Solomon Islands

Solomon Islands

Use Normal Level of Caution

The Solomon Islands include more than 900 islands in the South Pacific Ocean, southeast of Papua New Guinea, with a population of about 635,000 people. The government is a parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy with the chief of state being the monarch of Great Britain, represented by a governor-general. A prime minister is head of government.

The islands were inhabited as early as 1000 BC, however, early attempts at colonization were not successful. Europeans did not establish their presence until the mid-1800s. Britain declared the islands as a protectorate in 1893.

During World War II, the body of water at the centre of the Soloman Islands, known as “The Slot” and the island of Guadalcanal, were the scenes of fierce naval warfare. Many American and Japanese ships are on the bottom. After World War II, the country moved toward independence. In 1976, self-government was achieved, and in 1978, the Solomon Islands adopted a constitution and gained independence.

In 1998, tribal rivalries erupted into violent confrontations between the Gwale people on Guadalcanal and the Malaitans on the island of Malaita. The ongoing civil unrest between 1998 and 2003 was very damaging to the country. In mid-2003, the prime minister called on Australia to help in negotiations to reestablish law and order. An Australian-led multinational force was brought in. The country is still recovering from the conflict and struggles with an unstable economic situation.

Tourism is not a developed sector of the economy of the islands. For travellers to the Solomon Islands, there are opportunities for diving around World War II wrecks, snorkelling, surfing, exploring lagoons and staying at eco-lodges.

Currency SBD: Solomon Islands dollar
Language English
Capital Honiara
Recent Alerts 1
Latest Alert April 06, 2021 - COVID-19 Precautionary Measures in Solomon Islands (06 April Update)

Diseases To Be Aware Of

The diseases listed below are those which occur most often in Solomon Islands. Other, less frequently encountered diseases might be displayed within the Travel Alerts section if they have occurred recently.

Hepatitis A

There is a risk of exposure to hepatitis A virus in this country through contaminated food or water.

Hepatitis B

There is a risk for acquiring hepatitis B in this country.

Typhoid Fever

Unvaccinated people can become infected through contaminated food and water in Solomon Islands, especially when visiting smaller cities, villages, or rural areas where water and food may not be safe.

Yellow Fever

There is no risk of yellow fever in Solomon Islands. However, the country requires a yellow fever vaccination certificate for travellers arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission.

Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis occurs in this country. Travellers to this country are at risk for tuberculosis if visiting sick friends or family, working in the health care field, or having close prolonged contact with the general population.

Rabies

Rabies may be present in bats, but has not been reported in domestic or wild animals in this country.

Zika Fever

Zika fever may occur in this country.

Dengue Fever

Dengue fever may occur in this country.

Malaria

All areas of this country are at high risk for malaria.

Vaccinations to Consider

The following is a list of recommended vaccinations for travelling to Solomon Islands.

Hepatitis A Vaccine

There is a risk of exposure to hepatitis A in this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Hepatitis B Vaccine

There is a risk of infection with hepatitis B for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Typhoid Fever Vaccine

There is a risk of exposure to typhoid fever in this country through consumption of unsafe food and water. Since exposure to unsafe sources is variable within this country, the vaccination against typhoid fever is generally recommended, especially when visiting smaller cities, rural areas, or staying with friends and family.

Yellow Fever Vaccine

There is no risk of yellow fever in Solomon Islands. However, the country requires a yellow fever vaccination certificate for travellers arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission.

Rabies Vaccine

Vaccination against rabies is recommended for travellers whose activities or employment may bring them into direct contact with bats (i.e. adventure travellers, veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers, etc.).

Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) Vaccine

Travellers must provide proof of measles vaccination if travelling from or via (including transiting) the following countries: Australia, New Zealand, American Samoa, Samoa, Fiji, Tonga, and the Philippines. Travellers must be vaccinated at least 15 days prior to arrival in the Solomon Islands and must be able to provide documentary evidence of vaccination. Failure to do so may result in being unable to board your inbound flight or deportation. For proof of measles vaccination, travellers will need an immunization card that documents the type of vaccine, date of vaccination (minimum 21 days before travel), name and signature of provider, and the name and signature of person vaccinated. Documented laboratory confirmation of immunity or history of measles disease on an immunization card is also considered acceptable to meet the requirement. This requirement does not apply to infants younger than 6 months of age, pregnant women, or travelers who can provide evidence (a note from a doctor) of contraindications to vaccine administration.

Medications to Consider

The following is a list of recommended medications for travelling to Solomon Islands.

Anti-malarial Drugs

Recommended anti-malaria medications are atovaquone/proguanil or doxycycline, or mefloquine. Drug resistance to chloroquine is present.

Safety and Security in Solomon Islands

Emergency Numbers

999
911
988
955 National Disaster

The police force response times may be slow due to limited resources.

Personal Safety

Overall most travellers to the Solomon Islands have no safety problems. However, crime does occur and has involved serious violence and assaults, including sexual assault. There have been reports of tourists being attacked at knifepoint, including at popular tourist sites, such as Mbonege Beach. Women need to be particularly cautious. Avoid isolated areas and avoid areas without security guards. Pickpocketing, theft, and bag snatching is common, particularly around the central market in Honiara. Due to criminal activity around the Japanese WWII Memorial, try to go with a group tour. Do not visit the memorial alone. Always be alert and aware in your surroundings.

Avoid travel or walking around Honiara at night if possible. Exercise caution in the squatter settlements around Honiara, White River and the Lungga Bridge, Sun Valley, Mataniko Bridge, Burns Creek and Henderson (airport) area. Security incidents in these areas have included road blocks, rock throwing, and more serious crimes, including sexual assault, robbery and vehicle hijacking.

Home invasions and violent crime increase during the time leading up Christmas holidays. There have been reports of yachts being robbed, even when the boats are anchored off-shore.

If your travel plans include visiting rural Guadalcanal, day trips from Honiara, or visiting the island of Malaita, get an update on the security situation from the High Commission of the Solomon Islands before travelling.

Safety measures for water sports, such as scuba diving, may not be at a level expected in western countries. In addition, emergency response times may be delayed. Ensure that adequate safety precautions are in place. You may need to provide your own safety equipment, such as life preservers. In Honiara, there is a decompression chamber that is staffed by volunteers. Travellers with medical problems associated with diving accidents may need medical evacuation to New Zealand, which is the closest location for reliable medical care.

Get local advice before entering waters, and exercise caution in both fresh and salt water. Fresh and salt water crocodiles and sharks are common in many areas of the Solomon Islands. Crocodiles have been seen regularly offshore and on beaches.

Possession of pornographic material is against the law and brings fines and possible imprisonment.

Same-sex relationships are illegal in the Solomon Islands. It would be prudent to avoid public displays of affection.

Road travel is difficult since roads are often in disrepair with many potholes. Infrastructure, such as bridges, may not be maintained and some bridges have even collapsed. Drivers may not adhere to rules of the road. It is common for drivers to chew betel nut, and open doors while driving at speed to spit.

If you are involved in a driving accident, the law requires you to stop and remain at the scene of the accident. However, if a hostile crowd gathers, drive to the nearest police station to report the accident.

Political Unrest

Civil unrest may occur at times of Parliamentary sessions, court cases, and sporting or cultural events.

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