Tonga to open borders in stages to fully vaccinated visitors; 5-day quarantine fee for partly vaccinated ‘citizens’

    Tonga has unveiled its plans to open borders and will allow foreigners to enter next month on August 1.

    Fua’amotu International Airport

    The entry process is subject to review starting in September.

    All travellers aged 12 years old and over must have two vaccinations to allow them to enter the country.

    Passengers with medical exemption must get confirmation letter from their doctors and it must be emailed through travel@health.gov.to at least 48 hours before departure.

    Citizens who have not completed their vaccination but wishing to return to Tonga must complete a 5-day quarantine fee or longer if tested positive, at a Government designated Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) facility upon arrival. They have to pay for their quarantine.

    All travelers are encouraged to have their booster doses completed before travelling to Tonga.

    Foreign visitors had been advised to get travel insurance. This can be purchased when booking your ticket.

    A legitimate vaccine certificate is required for check-in. All travelers must submit this 48 hours prior to departure to travel@health.gov.to.

    A hard copy of the vaccine certificate must be presented at check-in and upon arrival into Tonga for sighting. Electronic documents on phone or other electronic devices including email are acceptable.

    Passengers with medical conditions that deem themselves exempt from vaccination must email travel@health.gov.to at least 48 hours before departure with a written report from a registered medical officer stating reasons for exemptions.

    The Ministry of Health reserves the right to deny boarding if it is not satisfied with the medical report provided.

    The flights

    Flights from and to Fua’amotu International Airport from New Zealand will increase to two flights per week between August 1 to August 28, 2022.

    That will increase to three flights per week from August 29 to October 31 and further increase to six flights per week after that.

    Flights from Fiji will be increased to two from August 1 until October 31 while flights from Australia will continue with one per week.

    Review of the number of flights and ships, including cruiseliners, will be at the discretion of the NEMC.

    Testing Requirement:

    Supervised Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) negative result within 24 hours of departure from originating airport for all passengers. The test result must have the testing laboratory or Clinic letterhead and stamp. Results can be sent by email prior to travel@health.gov.to. The lab result must be presented in hardcopy at check in.

    All passengers exiting airports that they transit through must repeat a supervised RAT test before checking in again if they leave the secure area and are transiting for more than 24 hours.

    Failure to provide a legitimate vaccination certificate and required Negative Covid-19 test will result in No Boarding or Denied Entry.

    On arrival into Tonga:

    a. All passengers must wear a face mask at all times;

    b. Those picking up passengers at Fua’amotu International Airport must wear a mask at all

    times.

    c. All passengers must fill in the Health Arrival Declaration Form inflight and provide a valid phone number and email or Facebook address;

    d. All passengers arriving into Tonga are strongly encouraged to download and activate the Tonga ‘Atautolu contact tracing app;

    e. All passengers arriving into Tonga are strongly encouraged to take precautionary and preventative measures (wear a mask in public places, social distance, practice good hand hygiene) and comply with the current National Covid-19 Traffic Light Framework and Restrictions Directions;

    f. A passenger that leaves to the outer islands within 3-5 days of arrival in Tonga without a PCR test done will still be required to have a Covid-19 test within day 3-5 of arrival in Tonga, at the outer islands. A supervised RAT test at either an approved pharmacy or MOH health center/hospital is acceptable in such situation.

    g. All passengers are to arrange and have a supervised PCR test done at an approved Health Centre in their area of residence (refer to Annex 1 of approved list) or Vaiola Hospital on Day 3 to Day 5 of arrival and report the result to the Ministry of Health via email address travel@health.gov.to or by calling 0800933. Self-testing at home is not acceptable.

    h. Any passenger with a Positive test result must self/home isolate for 5 days from the date of testing positive. If passenger is still symptomatic, self/home isolation will be extended for another 3 days. Recovering passengers must wear a face mask for the next 5 days upon release.

    The Prime Minister’s Office said “All documents must be in English. The use of any other language will result in denied boarding”.

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