The Director-General of the Ministry of Social Services Mrs. Tasmania is asking the public to have confidence in their team which has been at the forefront of Niue’s COVID response and that no decision is made without first protecting the safety of frontline staff.
Mrs Tasmania says that “This is the time that we must trust in each other and work together through what has been the most challenging year”.
She says that the government’s COVID Committee has been working on COVID response for the past nine months and have always based decisions on the official health information that the general public may not have heard.
Hence the decision to front a Q and A session on Radio Sunshine today to inform the public about the process that passengers undergo in order to be accepted to home quarantine. These include two tests to be done in New Zealand before boarding the flight. They are also required to pay for these tests themselves.
According to Gaylene Tasmania, the final approval is determined by Cabinet. “There are strict criteria and preconditions associated with home quarantine based on risk assessment principles with public safety at the core of those assessments”.
A total of four applications were received for home quarantine leading up to Monday’s flight, however only two were approved.
The Chief of Police Tim Wilson informed the public that there are at least fourteen different inspection criteria that the applicants have to meet in order to be recommended for home quarantine.
Dr Eddie Akauola said that the risk of a positive COVID 19 case for Niue or community transmission is very low because of the testing protocols required by all passengers before boarding the flight to Niue however the health department is prepared to respond to a case should there be one.
The government’s COVID Committee will be fronting future Q and A’s on national radio to keep the public informed leading up to the commencement of quarantine free travel next year.