The Minister of Health Associate Professor ‘Amelia Tu’ipulotu said the country’s borders are expected to open to foreign nationals on March 2022.
She said this was the best decision made for the safety of the country because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The repatriation and cargo flights will continue to arrive in the kingdom under special permits from the Ministry.
Tonga’s Covid-19 vaccination programme started last month on the main island, Tongatapu.
It began with 24,000 doses of the Covid-19 AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccines which arrived on March 31.
This week the Ministry said it has broadened the vaccination roll-out to the people of ‘Eua island starting yesterday Thursday 19.
Prof Tu’ipulotu said 22,363 people have been vaccinated so far.
As Kaniva News reported yesterday, a Tongan died after receiving her covid vaccination, but the Ministry said there was no direct link.
It said the 93-year-old elderly woman’s death was investigated and the results showed she died from non-communicable diseases including heart conditions.
The Ministry previously said that in regard to international reports raising concerns over blood clots as possible side effects from this vaccine, the Ministry would not make any decision to bring in a vaccine that will do more bad than good to our people.
“We rely on the records from our international stakeholders that it is safe as we have worked closely with them and trust their procedures. Getting the vaccination is vital to our people’s health because being vaccinated is our responsibility to not only protect ourselves but our family and people from the virus,” Acting Health CEO Dr Reynold ‘Ofanoa said.
There were reports in New Zealand of people dying after receiving the vaccines but authorities said no link established.