27 Mar 2020

Tonga declares lockdown starting this weekend

12:17 pm on 27 March 2020

Tonga's Prime Minister Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa has declared a national lockdown for one week starting this Sunday 29 March at 1am and ending Sunday 5 April.

Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa

Photo: Tonga government

The lock-down requires everyone to stay at home.

The exception to the isolation order includes purchasing or supplying essential consumer goods, obtaining medical supplies or seeking medical assistance, access to banking and other financial services and attending work as a member of an essential service provider.

Night-time curfews will be in place from 8pm to 6am and will be enforced by the Police, the Armed Forces and other authorised officers.

All licensed bars, restaurants, night clubs, bottle stores and liquor manufacturers are to close.

However, supermarkets and retail shops selling essential goods will remain open.

There will be a ban of all large gatherings at public facilities and funeral gatherings are to be restricted to a total of 10 people indoors and 20 people outdoors with an authorised officer present.

Nuku'alofa's main street

The streets of Nuku'alofa are expected to be deserted next week Photo: RNZ Pacific / Koro Vaka'uta

Meanwhile the Minister of Health said the results of the two remaining Covid-19 suspected cases had come back negative.

Dr. Amelia Afuha'amango Tu'ipulotu told TBC there were a total of eight suspected cases tested before the borders closed.

Tonga currently has no coronavirus confirmed cases or suspected cases.