Premier Dalton Tagelagi is reminding the public that all quarantine locations pose a risk and to remain vigilant by keeping outside the fence as instructed by the authorities.
The premier’s comments come after the revelation by a senior public health official on radio last Friday that they are aware of some people who breached home quarantine facilities.
Grizelda Mokoia head of public health told News of the Week program said that they have noticed that some of our people are showing a more relaxed approach now that they are fully vaccinated.
Ms Mokoia said that they are concerned about some of these people entering into the home quarantine parameter fences thinking that they are safe because they are vaccinated.
It’s understood that some people have actually walked into the fenced quarantine areas to deliver food and supplies when they should not be inside the fence at all times. It’s also been witnessed that at home quarantine facilities, the passengers inside and those visiting were not observing the requirement to be at least 2 metres apart.
Premier Tagelagi in a statement to BCN news said that he had been advised by Public Health Officials that the comments made on Friday radio were a friendly reminder for people NOT to enter home quarantine locations.
“People think that now that they have been vaccinated that they can potentially go inside HQ endorsed locations as the risks have been lowered. This is not the case, and for people not to be complacent.”
Ms. Mokoia says that they are urging the people on the island not to be complacent about this virus, that even if you are vaccinated, you are still able to catch the virus and transmit it to your loved ones.
In an earlier interview in the early days of home quarantine, the Chief of Police Tim Wilson did express concern at stretching limited resources with the increasing number of home quarantine facilities. Chief Wilson had said that fencing is limited and the recommendation is to limit the number of home quarantine facilities approved should be limited to less than 10 per in-coming flight.
The approval of home quarantine facilities is made by Cabinet and since the one-way quarantine free travel with New Zealand in March this year, there has been an increase in the number of traveling and returning residents.
These revelations of quarantine breaches and reminders come several weeks after the island reached herd immunity of 97 percent vaccination rate. There is also a team from the NZ government on the island waiting to conduct the audit of our systems in preparation for the eventual two-way quarantine free travel in future months.
Some villages on the island do not allow home quarantine and it seems their fears of the risks of quarantine breaches are proving true.