...and what new normal means
The Government has announced measures that will ensure Fiji’s steady economic recovery in a world grappling with the impact of COVID-19.
Fiji, like other countries, must adjust to the “new normal”. What exactly does this mean for us?
Yesterday, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama highlighted that Fijians must expect that although sporting events and centres, social and worship gatherings, cinemas are open, restrictions still applied.
For instance, if cinemas and sporting events cater for 500 people respectively, only 50 per cent of that 500 is allowed. Now, 100 persons are allowed in worship centres and social gatherings. Mr Bainimarama also emphasised the importance of having the careFIJI app installed in your smartphones before entering any of these places, and practising safe physical distancing.
This bubble targets the Australian and New Zealand tourism markets, with the Government working with Fiji Airways and Tourism Fiji on offering attractive packages to lure tourists
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But that effort depends on every Fijian watching today, along with everyone they know doing their bit.
By now, you should already have the careFIJI App downloaded onto your phone. If not, download it now. Help us get people back in their jobs, help us restore some measure of normalcy to our lives, help our doctors do their jobs at keeping us safe, and help get Fiji –– and the Fijian economy –– on the road to recovery.
Thank you frontliners
back to our shores.
Intending travellers can either present a medical certificate from a recognised medical institution certifying their 14 days quarantine in their home country, along with proof of a negative test result within 48 hours, or complete 14 days quarantine upon arrival at their own cost, after which they can start their “Bula Bubble”.
Australians and Kiwis can now enjoy Fiji, while remaining separate from other travellers and the general public. Their movements will be contained within the “VIP lanes”.
This means from the Nadi International Airport, onto designated transport to their designated resorts or hotels. Government is trying to identify geographically-isolated resorts best fit for the “Bula Bubble”. There is no vaccine for COVID-19 yet and a second wave of the virus is possible, but we must, like Mr Bainimarama said, be a step ahead in this fight against COVID-19.
For now, Fijians must adapt and adjust to the “new normal”.
Meanwhile, with schools reopening on June 30, Minister for Education Rosy Akbar has urged teachers to be at school on June 29.
I’d like to end by extending perhaps the most deserved
“vinaka vakalevu” in Fiji’s history to our healthcare heroes.
Vinaka to our contact tracing team, our doctors, nurses, medical staff, and everyone working overtime at the Ministry of Health and Medical Services.
Vinaka to our firefighters who have sanitised buildings, and to our first responders who balanced responding to both COVID-19 and Cyclone Harold.
Vinaka to our disciplined forces, to RFMF for helping us rapidly conduct contact tracing, and to the Police Force for enforcing curfew hours and other directives we put in place to keep Fijians safe and healthy.
Vinaka to our Ministry of Economy team, who quickly put together a COVID-response budget just one week after our first case, and to those at the ministries of Economy, Commerce, Trade, Tourism, Transport and Health and Medical Services –– who alongside our private sector partners –– helped to establish our COVID-Safe Economic Recovery framework.
Vinaka to our careFIJI app development team from digitalFIJI, who have played a central role in bringing our containment efforts into the future.
Vinaka to leaders of our various private sector partners, including the financial institutions who have worked with the Reserve Bank of Fiji and the Fijian Government, for showing that we can get through any hardship by working together.
Vinaka to every Fijian of every age who visited our fever clinics, washed their hands, practiced physical distancing, and demonstrated the virtues of patience and responsibility in combating this deadly disease.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you for all you’ve done, and will continue to do, to protect Fijian families from this pandemic.
I ask that every Fijian honour their hard work and sacrifice by downloading careFIJI, by continuing to practice the healthy habits that have been at the core of our success, and to keep each other responsible as we adapt to this new normal.
Vinaka vakalevu, thank you, and God bless Fiji.
(From left) Head of Health Protection at the Ministry of Health and Medical Services, Dr Aiysha Sahukha, Minister for Education, Rosy Akbar, Attorney General and Minister of Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, Acting Permanent Secretary for Health, Dr James Fong and Director General DigitalFIJI, Tupou’tuah Baravilala at the press conference on June 21, 2020.