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Tonga closes border stopping int'l flights

Nuku'alofa, Tonga

Tonga has ordered a diversion of international flights to Tonga for two weeks from 23, including the Air New Zealand, Fiji Airways and Talofa Airlines flights scheduled for today. The order was made by Dr Siale ‘Akau’ola, CEO,  “to prevent the introduction, or spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)” under Tonga's current Declaration of Public Health Emergency.

Flights have been ordered to divert to a place outside the Kingdom according to the Diversion Order published on the Tongan Government website this morning.

The following aircrafts are barred from landing in Tonga from 23-28 March:

  1. Fiji Airways (FJ211). Monday 23/03/2020
  2. Air New Zealand (NZ 270). Monday 23/03/2020
  3. Talofa Airlines (TA 407). Monday 23/03/2020
  4. Virgin Australia (VA 95). Tuesday 24/03/2020
  5. Fiji Airways (FJ211). Tuesday 24/03/2020
  6. Virgin Australia (VA 61). Tuesday 24/03/2020
  7. Virgin Australia. Thursday 26/03/2020
  8. Talofa Airlines (TA 407). Thursday 26/03/2020
  9. Fiji Airways (FJ211). Thursday 26/03/2020
  10. Virgin Australia (VA 61). Thursday 26/03/2020
  11. Air New Zealand (NZ974). Thursday 26/03/2020
  12. Air New Zealand (NZ 270). Friday 27/03/2020
  13. Fiji Airways (FJ213). Saturday 28/03/2020
  14. Fiji Airways (FJ211). Saturday 28/03/2020
  15. Air New Zealand (NZ 974). Saturday28/03/2020

This list will be updated to include next week.

Dr Siale ‘Akau’ola said this diversion order is issued “on the basis that I have reasonable grounds to believe that it is necessary to divert the above-mentioned conveyances (aircrafts) to a place outside the Kingdom to prevent the introduction, or spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)”

CoViD-19 is an Emergency Notifiable Condition under the Declaration of an Emergency Notifiable Conditions issued on 12 March 2020, and Gazetted on 13 March 2020, and also threats under the Declaration of Public Health Emergency on 12 March 2020, and Gazetted on 13 March 2020.

Tonga has no confirmed COVID-19 cases to date.

According to the Johns Hopkins University website monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak, there are 329, 858 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 14,380 deaths, and 97,846 recovery.

Meanwhile, New Zealand Immigiration stated on their website “We are sympathetic to individuals who are currently in New Zealand and are unable to return to their home country due to the COVID-19 outbreak and current travel restrictions. Individuals who are currently in New Zealand are able to apply for a further visa, which will be assessed on a case by case basis against immigration instructions, taking into account the current COVID-19 outbreak and any relevant travel restrictions.”.