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Solomon Islands

The Solomon Islands form an Archipelago in the southwest Pacific Ocean about 1,200 miles northeast of Australia.  The capital, Honiara, is located on the Island of Guadalcanal. The Solomon Islands are a parliamentary democracy within the British Commonwealth.  Tourism facilities are limited, particularly outside Honiara.  Read the Department of State Background notes on the Solomon Islands for additional information.

Solomon Islands

   
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 COUNTRY OVERVIEW
Country Name: Solomon Islands
Continent: Oceania
Capital City: Honiara
Boundary Countries:
Recommended Hospitals in Capital:
Main Cities: Honiara, Gizo, Aola
Country Size: 28,450 sq km
Population: 595,613

 

COUNTRY GENERAL INFORMATION
Language:
Melanesian pidgin in much of the country is lingua franca; English (official but spoken by only 1%-2% of the population); 120 indigenous languages
Currency: Solomon Island dollars (SBD)
Predominant Religions:

Church of Melanesia 32.8%, Roman Catholic 19%, South Seas Evangelical 17%, Seventh-Day Adventist 11.2%, United Church 10.3%, Christian Fellowship Church 2.4%, other Christian 4.4%, other 2.4%, unspecified 0.3%, none 0.2%

National Holidays: Independence Day, 7 July (1978)
Economic Status:
The bulk of the population depends on agriculture, fishing, and forestry for at least part of its livelihood. Most manufactured goods and petroleum products must be imported. The islands are rich in undeveloped mineral resources such as lead, zinc, nickel, and gold. Prior to the arrival of RAMSI, severe ethnic violence, the closing of key businesses, and an empty government treasury culminated in economic collapse. RAMSI's efforts to restore law and order and economic stability have led to modest growth as the economy rebuilds.
Security:

no regular military forces; Solomon Islands Police Force

US Presence:

There is no U.S. Embassy in the Solomon Islands.  However, there is a U.S. Consular Agent in Honiara.  The Consular Agent has general information and forms, such as passport applications, and can be contacted at the United States Consular Agency, Commonwealth Avenue, Point Cruz, telephone number is (677) 23426 or (677) 98367, cell number is (677) 94731, home number is (677) 22539; fax (677) 27429; e-mail keithieusa@solomon.com.sb or us_consular@solomon.com.sb

The U.S. Embassy in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea provides primary assistance for U.S. citizens in the Solomon Islands.  The Embassy is located on Douglas Street, adjacent to the Bank of Papua New Guinea, in Port Moresby.  Use that address for courier service deliveries.  The mailing address is PO Box 1492, Port Moresby, N.C.D. 121, Papua New Guinea; the telephone number is (675) 321-1455; after hours duty officer telephone number is (675) 683-7943; Fax (675) 321-1593.  American citizens may submit consular inquiries via e-mail to ConsularPortMoresby@state.gov

Americans living or traveling in the Solomon Islands are encouraged to register with the U.S. Embassy in Port Moresby through the State Department’s travel registration web site, and to visit the Consular Agency in Honiara to obtain updated information on travel and security within the Solomon Islands.  Americans without Internet access may register directly with the Embassy or Consular Agency.  By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency. 

Document Requirements:

U.S. passport holders do not require visas to enter the Solomon Islands.  Passports, onward/return tickets and proof of sufficient funds for the duration of stay are required.  Visitors may be denied boarding at check-in if documents are not in order.  Visitor permits are granted upon arrival at Henderson International Airport in Honiara.  Visitors may enter any number of times provided the total period in the Solomon Islands does not exceed 90 days in a 12-month period.  Persons arriving on one-way airline tickets must have documentation stating their business, for example, a work permit if taking up employment in the Solomon Islands.  The Solomon Islands’ government strictly enforces immigration laws, and travelers may face fines and other penalties if they remain in the country beyond the authorized period of stay.

Persons arriving on yachts should visit the nearest immigration office to complete arrival forms for issuance of visitors' permits or e-mail the Immigration Director, Mason Fugui.

Travelers who plan to arrive in the Solomon Islands by plane but who plan to depart on a yacht should apply for a visitor’s permit before their arrival in the Solomon Islands, to the Director of Immigration (via fax to the U.S. Consular Agent in Honiara at 677-27429).  The application should state the traveler’s arrival date, vessel name and registration details, vessel’s arrival date, approximate time traveler will spend in the Solomon Islands, and it should request entry on a one-way (arrival only) airline ticket.  The Director will issue a permit to be presented at airline check-in.  If the traveler does not have this permit, she/he may be denied boarding.  Please allow at least 4 weeks for the permit to be issued.

