Cook Islands residents in 14 day supervised quarantine in Auckland are being subjected to some strict conditions.
The 130 residents, who are part of the first cohort that moved into the quarantine facility at Holiday Inn in Mangere last week, are mostly confined to their rooms.
However they are able to exercise twice a day with a roster for when they can go out of their rooms for that purpose.
According to the Ministry of Health, while in supervised quarantine, all individuals must remain in their assigned room. Meals are to be eaten by individuals in their assigned room upon delivery.
Individuals are only permitted to use the bathroom and toilet facilities assigned to their room and are responsible for keeping facilities clean and tidy.
Rooms should be ventilated regularly by opening windows, and individuals in quarantine are not permitted to share clothes, towels, or bed linen with others.
The health ministry also said individuals are not allowed to make physical contact with any other guests at the assigned premises.
Prime Minister Henry Puna last night said organised efforts to repatriate Cook Islands residents have required strict adherence to standards of public health and safety, and above all, patience.
“Our teams have worked tirelessly and to considerable lengths, in an environment of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. New Zealand authorities were guiding and advising us and we have been fully supportive of working within their requirements,” Puna said.
“Let us never forget that New Zealand is still in Level 4 Lockdown where non-essential travel is strictly prohibited. So we have been extremely fortunate to have been allowed to bring our people in the first cohort together last Friday.
The organisation overseeing the 14 day supervised quarantine process in Auckland is Pasifika Medical Association.
In a statement, association chief executive Debbie Sorensen said the group has settled in comfortably and guests are grateful and relieved to begin the final process to head home.
“All guests have health checks every day with nurses checking for Covid-19 symptoms and taking temperatures. There are nurses on site 24/7; and security is round the clock to ensure that unauthorised people do not enter the facility,” Sorensen said.
The first cohort of people to complete the supervised quarantine is expected to leave Auckland on May 9 and arrive in Rarotonga on May 8.
The second cohort will be entering supervised quarantine this coming week and are expected to arrive in Rarotonga on May 15.
Supervised quarantine arrangements for when the first cohort arrives in Rarotonga in a fortnight’s time are still being worked through and are unlikely to be finalised until later this week.
PM Henry Puna said: “we’re all in this together, and our collective efforts to protect the health and safety of our population, is our sacred goal.
“While the conditions of quarantine must be met upon arrival, we welcome everyone home safe and sound and look forward to seeing you all back with your families.”