22 Apr 2021

New Covid-19 restrictions in Fiji

11:49 am on 22 April 2021

Covid-19 containment measures have escalated in Fiji after its first case of community transmission in the capital city Suva was confirmed.

The latest patient is a 40 year-old from a settlement in the densely populated suburb of Cunningham.

The woman and her family were at a super-spreader event on the weekend.

Fijian authorities have shut down businesses which require public interaction and halted travel in and out of the country.

The new measures will last 14 days as the government tries to find 500 people who were exposed to a woman infected from a breach at an MIQ.

Taraivini Kabuta, Nadi Branch Red Cross volunteer shares a message about COVID-19 transmissions through a window to a family in Uciwai Settlement, Nadi.

Taraivini Kabuta, Nadi Branch Red Cross volunteer shares a message about COVID-19 transmissions through a window to a family in Uciwai Settlement, Nadi. Photo: Fiji Red Cross

The family responded to a public appeal for people who attended a funeral in Lautoka, since labelled by the Ministry of Health and Medical Services as a super-spreader event.

Meanwhile, there is to be no travel in and out of the country unless for, or returning from, medical trips.

Travel between the main island Viti Levu and the outer islands of the country is now prohibited.

New Fiji health Covid-19 guidelines

Fiji's Permanent Secretary for Health Dr James Fong called on people to please wear masks, practice social distancing and keep their careFIJI app on.

Higher-risk businesses, such as gyms, movie theatres, video gaming shops, cyber cafes, taverns, bars, billiard shops and amusement arcades in Viti Levu cannot open for at least the next 14 days.

Restaurants in Viti Levu may not open for in-person dining but may offer delivery and takeaway services.

The curfew hours will remain from 11pm to 4am.

Permanent Secretary of Health, James Fong

Permanent Secretary of Health, James Fong Photo: Fiji Govt

Supermarkets, shops selling food and open-air markets can open so that people can buy food.

Banks, FNPF and pharmacies can open.

However, it is vital that vendors and businesses ensure strict physical distancing before opening their doors.

They need to make sure customers in queues are spaced out by two metres and manage crowding.

Dr Fong said all employers who can allow their employees to work from home should do so.

Other businesses and places of work can open, though staff must have careFIJI downloaded on their phones.

If someone does not have a smartphone, their contact tracing details must be recorded every day.

Customer-facing businesses should limit customer capacity to 50 percent.

The Permanent Secretary for Health said businesses that do not manage these risks with Covid-safe plans will be shut down.

"The virus is here and we cannot afford to turn a crowded market into the next centre of an outbreak," he said.