June 28, 2022

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Papua New Guinea Travel Advisory

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Do not travel to Papua New Guinea due to COVID-19, crime, civil unrest, health concerns, natural disasters, and kidnapping. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before you plan any international travel.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 4 Travel Health Notice for Papua New Guinea for COVID-19, indicating a very high level of COVID-19 in the country. Your risk of contracting COVID-19 and developing severe symptoms may be lower if you are fully vaccinated with an FDA authorized vaccine. Before planning any international travel, please review the CDC’s specific recommendations for vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers.

There are restrictions in place, including third-country transit requirements, affecting U.S. citizen entry and exit in Papua New Guinea. Visit the Embassy’s COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 and related restrictions and conditions in Papua New Guinea.

Reconsider travel to:

  • Bougainville, particularly areas near the Panguna mine, due to civil unrest.
  • The Highlands region due to civil unrest.
  • Areas in the vicinity of Mt. Ulawun on the island of New Britain due to natural disaster.

Country Summary: Violent crime, including sexual assault, carjackings, home invasions, kidnappings, and armed robberies, is common. Tensions between communal or clan groups may result in violence at any time without warning. Police presence is limited outside of the capital Port Moresby, and police may be unable to assist due to limited resources.

Public demonstrations, especially in population centers, are common and may turn violent. Even peaceful demonstrations may present opportunities for criminal elements or other actors to exacerbate local political tensions.

The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens outside of Port Moresby due to limited transportation infrastructure. U.S. government employees must obtain authorization before traveling to areas of concern, including the southern part of Bougainville, Lae, Mt. Hagen, Southern Highlands Province, Hela Province, and other areas of Papua New Guinea where one is unable to fly directly.

Read the country information page.

If you decide to travel to Papua New Guinea:

Areas Near the Panguna Mine – Reconsider Travel

The Autonomous Bougainville Government has designated areas near the Panguna mine as “no go zones” due to the risk of violence and civil unrest. Bougainville police lack the resources to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

The Highlands Region – Reconsider Travel

There is a heightened risk of tribal violence in the region.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Areas in the Vicinity of Mt. Ulawun – Reconsider Travel

Recent years have seen regular volcanic activity at Mt. Ulawun, a volcano on the eastern end of the island of New Britain. A major eruption occurred in June 2019, leading to widespread ash fall, the displacement of local communities, and the temporary closure of the international airport in Hoskins.

Smaller, but still significant, eruptions occurred in August and October 2019. Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Last Update: Reissued with updates to COVID-19 information.

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