Severity: Warning Alert

Transportation: Officials have eased curfew in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, as of Sept. 10. Face covering, business, and transport measures ongoing.

Alert Begins 10 Sep 2020 03:02 AM UTC
Alert Expires 30 Sep 2020 11:59 PM UTC

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Port Moresby (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Increased security; possible transport and business disruptions, protests

Authorities in Port Moresby continue to enforce restrictions due to a rise in coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Officials are maintaining a curfew in the National Capital District but have reduced the hours to 0001-0500 nightly. Residents seeking medical or police support or employees who must travel during curfew hours are exempt from the measure. Gatherings of more than 50 people remain banned, apart from religious services, which remain limited to local services only under national regulations. The government also requires residents - with limited exceptions - to wear face coverings in indoor areas, including offices, religious sites, cultural and health facilities, outdoor markets, and public transportation. Businesses - except banks and childcare centers - must enforce the rule for employees and customers. Boroko Market is closed; other markets in the city must ensure people maintain 1.5 meters (5 feet) between shoppers. All nightclubs and bars remain closed; however, authorities now permit takeaway alcohol sales Monday-Friday.

Officials are also regulating public and private transport providers in the National Capital District and Central Province. Public motor vehicles (PMV) with capacities of 25-30 passengers are limited to 15 riders; other modes of transport, including vessels, taxis, and smaller PMV, must limit passengers to five fewer passengers than capacity. Transport providers must also provide hand sanitizer for riders. Police have threatened to arrest drivers and impound vehicles violating the orders, amid reports of lax adoption of COVID-19 precautions.

Police and some military remain deployed to implement the restrictions, though reports indicate enforcement has been sporadic. Checkpoints are possible in some areas, particularly during curfew hours. Restrictions on transport and business capacity could reduce the availability of services and cause some localized business disruptions. Protests against the measures are possible. Incidents of looting have occurred during previous demonstrations in other parts of Papua New Guinea, and such actions are possible if gatherings take place in the capital.

Follow all official instructions. Remain polite and nonconfrontational if questioned by security personnel. Avoid crowded areas as a precaution. If an unruly crowd forms nearby, immediately leave the area and seek shelter in a secure location. Confirm all transport reservations, and allow additional time for travel to nearby regions, especially Central Province.

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