Port Moresby in lockdown: Papua New Guinean capital acts to halt spread of COVID-19


Port Moresby will be in lockdown for two weeks in a bid to stop community transmission after highest number of daily infections.

Prime Minister Marape and Pandemic Controller David Manning during the announcement of POM’s second lockdown. Credit: Prime Minister Office NEC/Facebook

Mandatory mask wearing, a night-time curfew and a cap on public gatherings, these will all be in force for a two-week lockdown of Port Moresby which was confirmed by Prime Minister James Marape.

‘As you will be aware, Papua New Guinea has reported 62 cases of COVID to date and 51 of these remain active and in medical care,’ Marape said at the announcement of the lockdown. ‘We have conducted close to 10,000 tests, including 535 in the last 24 hours which have revealed 23 confirmed cases in the nation’s capital city.’

‘Business will be bracing for the additional costs of getting employees to work as well since PMV buses will be halted.’

The result was the highest number of cases in a single day and the lockdown means that only essential businesses can operate. Business will be bracing for the additional costs of getting employees to work as well since PMV buses will be halted, with only taxis allowed to operate while wearing masks.

Late yesterday, the Morobe Provincial Health Authority also announced that the first case of COVID-19 had been detected in Lae. The patient was a 37-year-old man who had flown to Lae from Port Moresby for work; contact tracing was being undertaken.

The Prime Minister also announced that testing would ramp up and alluded to further economic assistance on the other side of the lockdown.

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‘I want to assure the people of Papua New Guinea that the Government is acutely aware of the economic impact that the ongoing crisis is having, and that we will continue to identify measures to cushion the economy and provide practical support to business,’ Marape said.

Other restrictions in place during the 14-day lockdown include:

  • A curfew will be in place from 10pm to 5am
  • No gathering in public places – limited to maximum of 15 people
  • There will be an immediate ban on all domestic flights from Port Moresby, for an initial period of 14 days
  • International flights will only be allowed to operate between Brisbane and Cairns
  • Nightclubs will close indefinitely
  • Sporting activities will be restricted
  • Schools will be close down for 14 days

The Prime Minister urged people not to panic and to maintain social distancing and good hygiene, and said further updates would come from the Emergency Controller, David Manning.


  1. You need lock down definetely. Dont under estimate this process.

    Ensure everyone stays home only few necessary things get it take away or get it home delivery
    Otherwise it will be uncontrollable.

    14 days lock down will be sufficient enough to contain wherever it is.

    Because lock down was relaxed we had been locked down in our country since April 2020.

    Only few relaxations happened but then the cases were increasing.

    Please cooperate.

  2. Charles says

    No need for total lock down. Mask-wearing should be a must, and allow buses to operate.

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