In an interview with Nuku’alofa Times, Dr Siale Akauola says even though countries like Australia and Fiji have indicated they will open borders in November to those who have had the full vaccination of two shots, the island kingdom remains closed.
“We need to have 70 percent vaccination coverage of all population,” Dr Siale said.
“There is no plan for open border with Australia and New Zealand yet. We will still review the risks and more likely keep the quarantine requirement for every arrival to Tonga from selected countries only, depending on the clear evidence there is no covid19 transmission in their communities.”
One of the main factors that the Ministry of Health and the government is looking at is Tonga’s capability to deal with severe COVID-19 cases.
“This is why we want to keep covid19 out of Tonga because we do not have enough good facilities to manage several severe covid19 patients at one time,” he added.
The Ministry is now working on vaccination rollouts in the Niuas and Vava’u, with those needing second shots being urged to return for their complete shots.
Photo file RNZ Pacific