16 Jun 2020

Tongan govt move to clarify confusion over repatriation flight

4:05 pm on 16 June 2020

Tonga's government says it's planning a flight to repatriate 50 Tongans stranded in New Zealand by Covid-19.

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Photo: AFP/Torsten Blackwood

The Ministry of Tourism said it conducted a drill today for staff who would be involved in repatriating and quarantining the passengers.

Reports that the first flight was to take place today on a cargo plane were incorrect.

Air New Zealand said its weekly cargo flight to the kingdom did not carry passengers.

The ministry told Matangi Tonga the first repatriation flight could take place in July.

Air New Zealand said it was discussions about assisting.

Tonga's government said medical teams, customs, immigration, police and security staff were ready to receive anybody repatriated, as were staff at the Tanoa Hotel where they would be quarantined for a fortnight.

Tongans wishing to go home must apply online at the government's repatriation registry.