Premier Tagelagi says that this is now the time for the government to review, amend and strengthen processes and procedures as they work towards a two-way QFT. A statement from the Premier’s office this morning says that “Negotiations have commenced with the officials of both governments and he does not want to jeopardise this”.
Meanwhile, the Chief of Police Tim Wilson has responded to the revelations by senior health officials that some locals have been known to enter into the home quarantine facilities.
Chief Wilson says that the police have received some reports of home quarantine breaches. In each of those cases, an investigation was completed and no violations have been confirmed.
“Some of those reports were due to a misunderstanding of HQ protocols by the reporting party,” says Chief Tim Wilson.
Witnesses have told BCN news that they’ve driven past some of these home quarantine properties where the fencing doesn’t cover the property completely and have seen visitors speaking to those within the fencing less than 2 metres distance between them.
Unlike the government’s MIQ facility located at Homofiti where security is present and visitors are monitored, the home quarantine facilities do not have the same security presence.
Chief of Police Tim Wilson also reminds the public that any concerns about home quarantine violations should be reported firstly to the Police so that the investigations can be conducted and appropriate actions taken by Police and health officials to protect the public.
He says “The Covid committee are working very hard to safeguard the Niue public and they need the public’s assistance by following the protocols and reporting breaches to the proper authorities so action can be taken”.
It is unclear if the number of home quarantine applications approved by Cabinet will be capped at a certain number, given the admission by the Police earlier this year that their limited resources are stretched to manage many home quarantine facilities.
Since June this year, the number of incoming passengers has increased from 26 to 50. The government had also increased the number of government MIQ facilities around the island to cater for this increase.