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Tongan passengers from Christchurch prepare to return home

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 06/10/2020

Tongan Passengers from Christchurch New Zealand are preparing to arrive in Tonga this Friday – as part of the government’s repatriation flights for Tongan citizens stranded overseas as a result of border closures.

The flight will travel directly from Christchurch to Tonga – unlike the usual route.

The Health Minister – Dr ‘Amelia Tu’ipulotu speaking to Radio and Television Tonga News this morning – says that a majority of these passengers are seasonal workers along with people that were stranded in Christchurch.

As usual, passengers must have negative results from their COVID-19 tests in Christchurch before they will be allowed to board the flight.

A total of 141 passengers are expected to arrive on Friday and will be quarantined for 14 days at the Makeke site also the Taliai camp.

Meanwhile, the Health Minister clarified that the current status of COVID-19 globally is dangerous and as it reaches neighbouring pacific countries it is unclear when Tonga’s borders will re-open.

The Health Minister virtually attended a World Health Organization meeting yesterday where there were discussions on COVID-19 vaccines, which experts are currently working on with hopes it will be available by next year.

© Radio and Television Tonga News