Information for athletes and visitors to the Sol2023 Pacific Games
Are you visiting the Solomon Islands for the Pacific Games?
The Solomon Islands will proudly host the 17th Pacific Games during November and December 2023. This event will be the most significant international undertaking for the Solomon Islands in many years. The event has potential implications for biosecurity risk relating to both the massive influx of people and the large scale development of infrastructure directly attributable to hosting the games. There are 24 Island nations / territories expected to compete in the Pacific Games.
There will be numerous additional flights scheduled during the period of the games, many from countries that don’t typically fly directly to the Solomon Islands. This will add pressure to the biosecurity management of arriving travellers, not just because of the additional volume but because many travellers may not be familiar with biosecurity requirements of the Solomon Islands.
Solomon Islands Biosecurity laws are strict and clear. Everyone travelling to the Solomon Islands must follow the Solomon Islands government biosecurity rules. Certain food, plant material and animal products from overseas can carry pests and diseases that threaten Solomon Islands unique environment, wildlife and agriculture. We need your help to stop pest and disease coming to Solomon Islands.
What can athletes and other visitors do to help?
All people visiting the Solomon Islands for the games, inclusive of athletes, officials, spectators and support crews have a responsibility to manage their personal biosecurity risk and not bring these risks to the Solomon Islands.
Key things to know:
- Travellers should avoid bringing any fresh food including fruit, vegetables, and any type of meat unless it comes from Australia or New Zealand and has an import permit.
- Processed food should be commercially packaged and declared to a Solomon Islands biosecurity officer. This is important as correct packaging and labelling assists biosecurity officers to assess the risk of food items.
- Airline food should be left on the aircraft on arrival at Honiara.
- If in doubt about any food items leave them at home rather than risk losing them.
- Use the yellow amnesty bins provided in the arrival area to dispose of any items you are unsure of
- DECLARE any and all items of food you are carrying into the Solomons Islands on arrival so that they can be examined by a biosecurity officer.
- Athletes in particular should be mindful to declare on arrival any and all nutritional supplements that they may be bringing into the country. These must be presented for inspections by biosecurity and customs officers upon request.
Traditional garlands (e.g. lei, salusalu), headwear (e.g. tiare, hats) and hand/leg wear made from plant or animal materials such fresh leaves, flowers, seeds and feathers are a biosecurity risk. These must be left in the country you are traveling from or strictly disposed in the yellow amnesty bins upon arrival in the Solomon Islands, if unsure declare them to the biosecurity officer.
Sporting equipment, especially used shoes or other items that might be contaminated with soil (ege.g. used golf clubs, hockey sticks, soccer balls) should be well cleaned, declared and presented for biosecurity inspection on arrival.
- To save time and avoid unnecessary delays it is a good idea to thoroughly wash and dry all items of this nature prior to packing. If they are not clean, biosecurity officers will treat and wash these items.
- Regardless of whether items have been washed they must still be declared to biosecurity on the passenger declaration card and handed for inspection on arrival.
Please share these biosecurity messages with your friends and family that intend to visit Honiara for the games!
What you need to remember when going home
Check the biosecurity laws in your home country, you do not want to take back any unwanted biosecurity risks. Declare biosecurity risk items e.g. food, plant and animal material to biosecurity officers at the airport when you land.
Airport clearance is quicker if you don’t bring food, plant material and animal products, and if your equipment is clean.
Clean and declare wooden items, animal products (feathers, bone, hair or skins), footwear, clothing or equipment with soil on them or that have been used near animals or in rural areas.
Be sure to clean any equipment thoroughly to remove any:
- soil, mud or clay
- animal or faecal matter
- plant matter such as straw, twigs, leaves, roots, bark or seeds.
Equipment that has been used in freshwater lakes or rivers overseas must be:
- clean and free from visible clumps of algae
- completely dry.
If you find live animals, insects, soil, plant material or other risk items, when you are unpacking your bags after you arrive home, please contact your biosecurity agency for instructions.