Further to the announcements by the Fijian Government on the maritime travel restrictions, the Ministry of Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport, in consultation with the Ministry of Defence, National Security and Policing and Ministry of Health and Medical Services, have collectively established a Technical Working Committee (TWG).
“The Ministry has proactively set up this maritime TWG with key stakeholders, in light of the newly recorded local cases. The Committee’s key mandate is to guide and monitor safe movement and COVID restrictions,” said the Permanent Secretary for Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport, Shaheen Ali.
“A number of health and safety protocols were developed and enforced for maritime travel when Fiji recorded its first case in March 2020. We have done this before, and we have learnt which areas we need to strengthen,” added Ali.
He further stated that all Fijians and maritime operators must practice physical distancing, wear appropriate PPE, regularly wash hands and sanitise, as well as disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
The TWG includes Fiji Ports Corporation Ltd, Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji, Republic of the Fiji Navy, Fiji Maritime Police, Ministry of Fisheries and iTaukei Affairs Board.
“I wish to reiterate that during this period the emphasis is on the movement of essential cargo and while passengers can travel into Viti Levu, no one on Viti Levu can leave until the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted,” added the Permanent Secretary.
The COVID-19 protocols for all vessel operators and all movement of cargoes on vessels have been published. At this stage, only designated commercial goods vehicles will be allowed on our ships.
Any enquiries for travelling on small crafts and fibres, fishing vessels or fisheries in general, please liaise with the Maritime Surveillance Centre on 1539.
The Ministry emphasises the need for adherence to all health and hygiene protocols, including installing the careFIJI mobile application and keeping the device Bluetooth turned on.