The Kingdom of Tonga is to go into a five-day lockdown from Wednesday night as Covid-19 begins to spread in the community.

Tonga recorded three new cases on Wednesday, taking the total to five after two were recorded on Tuesday.

The three new cases are family members, including children, of one of the two people who tested positive on Tuesday.

The pair had been working at Queen Salote Wharf and were tested in a group of 50 frontline workers.

Both people are now in managed isolation, along with their families, but officials say the two original cases were likely infected last week and have been in the community since then.

Contact tracing is underway and Tongans are being urged to get vaccinated if they are not double jabbed.

The lockdown is set to begin at 6pm on Wednesday local time.

All retail shops including supermarkets are to be closed during the lockdown and there have been large queues on Wednesday as residents’ stock up on supplies.

People are allowed to go fishing or to their plantations for food but while they are allowed to move their cattle they aren’t to work on their farms or do any ploughing.