Bula Bub­ble

...and what new nor­mal means

Fiji Sun - - FRONT PAGE - IVAMERE NATARO Feed­back: rosi.doviver­ata@fi­jisun.com.fj

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.

Bula Bub­ble

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

FROM PAGES 2,3 & 4

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.

Photo: Kel­era So­vasiga

(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.

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