MEDIA RELEASE: “Government is gravely concerned with the outbreak of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus”

4th February, 2020

His Majesty’s Government is gravely concerned with the outbreak of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus and the recent declaration made by the World Health Organization on 30 January 2020.

His Majesty’s Government, in an effort to protect its people both in China and within the Kingdom of Tonga, is mobilizing all available resources and assistance it can utilize to protect Tonga and its people from the threat posed by the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. In doing so, His Majesty’s Government has established a taskforce comprised of key Government Ministries and Chaired by the Hon. Minister for Health, assisted by the Hon. Minister for Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change and Communications (MEIDECC); and Hon. Minister for Education and Training (MET), to undertake the following key tasks:

(1) To determine the situation and actions necessary to ensure the welfare and potential return of the Tongan students in Wuhan, the Sports Team and Tongan students studying in Mainland China.

2) To issue a travel advisory that would require quarantine measures to be implemented in order to protect Tonga’s borders and people.

His Majesty’s Government, through the Embassy of the Kingdom of Tonga to China, has maintained regular contact with the students and sports team. At present, the reports from the Embassy have guaranteed that the students and sports teams are well, with the necessary supplies available to them until such time they depart China for Tonga.

His Majesty’s Government, in light of the closure and potential closure of the New Zealand and Fiji borders to travellers from mainland China, are working and looking at options with for the return of our Tongan nationals who are currently in China.

His Majesty’s Government has issued a travel advisory requiring the need for self-quarantine for all foreign travellers originating from or transiting through China and may be denied entry into Tonga, with the exception of Tongans. The Tongan nationals who qualify under this will need to undergo quarantine with the Ministry of Health.

His Majesty’s Government urges the public to assist and cooperate in its efforts to protect its borders.


Issued by the: The Prime Minister’s Office, P.O. Box 62, Nuku’alofa, Tonga. Tel: (676) 24 644 /24615 Fax: (676) 23 888; For media enquiries- Email: Website: