PNG National Court.
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By Todagia Kelola in Port Moresby

Papua New Guinea’s National and Supreme Court sittings in Waigani, NCD, resumed under the “new normal” yesterday – no facemasks, no entry – and the same applies for national courts throughout the country.

At the Waigani Supreme and National courthouse, Registrar Ian Augerea officially turned on a tap for court users to wash their hands before entering the court rooms.

All court sittings were suspended as a result of the covid-19 coronavirus pandemic lockdown and were only attending to urgent matters and by way of teleconference during the period.

Augerea said while the courts will be open, public access to courtrooms will remain restricted, with strict protocols to be adhered to.

Some protocols that will be used are:

  • Any person entering courtroom in this capacity must adorn a face mask;
  • Any person entering a courtroom must use a hand sanitiser prior to entering the court premises and the court rooms;
  • Any person entering any courtroom must maintain 1.5 metres distance between him/herself and any other person in court;
  • Entry into any courtroom by persons observing court proceedings is restricted to no more than five persons;
  • Access will be supervised and authorised by security officers; and
  • Personnel access to all registry counters will be restricted to only 3 to 4 persons at one time. All persons gaining access to the registry counter must adorn a mask.

Todagia Kelola is a PNG Post-Courier reporter.

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