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Tonga not yet ready to open borders – Health Minister

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 11/05/2020

The Health Minister believes it is not wise to open the borders yet to allow passenger flights as Tonga is not fully prepared for COVID-19. Many concerns have been raised over families of people since the closing of the border in late March.

Dr. ‘Amelia Tu’ipulotu says, the concern is because there are no specific places at the moment to house these stranded Tongans overseas, with no vaccine yet to be discovered.

However, discussions are underway for facilities to be used by incoming passengers including the Tanoa and Kupesi hotel which all costs will be borne by the government.

Not only that, but the government is still in discussion with NZ & Australian governments to allow these passengers to be quarantined in their countries before being allowed to return.

The Minister also urges public to continue to follow guidelines from the Ministry including social distancing and hygienic lifestyle also limiting mass gatherings – so that if the virus reaches our shores, people have been used to the kind of lifestyle to avoid being contracted by the virus.

Meanwhile, the person that was kept at the Taliai camp has been released after he completed his 14-day period last week, and was in a satisfactory condition.

© Radio and Television Tonga News