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Fiji Link, Fiji Airways’ subsidiary, will suspend domestic operations to all outer-islands by 6pm, Monday 30 March, in line with Government directives.
The final services between Suva-Labasa and Nadi-Labasa will operate today(Monday).
From Tuesday, the only Fiji Link flights will be between Nadi and Suva, operating at a reduced frequency. Suspended services include flights from the Nadi and Suva hubs to Labasa, Taveuni, Savusavu, Kadavu, Vanuabalavu, Lakeba, Cicia, Koro, Rotuma.
Andre Viljoen, Fiji Airways Group Managing Director and CEO says: “The majority of our customers understand that these measures are necessary to combat the spread of COVID-19. We will gladly adhere to Government directives, and stand ready to assist if charter flights are required for the freight of essential supplies to Vanua Levu and outer islands.”
“Customers holding bookings for flights which are now suspended can rest assured that their bookings are safe. We look forward to welcoming them onboard when we resume operations.”
Fiji Link will announce resumption of domestic services after approvals from authorities.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Infrastructure, Transport, Disaster Management and Meteorological Services, in consultation with the Ministry of Health and Medical Services and in line with 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.here 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.
The symptoms of COVID-19 include:
•flu-like symptoms such as coughing, sore throat or headaches; or
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,” a government statement said.
SOURCE: FIJI GOVT/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
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International News Safety Institute (INSI)
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