Tonga will go into lockdown at 1am on Sunday morning, April 29.
There will also be a night time curfew from 8pm to 6am.
Prime Miniser Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa said the lockdown was being ordered as a response to the World Health Organization declaration that the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) was a global Pandemic and was accelerating.
Everybody is expected to stay home except when buying or supplying essential consumer goods for their families; obtaining medical supplies or seeking medical assistance; going to the bank or going to work for an essential service provider.
All public transport will stop, except where exempted.
All liquor licensed bars, restaurants, night clubs, retail bottle shops and liquor manufacturers must stop trading.
All licensed businesses and business activities shall be closed except supermarkets and retail shops selling essential needs and other exempted places.
All public facilities, events and gatherings such as education institutions, religious, kava clubs, bingo, sports clubs, gyms, sporting events and activities, celebrations of birthdays, marriages and other recreational or related gatherings shall be prohibited.
Funerals will be restricted to 10 people indoors and 20 people outdoors, with an authorized officer to be present throughout.
Most levels of government have been recognised as essential services.
Businesses that can stay open include any entity or person involved in the supply, delivery, distribution and sale of food, beverage and other key consumer goods essential for maintaining the wellbeing of people.
This does not include restaurants, cafes or takeaway shops.
The National Reserve Bank of Tonga; banks, insurers, retirement and pension funds and other financial institutions, including any entity that contracts or provides services to them may stay open.
Pharmacies and private health and dental clinics can remain open.
The list of exemptions also includes private security guards telecom providers, as well as international development programmes.
The government has also granted an exemption to building and construction related to essential services and critical infrastructure and required to maintain human health and safety at home or work.
Courts and Tribunals have also been exempted.
As Kaniva News reported yesterday, Tonga has already sealed its borders, banning international flights and cruise ships.
Elsewhere in the Pacific
New Zealand has entered the first full day of lockdown, with Prime Minister Jacinda Adern warning that the number of Covid-19 cases will rise before the infection level begins to tail off. She said in a broadcasts from home that numbers would rise in the first few days after the country’s period of self-isolation began.
In Fiji, Suva has not shut down despite the country’s fourth Covid-19 case being recorded in the capital.
The country’s second biggest city of Lautoka – where the first case was reported – has been in lockdown since 20 March.
And in Samoa, which shut its border with American Samoa last Thursday, the government has warned it will start fining people and organisations that do not stick to the new lockdown rules.
Lockdown requirements no more than five people can gather in public.
Prime Minister Tuila’epa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi said individuals would be fined $US45 for their first offence and $US245 for a repeat.
Fines for organisations – including churches – are $US2,080, increasing to $US2,916.
Radio New Zealand reported that under the new arrangements, inter-island passenger travel has been halted.
The main points
- Tonga will go into lockdown at 1am on Sunday morning, April 29.
- There will also be a night time curfew from 8pm to 6am.
For more information
Government bans all international flights for two weeks, all cruise ships are banned
Fiji Govt says Lautoka still locked down but not Suva
Samoa to fine people who don’t adhere to Covid-19 restrictions