“We are still far away from reopening our borders yet, I am sorry”: Premier
There is no definite timeline as to when Niue will reopen its borders.
Prior to the General Election, the then Cabinet had decided that the borders would reopen by August. However, the Premier Dalton Tagelagi has told the Legislative Assembly that Niue is “still far away from reopening borders”.
Niue is one of the few countries that are COVID – 19 free and has never recorded a case.
“We are well aware, the unpredicted impact of Covid19 on our economy is vast, drastic, and extremely challenging. The threat is real and the risks in our country cannot be compromised with subjective complacency. We are still far away from reopening our borders yet, I am sorry. ”
“Of utmost priority, my fervent hope is that once we are extremely sure of our borders regaining safe status from COVID19, we can cautiously reopen the air links between our two countries. I am conscious of the fact, however, Niue has a delicate population and we must be very sure in our calculated decision not to take the unnecessary risk for commercial gain over our national security interest and well-being of our people.
I pray and hope, Covid19 can never reach our shores. In the meantime, please continue to follow the Health advice and do continue to practice good hygiene manners at all times.” said Tagelagi
Covid – 19 and climate change, the Premier told the Assembly are impacting the local economy.
“Earlier this year, one of our key infrastructure assets, the wharf was damaged by Cyclone Tino. We are still trying to restore the wharf project before the next cyclone season. But like any other project, we need extra funding support and technical assistance to ensure the quality of work meets the prescribed standards.
Already, we have experienced severe disruption to our tourism industry, which is the main hope of our economic development ambitions. It is affecting the private sector businesses, the whole government system providing goods and services, the banking system, and the economy.
It will continue to hamper our development efforts and livelihood in ways we have not experienced before. And while the future may appear bleak, we must come together to accept the reality and agree on the best solutions to address the many economic, social, cultural, and moral issues. Everyone must cooperate and collaborate for our common good.”
Niue is currently on code blue measures which focuses on delaying the entry of the disease through handwashing, cough etiquette, and social distancing. Minimal disruption to society such as travel advisories and restrictions and reducing business as usual.
Passengers traveling to Niue may now include all Niueans who reside in New Zealand; essential workers including diplomats, skilled workers, and special cases such as immediate family members of residents; and those who require urgent travel to Niue or emergency cases.
According to the last release by the National Disaster Management Office which deals with the Covid response, the limit of 26 passengers per fortnightly flight remains in place until August 2020.
All passengers arriving in Niue will continue to be placed in mandatory quarantine for 14 days.
From 29th June 2020, passengers arriving in Niue will continue to be placed in mandatory quarantine unless they can demonstrate that they qualify for Managed Self-isolation.