On Tuesday last week, the government informed that there were passengers from the February 8th flight who were identified as close contacts of positive cases in Auckland.
In response to questions from BCN news, the Director-General of Health and Social Services Gaylene Tasmania said that they will not disclose the number of close contacts in MIQ nor were they prepared to reveal the location of interests where these passengers were at.
Other sources have since told BCN news that there were seven passengers from the total 52 passengers who were identified as close contacts.
Fifty-one passengers were tested, and all returned negative results in their day one tests on Tuesday and their day three tests on Thursday last week. One infant was not tested.
Because of these seven close contacts, twenty-three frontline staff were also tested, and all returned negative results. The frontline staff includes those working at the airport, the Police security, and the health team.
Meanwhile, Director General Tasmania says that the government is slowly moving towards quarantine free travel with New Zealand so the government’s response protocols are changing with that goal in mind.
“Government is slowing moving towards Quarantine-Free-Travel, so our response protocols are changing with that goal in mind.
“It should also be noted that the COVID-19 landscape in New Zealand is also changing and we have to be prepared for the inevitable arrival of COVID-19 into Niue. We can only ask that people be more vigilant when travelling overseas and protect themselves as an individual, which in turn protects their families and the wider community”, she said.
The Premier last week also indicated that the government maintains its target date of the end of April to open for two-ways quarantine free travel with New Zealand.
Meanwhile, locals have contacted BCN news saying that the passengers confirmed to return to Niue, should not be attending large gatherings in New Zealand seventy-two hours before boarding the flight.
But the Director-General of Health told BCN news that all incoming passengers to Niue are treated as though they are all close contacts because of the community cases in New Zealand.
In response to questions of whether the Government will reduce the number of incoming passengers to 30 as per the travel advisory in September last year.
Mrs Tasmania said that in recent incoming flights they are seeing more family units with children traveling which is why there has been an increase in the number of passengers coming in.
“The composition of recent incoming flights has included more family units (incl. children), and those dynamics have contributed to the higher than usual numbers of arrivals, but this will not always be the case”, she said.
In their last two press releases, the government is reminding residents on the island to seriously consider your plans to travel to New Zealand at this time because of the high number of passengers wanting to return.
Meanwhile, the 51 passengers and the 23 frontline workers will be tested for their third and final test on Wednesday this week.
If all return negative tests the passengers will be released after day 10 on Thursday this week.