The government in a press release received just before midday today announced that the reduction of the number of days passengers spend in MIQ will be reduced from 13 to 10 days starting on the 10th of January next year.
Premier of Niue, Hon. Dalton Tagelagi says the public health risk of the shortened MIQ is low. The emergence of the new COVID-19 variant Omicron is of some concern, but indications so far are that it has a similar incubation period to the Delta variant, and has not been detected in NZ.
“We have done all we can to keep Niue safe, and this shorter stay in MIQ is our phased plan to open up our island again. Based on risk assessment information about the Delta variant, which has a shorter incubation period, we are confident that this reduced period of isolation for Niue MIQ will become the new standard as it has for New Zealand and other countries,” says Premier Tagelagi.
Only fully vaccinated people with negative pre-departure Covid tests will be allowed to board the plane to Niue every two weeks.
Meanwhile, there are currently 48 passengers in MIQ in three different locations. One accommodation block at the Scenic Matavai Resort, the 10 Matavai apartments at Homofiti, and at the Taoke Fales in Lakepa.
According to the Disaster Management Office, responsible for the MIQ facilities, the 48 passengers all returned negative Covid tests completed on day 3.
Because of the negative test results the government has also approved visitors to the MIQ facilities but only on Friday from 1pm until 7pm.
The passengers must wear their masks from behind two fences five metres away from their visitors.
It’s expected that there will be an increase in the number of passengers on the next passenger flight on Monday next week but NDMO officials were not able to disclose the number of passengers. Those passengers will be spending Christmas day in MIQ.
The Scenic Matavai Resort will not be utilised as an MIQ facility on the next flight because of their events bookings for the festive season.
It’s understood, the Niue government spends around $50,000 every time the main flagship Resort is used as an MIQ facility, this includes two meals per day.