Two weeks after the man’s arrival it became known the man
previously had the virus from a positive Te Marae Ora Covid test on Friday.
The man was arrested on Saturday after being referred to by
Te Marae Ora Ministry of Health. He is expected to appear in Court tomorrow.
Yesterday, during Parliament’s question time, both the
Titikaveka Member of Parliament, Selina Napa and the Leader of the Opposition,
Tina Browne asked the government how the problem was being addressed.
Browne asked if there was a way for the country not to rely
solely on the information from the declaration forms.
In his reply, Prime Minister Brown said: “It’s very difficult to tell a person not to lie, we don’t control a person’s mind but we can control the consequences of lying.
"As we’ve read in the newspaper, this matter is now before the courts and this man will be charged.”
“One additional step that will now take place is that those
people will now be questioned by health professionals whether their declaration
is true and honest.”
Brown later told Cook Islands News: “Now they (travellers)
will be asked the question, have they filled out their forms correctly and
honestly, is that their name on the form.”
He said the consequences of making false declarations on
travel documents are already in law.
“It’s in the hands of the authorities and the courts now to
see what appropriate action should be taken.”