Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced Tonga no longer meets the criteria for quarantine-free travel eligibility into New Zealand.
The new changes will come into effect from February 27, following a public health assessment. Any passengers arriving into the country from Feb. 15 will be required to take a Rapid Antigen Test on days 1 and 5 or 6. They will not be required to self-isolate unless they test positive for the virus.
This notion is part of a move to reopen the country safely, despite cases more-than-ever emerging in the community across the nation. Tonga has 139 active cases while New Zealand has 4,960 active cases.
“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.
“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.”
Decisions surrounding flights from 15 and 22 Feb. had been made to lessen the impact and minimise any disruption to travellers.
“Aotearoa New Zealand has been pleased to welcome Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) workers from Tonga under QFT. We will work through things to minimise disruption for RSE workers and employers under the new settings. Committed to continuing to support Tonga with its COVID-19 response, including through vaccine support,” Dr Bloomfield said.
“I want to recognise the efforts of the Government of Tonga to keep its community safe at this time.”
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