COVID-19 Fiji: Additional requirements for informal gatherings
17 January, 2022, 8:30 am
Fijians wanting to hold indoor events with more than 20 people are now required to obtain a permit.
Outdoor events, on the other hand, do not need a permit but organisers are required to enforce COVIOD-safe measures or they will be shut down.
Acting Prime Minister and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said while there were no additional health measures, they were introducing additional guidance on informal social gathering restrictions.
He announced two sets of protocols:
- Independent event halls and hire venues
These apply to halls seeking to host events at 80 per cent capacity. Enforcement and adherence to COVID-safe measures will need to be signed off in order to obtain a permit to operate.
The basic provisions remain intact. We are not introducing anything outside of the COVID safe measures that we’ve continuously emphasised, such as masking up, 2-metre physical distancing, habitual sanitising, and proper ventilation.
Enforcement and adherence to these protocols will need to be signed off in order to obtain a Permit to Operate.
Venue operators can apply for ‘Permit to Operate for Independent Event Halls and Hire Venues’ on www.covidpass.mcttt.gov.fj.
Those approved venues can host events, including weddings and other functions, at 80 per cent capacity as houses of worship, restaurants, hotels, and resorts currently do.
- COVID Safe Operations for Outdoor Events
Fijians who want to host events outside in an open-air environment, like in a shed on village greens or in their compound – for example, to host a wedding, funeral or birthday – must ensure they are compliant with all COVID-safe measures.
No permit or any specific certification is required to host these events, but organisers need to ensure that:
- the event is at 80 per cent capacity of the outdoor venue
- everyone must wear a face covering at all times unless eating
- everyone maintains 2-metre distance
- there is no dancing, except by the members of a hired dance group or live band
- strictly no sharing of utensils
- keep sanitisers or handwashing facility for guests, and
- a register of all the guests with name and contact details to be recorded.
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said personnel from the Ministry of Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport, Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission (FCCC), Fiji Police Force, and the Ministry of Health were serving as their COVID Safe Ambassadors (CSA).
He said the CSAs were out there guiding and where necessary, issuing penalties whenever there was a breach of the protocols.
“Should you breach any of the protocols, we will cancel your event or order the immediate closure of your function. And we will be randomly checking on these venues and events to ensure compliance.
“So, to be clear, indoor events in venues with four walls with more than 20 people need a permit. Outdoor events do not need a permit, but the organisers must enforce COVID-safe measures or they will be shut down.”