In response to the severe impact of Cyclone Yasa, the Australian Government has deployed the HMAS Adelaide to support a number of tasks including the immediate repair of schools, prioritised initially for the island of Galoa, and potable water production, and to generally support Fiji’s recovery effort.
The HMAS Adelaide is scheduled to arrive to Fiji on 30 December 2020. To allow Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel to safely assist with the TC Yasa support, Fiji has reinforced its COVID-19 border quarantine protocols through carefully-supervised quarantine corridors.
The development of these quarantine corridors has been based on the Ministry of Health’s protocols for maritime quarantine, quarantine for tourism initiatives, and quarantine and training practises for the Fiji Airways Academy.
Immediately prior to departure, all embarked forces and crew on board the HMAS Adelaide tested negative for COVID-19. The HMAS Adelaide is fully equipped with COVID-19 testing and laboratory equipment. After six days at sea, the disembarking force will be tested again for COVID-19.
All other crew and embarked forces will remain on-board the vessel, and be tested on day 12 while in Fijian waters.
While on-site, the disembarked force will operate within a pre-defined, multi-layered “ADF Bubble” under strict surveillance from RFMF and Ministry of Health and Medical Services personnel to prevent any community exposure.
All ADF crew and embarked forces will be restricted to this adjusted quarantine environment while their urgent work takes place.
The risk of transmission inside the bubble from day 6 to day 14 is extremely low as the forces will not have any public interaction and will be closely monitored inside the bubble by officials.
RFMF personnel will also operate within the ADF Bubble, and these individuals will all undergo a full 14 days of quarantine before re-engaging with the public. Fiji has temporarily restricted the number of repatriation flights to ensure sufficient RFMF and medical personnel are available to maintain the ADF bubble during the crew’s time in Fiji.
Once the ADF’s work is complete and they depart, all facilities they have constructed will be thoroughly cleaned prior to public use.