 50, social distancing of at least 1.5 metres between each person, all persons on entry and exit into the place of worship must wash their hands with soap or hand sanitiser and follow all other hygiene standards as issued by the Controller;
- The Council of Churches in consultation with the Department of Health and all faith groups in PNG, shall prepare Standard Operating Procedures for all religious activities and gathering;
- Funerals and “haus krais” shall be limited to only 50 persons;
- The respective provincial Chamber of Commerce (Provincial Business Peak Body) shall ensure that businesses develop COVID-19 continuity Plans for operation in each province;
- All restaurants in every province shall submit to their respective provincial Chamber of Commerce and Industry information such as physical size of restaurant seating area and COVID-19 safe seating plans in accordance with the “Niupla Pasin”;
- Respective provincial Chamber of Commerce and Industry shall submit the above information provided to them to the National Control Centre for NCD or the relevant Provincial Control Centre and a person or organisation that fails to comply, may be directed to close by the Controller or the relevant provincial centre;
- A person or organisation may apply in writing to the controller or relevant provincial administrator for an exemption for a gathering of over 10 persons;
- A request for an exemption must include steps taken to ensure compliance with “Niupla Pasin” and to reduce the risk of the spread of COVID-19 at the gathering;
- Non-compliance with some of these measures is unlawful and may be penalised under the Act or other applicable laws;
- Non-compliance with these measures should be reported to an authorised officer or the Provincial Police Commander; and
- Any Authorised Officer(s) appointed by the Controller pursuant to the Act, shall carry out and enforce the measures accordingly.
These measures come into effect on 22 and 24 March 2021, and shall apply until the end of the declaration of the pandemic under the Act, or as varied or revoked by the Controller.