This was confirmed by the Secretary to Prime Minister Dr. Jimmie Rogers during Sunday’s talk-back show over the national broadcaster.
Dr. Rogers said the original list of countries that our citizens and other foreigners will come from is still under review but they include the United Kingdom (UK) and the USA.
Those include our footballers and other citizens in the USA who also wanted to come home.
“Not only that, but we also have our citizens as farther afield as Africa, Europe, and Asia including Japan and Korea who will also be linked into the flight.
“We will also be flown in technical experts from Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka to work on various projects in the country including the Tina Hydro, the airport upgrade, and road construction work to boost infrastructure development,” he said.
Dr. Rogers said because the countries are categorized as high risk, they are accordingly grouped together on one flight.
“He said the risk assessment of those countries is much stricter as well as their testing requirements and so our health is keeping a close tag on them,” he said.
He added at the moment, the UK is currently under strict review and whether to have them onboard the 7 February flight or defer for a later date is still under discussion.
“Deferral means it will incur another cost on us but it’s good to have that cost outside than in here with the spread of the virus,” he said.
He further said that the flight was proposed as the final one so that quarantine spaces are available to accommodate them.
“The reason for them to come in later is we want to make sure that all our nationals come back and leave those quarantine centres so that those quarantine facilities can be available for anyone else that come in later,” he said.
By IAN M.KAUKUI