Ministry of Health announces new restrictions and guidelines on sea travel between Viti Levu, Vanua Levu and the Maritime Islands

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Ministry of Health announces new restrictions and guidelines on sea travel between Viti Levu, Vanua Levu and the Maritime Islands

The Department of Health has announced new restrictions and guidelines on sea travel between Viti Levu, Vanua Levu and the Maritime Islands starting today due to the COVID-19 outbreak in the North Division and a number of islands in the eastern division.

Permanent Secretary of Health Dr James Fong said that in light of the high prevalence of COVID-19 in Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, travelers on boats between Viti Levu and Vanua Levu will not need of tests before departure before traveling.

He says, however, that strict adherence to personal COVID safety measures while traveling must be maintained, such as the mandatory mask, personal hand hygiene gel and vessels to ensure soap is available throughout the trip. travel, the careFIJI app is activated and passengers are fully immunized with 2 or more doses.

Dr Fong adds that ministry officials will closely monitor the implementation of the new travel protocol.

He further says that travelers on boats from Viti Levu to the Maritime Islands in the Eastern Division which are currently experiencing epidemics will be limited to travelers for essential services only.

These include teachers, nurses, government personnel on official trips, workers and their families who are posted or transferred to the islands, and permanent residents of the islands who have come to Viti Levu for vacation and are returning home. them without needing to return to Viti Levu immediately.

The permanent secretary said the measure is aimed at limiting unnecessary movement of people to the islands, as the ministry now faces challenges in the medical evacuation of COVID cases to key hospitals in Viti Levu, as the operations of the Contracted medical evacuation providers are also affected by the current situation. epidemic.

Travelers on East Division Island boats bound for Viti Levu who have been identified as positive cases or close contacts of cases will be required to complete 10 days of isolation in their homes on the islands, be symptom free and free. pre-departure test required before they are allowed to board the boat to return to Viti Levu.

Dr Fong says their team on the islands will ensure that these modified protocols are followed to protect the traveling population as well as the limited healthcare capacity on these islands.

He adds that teams and medical supplies are being set up and deployed to communities in the Maritime Islands reporting an increase in positive cases.

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