21 Feb 2022

Tonga eases lockdown restrictions

7:26 am on 21 February 2022

Tonga's prime minister has annouced that Covid-19 lockdown restrictions in the Kingdom will ease for seven days from Monday.

All government offices will open and the rules will also be relaxed for shops and takeaway food services.

But the 6pm to 6am curfew lockdown remains.

Funerals and weddings are allowed and will still have the same number of people able to attend the events, with 10 inside and 20 outside.

Tonga's Prime Minister Hu'akavameiliku

Tonga's Prime Minister Hu'akavameiliku Photo: Matangi Tonga

Those needing to have their physical exercise can also do so with mask on and social distancing.

Schools will remain closed for next week with radio school programs continuing.

The government will use next week as a transitional week to consider various measures before the Ministry of Education decides on the possible resumption of school classes.

Cabinet made the decision to ease restrictions following recommendations from the Ministry of Health.


On Friday, Tonga recorded 24 new Covid cases bringing the number of active cases to 196.

The prime minister confirmed that of the 25 positive cases recorded in MIQ on Thursday a total of 23 have recovered, while two are still active cases.

The cases reported at the Hu'atolitoli Prison are being monitored closely.

Tongan health workers promoting the Covid-19 vaccination drive.

Photo: Supplied/ Tongan Ministry of Health

Tonga's Health Minister Dr Saia Piukala said in the last 24 hours the Ministry of Health was able to conduct 4, 720 tests, with 11, 705 Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) tests.

The vaccination rate in the kingdom has increased to 99 percent for the first dose, 90 percent second dose, 20 percent for the Booster shot, with only 1,093 people still needing their first dose

Cable service

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Hu'akavameiliku also said repairs to the Tonga international internet cable should be done by February 20 as planned.

The local network service will take some time but the government has received support from overseas satellite providers to assist the need for internet service.

Cable maintenance ship The Reliance

Photo: Twitter/ @tongaportal

Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, also known as SpaceX, has donated 50 satellite dishes to Tonga.

Tonga's government said the VSAT Terminals were donated this week and that technical staff from SpaceX were working on installing equipment scheduled to be launched next week.

The terminals will be deployed at strategic locations throughout Tonga.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs