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Nuku’alofa – April 14, 2020: 10am (Nuku’alofa Times): Businesses, offices and schools have re-opened this morning following government’s decision to lift some restrictions implemented during the past three weeks of COVID-19 lockdown in Tonga.

Prime Minister Hon Dr Pohiva Tu’ionetoa made the announcement last Saturday, but adding that curfews will continue, along with the closure of the borders to incoming passengers.

This morning a number of businesses in Nuku’alofa opened their doors to customers again.

However, the Talamahu Market remained closed.

Government offices who were closed have opened their services again.

Some restaurants are also opening but social distancing is still being advised.

The challenge though is with schools opening.

Following concerns raised by members of the public, the Education Minister, Hon Siaosi Sovaleni said in a press conference yesterday that schools are being opened again because there is still no COVID-19 case in Tonga.

He also stressed that social distancing needs to be practised and students need to keep washing their hands regularly with water and soap.

Hon Sovaleni said schools will be left to decide on how best they can cover lessons that have been missed out because of the lockddown.

“What we basically have agreed on is to get the schools to open again so our children can get back to their classes and continue to cover what they might have missed,” he said.

“But we will continue to monitor the situation and if there is a situation where we have to call for schools to close again then we will do that and get the students to have home studies.”

Government is continuing to monitor the COVID-19 and the Ministry of Health is working on ensuring that all needed equipment are in place to help protect workers and assist in screenings and tests.



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