17 Sep 2021

Mainland Fiji border barriers lifted

7:40 am on 17 September 2021

Border restrictions within Fiji's main island Viti Levu have been lifted but inter-island travel and the curfew will remain, the Government said.


.. Photo: Fiji govt

At 4am on Friday, the containment area borders were lifted everywhere on the mainland.

Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama announced the move last night as as 60 percent of the targeted population is now fully-vaccinated.

He said while domestic travel reopened on the mainland, inter-island travel would remain closed.

This included the daily curfew from 9pm to 4am.

"Inter-island travel, however, will remain highly controlled, including to Vanua Levu, until we achieve higher vaccination coverage in Vanua Levu and our outer islands," Bainimarama said.

"With domestic travel open, public service vehicles will be able to operate at 70 percent capacity."

The prime minister said employers, who were required under Covid-safe measures to transport staff to and from work, would no longer need to do so.

Bainimarama also announced that 62 percent of all adults were fully vaccinated and more than 97 percent had received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

He said this meant Fiji was "quickly becoming one of the safest countries in the world".

"With well over half of adults in Fiji fully vaccinated, our Covid-19 Risk Mitigation Taskforce - which includes our top medical and policy experts - has developed a careful framework that details the next phase of our response."

Police ensure Covid-19 protocols are observed by the public.

Police ensure Covid-19 protocols are observed by the public. Photo: Fiji govt

70 percent capacity for gatherings

Social gatherings of up to 20 people will now be permitted indoors in people's homes nationwide.

For outdoor venues, up to 30 people are allowed, the Fijian leader said.

Bainimarama also said that from October 4, all workplaces, tertiary institutions, houses of worship, hotels, restaurants, cafés, cinemas, gyms, and pools would be able to open at 70 percent capacity.

However, he said these places would only be opened to fully-vaccinated persons.

"As part of our Vaccination Authentication Exercise, we will be rolling out a VAX-Check tool that allows for real-time digital verification of vaccine status that venues can use to confirm the vaccine status of their patrons," Bainimarama said.

"When the doors of these venues open, all other Covid-safe measures must be strictly enforced. That means masks must be worn, two metres of physical distance should be maintained where possible, and careFIJI must be installed on everyone's phones, with Bluetooth switched on.

"These relaxations are not for anyone to tread carelessly. We're introducing new regulations that allow for spot checks on venues, businesses and houses of worship.

"Those who do not respect these measures risk serious fines or being shut down. I repeat you will be fined heavily or shut down if you do not follow these regulations," the prime minister said.

Meanwhile, the Health Ministry reported 197 new cases of Covid-19 and four deaths in the last 24 hours.

All four victims, who were aged between 52 and 90, had died at home.

There are now 12,978 active cases in isolation and the death toll is at 544.

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