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About 4000 Tongans are believed to be stranded and in lockdown in New Zealand and around the world and not all of them are happy about the extended ban on flights entering the kingdom.
International flights into Tonga remain banned until June 12.
There were international flights available for those wishing to return to other countries but were subject to the Government of Tonga’s approval.
The Minister of Health said today Air New Zealand would fly to Tonga once a week, but would not carry passengers.
The CEO of the Ministry of Health, Dr Siale ‘Akau’ola said the ban was to help prevent the introduction of Covid-19.
Not everybody is happy about the situation.
One woman, Fehoko Bloomfield ‘Ōkusitino, told Kaniva News in Auckland the decision to extend the ban on Tonga’s boarder was “very disappointing.”
She said the government should allow them to quarantine here in New Zealand for 14 days before allowing them to fly to Tonga.
“I don’t mind if I take another 14-day quarantine in Tonga that’s fine as long as I am there,” she said.
Bloomfield said she was concerned about her 93 year old mother in Vava’u.
It would be devastating if something happened to her while she was stranded in Auckland.
Bloomfield lives in Australia but moved to Tonga recently to stay with her mother.
She flew back to Sydney, but on her return journey to Tonga she got stuck in New Zealand when the country’s lockdown came into force.
The government first imposed the ban in the last week of March.
Some flights have been allowed in to take foreign nationals out of Tonga.
An Air New Zealand repatriation flight was scheduled to leave Tonga on April 15.
While the flights remain banned, restrictions on movement and gatherings in the kingdom have been relaxed, with schools reopening last week.
The main points
- About 4000 Tongans are believed to be stranded and in lockdown in New Zealand and around the world and not all of them are happy about the extended ban on flights entering the kingdom.
- International flights into Tonga remain banned until the middle of June.