Fiji's New Rules Aimed At Curbing Omicron Spread; Tourism to Take a Hit

Fiji’s New Rules Aimed At Curbing Omicron Spread; Tourism to Take a Hit

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Fiji announced new restrictions to contain the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19. Speaking at a joint press conference with Fiji’s health ministry and police, Minister for Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport Faiyaz Koya said that with a rapid spread of the Omicron variant confirmed in the country, the key measures against Covid-19 should be tightened to contain the variant’s transmission.

According to the minister, people who fail to comply with the health protocols over Covid-19 will face fines from Monday. The minister said those who fail to wear a mask in the required settings will be fined 250 Fijian dollars (about 117 U.S. dollars). For the failure to conduct temperature checks, the fine for individuals will be 250 Fijian dollars (about 117 U.S. dollars), and 1,000 Fijian dollars (about 468.6 U.S. dollars) for businesses. High-risk businesses failing to verify vaccination status will face 1,000 Fijian dollars (about 468.6 U.S. dollars) in fine.

Among other measures to be strengthened From Monday, group sizes for gatherings in homes, communities, and community halls will be limited to 20 persons. Koya said the authorities will not hesitate to fine people or shut down businesses including hotels if necessary. The minister also urged Fijians to take the booster shots of the Covid-19 vaccine.

Meanwhile, The South Pacific island country’s permanent Secretary for Health Ministry James Fong reported five new deaths from the pandemic, bringing the total number of Covid-19 related deaths recorded since confirmation of the third wave of infections to 12.

There have been 1,280 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 recorded since Wednesday in the country, bringing the total tally to 57,187 with 709 deaths, according to the health ministry. Currently, 94.2 percent of the adult target population in Fiji are fully vaccinated, while 97.9 percent have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. Fiji, which has a population of around 900,000, reported its first confirmed coronavirus infection in March 2020. It was hit by the second wave of Covid-19 in April last year.

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