A group of 58 passengers made the trip across on the government chartered Fiji Airways ATR aircraft, leaving Nausori just after 10am, arriving in Tonga around 1.15pm.
This followed Cabinet’s approval for the first repatriation flight to be brought in from Fiji.
A government sttament said all passengers went through the swab test for COVID-19 at the Tanoa Hotel quarantine facility before they were sent to their allocated rooms, where they will stay for the next 14 days.
Swab tests will also be carried out again on the 14th day of the quarantine and passengers will only be allowed to go home on the 15th day if they are cleared.
Returning passengers have expressed their gratitude to Government for bringing them home to their families and are also happy with the service of care and treatment they are currently going through.
Passengers said they were happy to be back home after lockdown in March.
They thanked all the frontliners and stakeholders who are looking after them, and all arrangements to ensuring that Tonga is safe.
Passengers were advised on board the flight that they needed to wear masks and gloves before arriving in Tonga.
On arrival at the Fua’amotu Airport, all passengers went through the initial temperature test, after following the strict social distancing guideline in place.
Frontliners, who worked during the arrival were all in protective gear, as the fight to keep COVID-19 out continues in earnest.
Passengers were taken on board special buses to the Tanoa Hotel after collecting their individual luggage from the luggage collection areas at the airport.
At Tanoa, health staff were on sight with assistance from the members of the Tonga Police Force and His Majesty’s Armed Forces.
Allocated individual rooms have all the basic amenities and all quarantine passengers are supplied with bottles of water, given three meals per day and also have access to the hotel’s internet connection.
Digicel also provided all passengers with a Digicel Repatriation SIM Pack, with data and also call credits.
Today, families were allowed to take needed basic items to their family passengers in quarantine, with drop off points allocated outside the Tanoa Hotel manned by Police and Army officers.
Photo courtesy Tonga Police