New Zealand officials in Niue working on preparations for quarantine free travel

Three officials from the New Zealand government are currently on the island to continue preparations for the eventual quarantine-free travel between Niue and New Zealand.

The officials are Dr. Dr Laupepa Va’a, from New Zealand’s Ministry of Health, Kevin Kneebone from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and Nicky Mark from Customs New Zealand.

The officials visit was announced by New Zealand High Commissioner to Niue, H.E Helen Tunnah last Saturday at the Alofi South Show day.(pictured)

In a statement to BCN news Ms Tunnah said that the team are currently completing two weeks’ managed isolation quarantine at the Matavai apartments at Homofiti and will be conducting in person meetings from 9-23 August.

“We’re pleased to welcome the New Zealand technical mission to Niue to help prepare for quarantine-free travel. They’ll be working closely with Niue not just during their visit, but on an on-going basis as both countries continue to manage their response to the pandemic” says High Commissioner Helen Tunnah.

The NZ Government officials visit continues the close collaboration between Niue and New Zealand that has already been in place since the pandemic started last year, and since the one-way quarantine-free travel began in March.

The team members are certainly not new to Niue and have been working with their local counterparts via virtual means since the pandemic started.

Dr Va’a was in Niue in March 2020, at the outset of the pandemic, and has continued to work alongside Niue and Pacific health officials on pandemic responses through the Polynesian Health Corridors programme.

Mr Kneebone and Ms Mark have also worked alongside Niue Police, Immigration and Customs officials on the border/immigration arrangements for one-way quarantine free travel.

Ms Tunnah says that developing a quarantine-free travel system is complex, and New Zealand and Niue officials have developed strong working partnerships on preparations.

The team is expected to discuss issues including contact tracing and case surveillance, and ensuring people wanting to travel to Niue meet this Government’s entry criteria.

The team will also be meeting with Cabinet ministers, private sector representatives and tourism operators.

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