THE Hon. Prime Minister today announced moving the red traffic light national lockdown to orange light level for Tongatapu and Vava’u for two weeks. It will come into force this Saturday, April 9 until April 23. This is while a red traffic remains for Ha’apai.
Hu’akavameiliku made the following announcement during a zoom Press Conference with the media this morning.
The orange light framework approved by Cabinet has eased further lockdown restrictions with businesses in Tongatapu and Vava’u ONLY to operate six days a week from Monday to Saturday. Last week, businesses were given green light to operate three days only, Saturday, Tuesday and Thursday.
Church services are allowed to conduct ONLY during Easter Friday and Easter Sunday. The Hon. Prime Minister says it is the discretion of the church community to decide whether a church service is provided or not.
Hence, he advised it is the church members’ responsibility to adhere and obey the Covid rules. Wearing facial mask is mandatory and social distancing should be maintained.
Outdoor sports such as golf, pickleball and tennis as well as koka’anga or the so-called tapa making process are permitted during this lockdown period.
Meanwhile a red traffic light framework remains for Ha’apai. Businesses including shops are open three days a week on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. It is to allow people to restock essential supplies during the lockdown.
Lockdown curfew remains from 5:00am-8:00pm.
At the same time, the number of new cases reported in the past few days has been slightly dropped with 143 new cases reported today. That brings the total number of Covid cases today to 7,528 from 7,385 recorded yesterday.
Of that total number, 5541 patients have recovered and 1,969 people (active cases) now infected with the virus.
Meanwhile, MOH has yet announce when it is likely for resumption of the inter-island ferry travel service from Tongatapu to ‘Eua, Ha’apai and Vava’u to take stranded passengers here in Nuku’alofa due to Covid.
‘Eua and the Niuas are therefore remain Covid-free.
The first and second vaccination rate remains at 98 and 90 percent respectively with boosters’ rate now reaches 50 percent.
Booster vaccination is now rolling out in Tongatapu and rest of the island groups except for the Niuas. It will soon roll out to the two northern-most islands together with Covid vaccination program for the 5–11-year-olds.