COVID-19: Fiji bans cruise ships from tomorrow

The Holland America Lines cruise ship of Amsterdam berthed at the Suva port in Fiji on Tuesday night - November 19, 2019. Picture: TIMOCI VULA/FT FILE

No cruise ships will be allowed entry into Fiji from tomorrow – Monday, March 16, 2020.

Fiji’s Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama made the announcement in a statement issued this evening, a day and hours after neighbouring countries Australia and New Zealand announced the ban on cruise liners from also entering their ports to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Also from tomorrow (Monday), international events will not be allowed in Fiji and local events will be closed to all guests coming in from overseas,” Mr Bainimarama said.

Ministers, civil servants, permanent secretaries and staff of statutory bodies have also been restricted from travelling overseas, barring exceptionally-critical circumstances.

“We also highly discourage all Fijians from travelling overseas. If you do choose to travel anywhere outside of Fiji, you may be required to self-isolate for 14 days upon your return to Fiji, even if you are not displaying symptoms of COVID-19. This, of course, is already mandated for Fijians arriving home from nations on our restricted travel list.”

Mr Bainimarama said those measures would all be subject to review as the global situation evolved.

The worldwide death toll from the pandemic has surged past 5000, while more than 140,000 confirmed cases of the deadly virus have been recorded around the world.

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