PRESS RELEASE

Restrictions on inter-island shipping movements to come into effect at 12am on Sunday March 29 2020

Last Updated on 8 months by

The Ministry of Infrastructure, Transport, Disaster Management and Meteorological Services, in consultation with the Ministry of Health and Medical Services and in line with the Honourable Prime Minister’s announcement, wishes to advise the following restrictions to all inter-island shipping movements.

From 12am Sunday, 29 March 2020 there will be no passenger carriage or movement on inter island ships throughout Fiji till further notice.

Only freight cargo services will continue during this time. There is also a restriction of movement for small craft and yacht.

Furthermore, the following are steps that must be taken by all shipping and truck companies:

  1. Vessel operators are to allow trucks and drivers to embark.
  2. Vessel operators are to keep a register of details for all drivers who board the vessels.
  3. All drivers are to wear Personal Protective Equipment at all times.
  4. An hour before disembarkation at a port or jetty, drivers are to decontaminate their vehicles, move into the passenger lounges and observe social distancing (2 metres).
  5. All decontaminated vehicle keys are to be left in a safe area that is accessible to the driver disembarking the truck.
  6. Upon disembarkation, drivers from the disembarkation point are to board the vessel and move the vehicles out.
  7. There is to be no contact between the drivers who boarded the vessel with the vehicles and those who will be disembarking the vehicles.
  8. Shipping operators are to ensure there is no contact between drivers and crews.
  9. Shipping operators are to discourage crew members from unnecessarily disembarking at ports and jetties and socialising at these points.
  10. For inter-island shipping, shipping operators and crew are to offload cargo and freight at a designated location on the jetty or port.
  11. Members of the public collecting freight are to collect from this point, practising social distancing. They are not to board the vessel under any circumstances.
  12. All turaga ni koros to liaise with Itaukei Affairs for further information.

Shipping operators, trucking and freight companies are to contact Director of Transport Faranisese Kinivuwai, Ministry of Infrastructure, Transport, Disaster Management and Meteorological Services on 9983245 or email faranisese.kinivuwai@govnet.gov.fj for further information.

The symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  •   fever
  •   flu-like symptoms such as coughing, sore throat or headaches; or
  •   difficulty breathing.

The Government of Fiji remains on the highest level of alert in response to this global pandemic. We know that finding cases early and isolating them quickly is key to containing this disease. As the symptoms of COVID-19 are very similar to many other respiratory illnesses (including the common cold and influenza) it is expected that the Ministry will continue to investigate more persons with relevant travel history and symptoms related to COVID-19.

What can you do?

The Fijian Ministry of Health and Medical Services wishes to strongly urge the public to not share rumours and misinformation, and to use credible sources for information on COVID-19:

Fijian Ministry of Health and Medical Services website:

www.health.gov.fj

Fijian Ministry of Health and Medical Services Facebook page:

www.facebook.com/MoHFiji/

World Health Organization (WHO) website:

www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public

If you have been to a COVID-19 affected country in the last 14 days and develop a fever, cough or difficulty breathing immediately contact one of the numbers listed below:

Central             2219905

Eastern            2219906

Western           2219907

Northern         2219908

The Fijian Ministry of Health and Medical Services is monitoring the developing situation and will provide updates regularly to the public.