The locals are quarantined as a precautionary measure following risk assessment, Health DG Russell Tamata told Daily Post yesterday evening. Photo: File

The movement of people on north Tanna to other parts of the island is temporarily restricted as seven people were sent to quarantine after reportedly getting into contact with occupants on a yacht that had arrived illegally in Vanuatu from French Polynesia.

It was alleged that locals received some items from the foreign yacht, which is considered a potential COVID-19 risk.

The locals are held in quarantine as a precaution measure following risk assessment, Director General (DG) of the Ministry of Health (MoH), Russell Tamata told Daily Post.

Each individual in quarantine will be tested for coronavirus, he said.

He said they are planning on either sending health officials to Tanna to obtain specimens or for the specimens to be send to Port Vila. 

DG Tamata said lifting the travel restrictions will depend largely on the test results.

In his update on the overall situation yesterday, Prime Minister (PM) Bob Loughman said everyone should be reminded that borders are still closed and contact with people on yachts and other vessels is prohibited.

He encouraged everyone to report any yacht or ship seen anywhere in Vanuatu to the Border Agencies and COVID-19 Taskforce to deal with.

“We all have the duty to stop coronavirus from spreading to our islands,” he said.

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