01 April 2020 – International and domestic travel restrictions reinforced

Type of Intervention: Executive Order
Sectors Involved: Health
Level of Jurisdiction: National
Lead People/Agency: Minister for Health and Medical Services Dr. Ifereimi Waqainabete

Overview: Travel restrictions to the general public. After conducting 368 tests, including another 11 last night, Fiji has zero new confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virus. Still, there is zero room for complacency.  We may still have five cases, all of whom remain in stable condition, but that shouldn’t lead anyone to believe this crisis is behind us. Under the leadership of our Hon. Prime Minister, Fiji was quick to ramp up travel restrictions as the virus began its global spread. We shut our borders entirely to foreign nationals present in mainland China and other high-risk countries early on. Passenger travel to Fiji has virtually ended, save for a few planned evacuation flights. Cruise ships are banned. We have a nationwide curfew in effect from 10pm to 5am every day. Schools are closed at least until 17 April. We’ve rolled out a work from home programme for some civil servants. As part of nationwide COVID-19 containment effort, following our first case, we locked down the Lautoka confined area on the 19th of March for a period of 14 days. Since that time, three more cases have been identified in the Lautoka confined area, the most recent of which was a 31-year-old member of the first patient’s Zumba class. That patient began displaying symptoms on Tuesday, the 23rd of March. We have since identified and entered all of her close contacts into compulsory self-quarantine , however, there is still a risk she could have infected others. Yes, it’s a small risk. Lautoka confined area will remain locked down at least until 5am in the morning on Tuesday, the 7th of April. By that time, if we are confident that we have flushed out the virus, the restrictions may be relaxed. As you know in the past few days we have opened the port in Lautoka for international shipping, including exports and imports. Of course, we will continue to allow steady flows of essential food, goods and services to come into and out of Lautoka in a controlled and hygienic fashion.
In our COVID-19 response budget, the Hon. Attorney-General and Minister for Economy unveiled a historic package of support to Fijian businesses, employees and families, along with a 40 million-dollar injection directly into our healthcare systems. The passage of the budget included a new amendment to the Public Health Act to step up our enforcement of the measures we’ve introduced to keep the Fijian people safe; because we are not relying on goodwill alone to do what must be done to stop this virus from spiraling into an outbreak. The police have already made dozens of arrests relating to violations of our health protection measures and through an amendment to the Public Health Act, liars and law-breakers can face up to five years in prison, a ten thousand dollar fine, or both.
Full details here: https://www.fiji.gov.fj/Media-Centre/Speeches/STATEMENT-BY-THE-MINISTER-FOR-HEALTH-AND-MEDICAL-S

Other links: 1
Type of Justification: Advice of INTERNAL government advisory committee or group
Source of Evidence or Justification: National – government
Evidence/Justification: Bill No.9 of 2020 – Public Health (COVID-19 response) Amendment