Citizens returning from medium and high-risk coronavirus countries must test negative before traveling: PM Loughman

The Government, through the Council of Ministers (COM) has endorsed the recommendation of the National Disaster Committee (NDC) to lift temporary travel restrictions issued over Efate and its offshore islands.

The recommendation was endorsed after the 17 close contacts and 12 others with potential occupational exposure to the confirmed case all tested negative twice for COVID-19.

Upon receiving the confirmation of the negative test results from the Ministry of Health (MoH), Prime Minister (PM) Bob Loughman made the announcement to ease restrictions on domestic travel and international repatriation.

Ni-Vanuatu citizens returning from medium and high-risk coronavirus countries must test negative before traveling, he said.

“Citizens from high-risk countries are not allowed entry Vanuatu until further notice," he said.

The 23-year old male citizen from Vanuatu who tested positive for COVID-19 in quarantine after being repatriated from USA prompted the government to act swiftly and impose domestic and international travel restrictions last week.

In regards to the government decision to extend the quarantine period from 14 to 28 days, PM Loughman said it has been revised to the initial 14 days period.

The PM said the MoH will continue to monitor the COVID-19 patient in isolation and will provide further update on Friday this week

Meanwhile, the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) is placing a temporary restriction on traveling out from Tanna until the risk assessment and contact tracing is complete, he conveyed.

A team from the MoH will be traveling to Tanna today (Wednesday) to conduct the risk assessment and contact tracing, he added.

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