Gov’t repatriation ‘proposal’ includes passengers to pay $4,000 quarantine fees in Tonga, CEO says

    The government is working on a proposal for the repatriated passengers to pay their stay at managed isolation facilities, the CEO of the Ministry of Communication and Information Paula Ma’u told Kaniva News.

    MEIDECC CEO Paula Ma’u

    This is part of an action plan the government has proposed in an attempt to make sure there was money to pay the country’s four managed isolation facilities which costs taxpayers about TOP$600,000 to quarantine one repatriation flight.

    Ma’u was responding after Kaniva asked the Prime Minister whether it was true there was a plan in place to charge TOP$4,000 for each repatriated passenger starting in July.

    Ma’u said it was just a proposal and any fees for the repatriated passengers to pay will depend on which managed isolation facility they will stay in.

    He said the government is currently paying Tanoa Hotel TOP $4,000 for each repatriated passenger it quarantined.

    He said the other three which are Kupesi, Makeke and Taliai camp were cheaper, but he did not say how much.

    The proposed charges for repatriated passengers at the facilities in Makeke and Taliai camp, which are under the government’s control will be very cheap, he said of the proposal.

    He said the proposal was inline with what other countries were doing to cover the costs for their managed isolation facilities.

    He also said talks were underway with New Zealand, Australia and other donors to see if they can help.

    But it is just a proposal before it goes to the government committee and from there to Cabinet to make a final decision, he said.

    As Kaniva news and other media reported, this proposal was planned to start in July.

    Ma’u’s response in Tongan is posted verbatim below:

    “Oku kei fakahoko e ngaue ki he ngaahi totongi pea e totongi kehekehe pe kihe ngaahi facility. E kehe pe totongi ki Tanoa, Kupesi, Makeke mo Taliai.

    “Koe $4,000 koe rate ia oku lolotonga totongi ‘e he Pule’anga ki he Hotele Tanoa ki he toko taha hono kolonitini. Aia koe commercial rate pe ia a e Hotele ‘oku nau lolotonga charge mai kihe Pule’anga. ‘Oku pehee pe mo Kupesi he koe ongo hotele commercial ia. A ia ‘oku ikai toe kehe ia moha fonua fekauaki moe managed isolation facility charge”.

    “Koe ngaahi fakamole ‘a e Pule’anga ki hono kolonitini ha tokotaha I Makeke mo Taliai koe meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) tukukehe hono ngaahi fakaleleii mo hono tauhi, etc. A ia. e ma’ama’a auptio ange ia, pea e tuutuuni pe kiai e Pule’anga ia.

    “Ko e ngaahi fokotuutuu pe pea oku fakahoko pe moe ngaahi alea mo Nu’u Sila mo ‘Aositelelia mo e ngaahi tokoni kehe naa nau lava tokoni.

    E toki maau pea toki fakahoko kihe Komiti ki haane tuutuuni, pea ka tali e toki ave kihe Kapineti ki hano aofangatuku ‘o fakatatau pe moe palani ngaue”.

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