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Breach leads to another person added to supervised quarantine

A Rarotonga woman has been ordered into compulsory supervised quarantine after receiving two packets of cigarettes from her nephew, a returning Cook Islander who arrived on yesterday’s flight.

Secretary of Health – Dr Aumea Herman – says, “Prior to travel, every passenger receives the Questions and Answers for Travellers to Rarotonga document as well as the Category Quarantine Order. These documents provide clear advice regarding the rules of supervised quarantine. On arrival, a print copy of the Q&A is provided to each household. The man was briefed enroute from Rarotonga airport to his residence by the public health nurse assigned to his puna, confirming that no items could leave his possession until he had completed his two weeks supervised quarantine process.

Quarantine Orders were served yesterday. While the public health risk is considered low, precautionary measures are necessary to ensure the safety of the public.

Te Marae Ora, which is leading the government effort to keep us safe from COVID-19 has reinforced the quarantine rules in place. There must be no physical contact with the people in supervised quarantine in properties displaying yellow flags. The leads of each of the Puna are aware of those in supervised quarantine in their areas. Food and other provisions, including bottled water may be left on the boundary of the property for the quarantined returnees to collect once the person doing the drop off has left. No rubbish or empty containers – e.g. water bottles, can leave the property without the permission of public health officials, until the returnees have tested negative twice for COVID-19, completed 14-days supervised quarantine and have cleared the exit medical test.

With the two flights that have arrived, there are currently 122 people undertaking supervised quarantine on Rarotonga. Next week Friday, all 82 persons from the first cohort will hopefully exit this process having completed their 14 days of supervised quarantine, two negative COVID-19 tests and medical clearance.

Te Marae Ora and other government officials are reviewing the supervised quarantine process to find ways to further minimise the public heath risks to the community given recent breaches.

There have been numerous rumours of people breaching quarantine. All that have been reported to Te Marae Ora have been investigated and confirmed as unfounded rumours,

Rumours are unhelpful and dangerous. However, if you are genuinely concerned that somebody has broken their agreed supervised quarantine arrangements, or if you believe somebody in supervised quarantine may be struggling and in need of help, please call Te Marae Ora media spokesperson Jaewynn on 55486, or text, or send a private message.
Please do not just report scuttlebutt because these matters will all be investigated, and you will be asked to substantiate your information.
And remember these people are our people, they have gone through a lot to get home and just want to do their time in supervised quarantine and restore their freedom of movement.

Members of the public should contact their local community health clinics on the free 0800 numbers if they have any questions regarding the supervised quarantine process in their area. Or call healthline on 20 066, 0800-1800, 0800-1801.

For up to date information visit

ENDS: Enquiries to Jaewynn McKay +682 55486