For more information about entry requirements, travelers may contact the Permanent Mission of Solomon Islands to the United Nations at 800 Second Avenue, Suite 400L, New York, NY 10017-4709; Tel: (212) 599-6192 or 6193 or visit the Permanent Mission of Solomon Islands to the United Nations web site. Travelers who anticipate the possibility of transiting or visiting Australia are advised to obtain an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) or visa for Australia before leaving the United States.  Airlines and many travel agents in the United States are also able to issue ETAs.

Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our web site.  For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information Sheet.

Major Airports:

Airports: 35,  Airports w/paved runways: 2

Honiara International Airport (HIR/AGGH)

Honiara Airport, Solomon Islands, PO Box G8, Min of Transport, Works, Comm & Aviation, Honiara, SOLOMON ISLANDS
Tel: +677 36720

Servicing Airlines:
Risks and Precautions:

Since July 24, 2003, the Regional Assistance Mission in the Solomon Islands (RAMSI), a coalition of Pacific Island states that includes military and police forces from Australia and several other Pacific Island nations, has helped the Solomon Islands improve law and order. It is generally safe to walk alone during the day; however, walking alone at night is discouraged.
Major crimes against travelers are uncommon, although incidences of theft, mugging, and extortion are increasing. Some 350 RAMSI Police are working alongside Royal Solomon Islands Police (RSIP) to respond to any situation requiring police.
Lawlessness is increasing in Honiara, mostly in the form of petty crime (theft and harassment for money). The isolated incidents of harassment of expatriates that have increased in Honiara since April 2006 are generally minor and associated with alcohol and fringe elements of the community. House and vehicle break-ins occur, with expatriates particularly targeted. Some recent episodes have involved violence and the use or threatened use of knives.
Gang-based criminal activity has increased in and around the Burns Creek area in East Honiara, and in the Borderline area, which is close to the Japanese memorial. It is not advisable to go alone to the Japanese memorial. Travelers are urged to use caution when shopping in the central market area as purse and mobile phone snatching is common. The Police have established a post at the Market area where crimes can be reported. 

Mortality Statistics:

Infant MR total: 19.03 deaths/ 1,000 live births
Life expectancy: Total 73.69 (male 71.14/ female 76.37)

Immunization Indicators:

Required:  None
Recommended:  Malaria; Hepatitis A & B, Typhoid
Boosters:  MMR, DPT, etc.

Infectious Disease Concerns:

Areas of the Solomon Islands with Malaria: All
Note: Chloroquine is NOT an effective antimalarial drug in the Solomon Islands and should not be taken to prevent malaria in this region.
Dengue, filariasis, Ross River virus, and Murray Valley encephalitis are diseases carried by insects that also occur in the Pacific Island region. Protecting yourself against insect bites (see below) will help to prevent these diseases. Japanese encephalitis is present in Papua New Guinea and the Torres Strait and far northern Australia.  Leptospirosis is common on some of the Pacific Islands.
High attack rates of ciguatera poisoning from eating large reef-dwelling fish have been reported on some of the islands.

Overall Quality of Medical Services:

Hospitals and pharmacies in the Solomon Islands are limited to population centers and missions.  Since 2001, the quality of medical services has deteriorated seriously, although it is expected to improve as the country’s overall economic condition continues to improve.  The nearest reliable medical facilities are in Australia or New Zealand.  There is a hyperbaric recompression chamber in Honiara at the In-the-Zone Medical Centre, phone (677) 23485 or (677) 23482; however, medical conditions resulting from diving accidents may require medical evacuation to Australia or New Zealand.  Serious medical conditions requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to Australia, New Zealand or the United States can cost thousands of dollars.  Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services.  Travelers who anticipate the possible need for medical treatment in Australia should obtain entry permission for Australia in advance.  Entry permission for Australia can be granted by the Australian High Commission in Honiara, but it is easier to obtain it prior to leaving the United States (see section above on Entry/Exit Requirements).

Some HIV/AIDS entry restrictions exist for visitors to and foreign residents of Solomon Islands.  According to the Solomon Islands Immigration Act Cap 60, Section 4 (1) (d) and section 11, subsection (2), an immigration officer can bar a visitor from entering the country or deport an immigrant if he or she refuses to submit to an examination by a government medical officer after being required to do so.

Providers in Network:
Direct Payment: 0
Referrals: 9
View Network Providers
Recent Medical Threats/ Concerns/Warnings:

Periodic outbreaks of measles have occurred on islands with inadequate immunization coverage.

Cases of melioidosis have been reported from Papua New Guinea, Guam, and Australia; risk may exist on other islands.

Communications Info:

Country Calling Code:  +677
Internet Country Code:  .sb

 



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