Arrivals from Tonga will soon have to self-isolate due to rising Covid-19 cases

By RNZ.co.nz and is republished with permission.

Tonga no longer meets the criteria for quarantine-free travel due to increasing Covid-19 cases, Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced this evening.No caption

Photo: 123rf.com

Tonga now has 139 active cases, 75 of which are from the last three days.

“Following a public health risk assessment, from 27 February travellers from Tonga entering Aotearoa New Zealand will be required to meet some public health requirements, with phased-in changes for travellers from Tonga on flights beginning tomorrow,” Dr Bloomfield said.

People arriving tomorrow will have to take a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) on days 1 and 5 or 6 but won’t be required to enter self-isolation.

Those who arrive on the 22 February flight and thereafter will have to self-isolate for seven days and take RAT tests on days 1 and 5 or 6.

“During this time, all travellers are encouraged to monitor for symptoms and requested to avoid high-risk settings such as hospitality and large gatherings. They must report any positive RAT and take a follow-up PCR test to confirm their result. If they test positive standard isolation measures will be applied to them.”

Bloomfield said officials would “work through things to minimise disruption for RSE workers and employers under the new settings”.

New Zealand would continue to support Tonga with its Covid-19 response, including through vaccine support, he said.

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