Two repatriated passengers charged for isolation hotel breach; More Tongans in Fiji, Solomon return home

Two people have been charged after what authorities have described as failing to follow rules of a managed isolation facility at the Tanoa International Hotel.

Health Minister Professor ‘Amelia Tu’ipulotu said they have spoken with 13 others for breaching the facility’s rules, but gave no further details, according to TBC.

Professor Tu’ipulotu said tightening national security are behind measures put in place along with more information for passengers expected to arrive from Fiji and the Solomon islands in Tonga this week.

“More documents have been handed out to the passengers to sign and to give them information about the importance to follow the rules,” Prof Tu’ipulotu said.

The breaches of the managed facility and Police charges came after 150 Tongans were repatriated from New Zealand in July.

The government has announced that more repatriation flights for Tongans overseas will begin this Wednesday.

These are flights from Fiji and the Solomon islands expected to bring about a 100 Tongans.

The Fiji flight is expected to bring more than 60 passengers while the flight from the Solomon Islands, which is due to take place on Saturday, is expected to bring more than 30 Tongans.

“The Honiara to Port Vila and Tongatapu flight is available only for citizens or pre-approved residents of both Vanuatu and Tonga. Passengers are required to have proof of medical clearance and a negative COVID-19 test in order to travel,” a Solomon Airline’s statement said.

“Solomon Airlines Flight IE615 from Tongatapu to Brisbane direct will depart Tonga at 4.10pm arriving in Brisbane at 6.10pm.

“The Tongatapu to Brisbane service is available only for those who are permitted to transit or stay in Australia. Available seats on board the aircraft are strictly limited in accordance with Australia Border Force and Queensland Health quarantine requirements.

The special approval granted to Solomon Airlines will provide a unique opportunity for foreign nationals in Tonga to return to their home countries.”

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