Tonga tertiary students return to school as PM announces new curfew hours

Tertiary students in Tonga are returning to face to face education this week with the easing of restrictions announced by Prime Minister Hu’akavameiliku.

Primary and high school students will continue with the radio programmes currently being delivered by the Ministry of Education and Training.

“Tertiary students have very high vaccination rate and are mature enough to follow the restrictions and advise, so they will return to school first. There is still time to vaccinate high school students and those within the 12 to 18 year olds before they can return to school,” Hu’akavameiliku said.

“Students from 5 years to 11 year olds should be vaccinated by April before they are sent back to face to face classes in schools.”

The government also announced that curfew hours are from 8pm to 5am daily.

Hu’akavameiliku confirmed that all businesses who have been approved to open will need to follow their compliance plans.

This includes retail shops, fast-food takeaways, hardware and wholesalers and media outlets who are currently operating.

He said the government will review the six months given for response assistance to be received in Tonga so that the local economy can be revived by local retailing.

Construction, commercial and domestic fisheries and farmers can also resume as long as they follow health and Covid-19 protocols.

Covid-19 update

A total of 177 recoveries from Covid-19 were recorded with 178 active cases now monitored by the Ministry of Health.

Health Minister Dr Saia Piukala said the Ministry is monitoring the cases at Hu’atolitoli while the six earlier cases from Vava’u have been discharged.

Repatriation flight

Hu’akavameiliku also confirmed that three repatriation flights are confirmed for Australia, Fiji and New Zealand on 8 March.

Flights are also planned for Vanuatu and Samoa for Tongans wanting to return home to Tonga.


Deputy Prime Minister Poasi Tei confirmed that 110 containers were cleared for distribution since container loads of assistance started arriving following the 15 January volcanic eruptions and tsunami.

A total of 31 aircrafts and 17 vessels brought in assistance from around the region and the world.


Photo source PMO  Caption: Prime Minister Hu’akavameiliku (left)