UPDATED: DG of Health confirms questions raised over ‘Fit to Fly’ certificates from the five positive cases last week

The Director General of Health Gaylene Tasmania this afternoon confirmed that the Health Department in their investigation of the first five positive cases last Friday found that the cases were from three different households.

A government press statement issued this afternoon, quoted Director-General Tasmania confirming the investigation into the cases identified on Friday last week.

“By the end of Friday night, we had identified three different households where members had tested positive.  Two of these households included recent travellers. 

“ We have evidence of an exemption granted on the basis of a Fit to Fly certificate which is now in question.  This documentation exempted the traveller from a pre-departure test, and this, in turn, set off a series of events that exempted the traveller from in-country testing under current protocols for historical or previously infected persons,” says Tasmania.

The following information is for all travellers in order to receive the Travellers Pass to travel to Niue according to the www.covid10.gov.nu pre-departure test requirement.

“All travellers must have a negative COVID-19 PCR pre-departure test to enter Niue. Children under 3 are exempt from pre-departure testing.  You need a PCR test even if you have been vaccinated for COVID-19.  You must get your PCR test in New Zealand at most 48 hours before your flight to Niue. 

If you had COVID-19 less than 10 days from the date of your flight, you are not permitted to travel to Niue.

If you had COVID-19 between 11 and 28 days from the date of your flight, you are not required to do a pre-departure PCR test. However, you will need to provide:

  •  a Fit to fly certificate or letter from a medical practitioner
  • documentation from a health practitioner confirming you are no longer infectious and the date you contracted COVID.

If you had COVID-19 between 29 and 90 days from the date of your flight, you are required to do a supervised RAT 24 hours before departure (see here for more information: COVID Testing in New Zealand).

You are also required to provide:

  • a Fit to fly certificate or letter from a medical practitioner 
  • documentation from a health practitioner confirming you are no longer infectious and the date you contracted COVID.

If you had COVID-19 more than 90 days ago, then you need a PCR test even if you have been vaccinated for COVID-19. You must get your PCR test in New Zealand at most 48 hours before your flight to Niue. 

  • You will be required to upload proof of your negative PCR test or your Fit to Fly  certificate to the Niue Traveller Declaration form”

It’s understood that government officials are questioning the validity of some of the “Fit to Fly” certificates.

BCN News understands that an example of falsifying the ‘Fit to Fly’ certificate is done if the passenger informs a medical practitioner that they had tested positive for Covid 19 between 11 and 28 days when they had not actually tested positive, which exempts them from the pre-departure PCR test 48 hours before travel. When they arrive in Niue, they are not required to complete the PCR test on day one and day three after arrival.

This passenger who had never tested positive for Covid 19, will avoid completing all the PCR required tests and can bring the virus undetected to the island.

In an interview with BCN News yesterday, Premier Dalton Tagelagi warned those intending to travel to Niue on future flights that falsifying their pre-departure travel documents will incur prosecution and heavy penalties.

Since March this year, seventy-one cases were detected on the island, and sixty have recovered. Niue remains in Alert Yellow as the health officials work to contain the current outbreak.

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