Decision whether to allow returning residents

Tuesday 25 August 2020 | Written by Rashneel Kumar | Published in Local

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A decision on the proposed quarantine facility in New Zealand is expected today.

Government spokesperson Jaewynn McKay said the Cabinet would be meeting today and “will likely be discussing the next steps” on the facility.

Last week McKay confirmed health officials were working to confirm the location of a new quarantine facility in Auckland, where returning Cook Islanders and work permit holders can be put into managed isolation for 14 days before flying to Rarotonga.

The ministers are also expected to deliberate on suggestion from the Opposition Democratic Party to make non-essential travellers to pay for their quarantine on the way here.

Opposition finance spokesperson Vaitoti Tupa earlier said the Government should not be paying the quarantine costs of those on non-essential travel.

“The cost of accommodating and feeding people in 14-day quarantine in New Zealand will be a big burden for our taxpayers to carry, especially if the quarantine is for people who don’t urgently need to be here such as essential health workers.”

The Government footed more than $1 million on quarantine arrangements for returning Cook Islanders earlier in the year – including the Holiday Inn managed isolation hotel in Mangere.