Editorial comment – Revising the curfew hours

Image: FT FILE

There would have been cheers of joy at the mention of the revised curfew hours on Thursday night.

Now that the hours have been revised to midnight to 4am as of Thursday, there will no doubt be joy in many quarters.

This came after 90 per cent of eligible Fijians were reported to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

In a statement, the Health Ministry confirmed 600,140 Fijians or 97.1 per cent vaccine-eligible individuals had received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 556,322 or 90 per cent of individuals had been fully vaccinated with two doses as of November 17.

The ministry warned that although the 90 per cent vaccination milestone had resulted in the easing of restrictions, COVID-19 remained an issue and people must continue to adhere to COVID-safe measures.

Understandably business ventures and industries that relied on work hours during the night would benefit greatly.

Any move to boost this segment of the workforce would subsequently assist in reviving the domestic economy.

We may be buoyed by the fact that our vaccination coverage is looking great. We may be boosted by the fact that our percentages are rising.

As we look ahead to the reopening of our international border and the expected boom in tourist arrivals, we can anticipate many happy faces.

This is the setting many Fijians have been holding out hope for.

Far too many people have lost their jobs since the second wave started in April. Far too many have been forced to work on reduced hours, and many have been forced to take leave without pay.

There appears to be some semblance of normality returning now which is good.

In the face of this slow change though, we are reminded about safety concerns. We must accept that the virus is still around.

We must remember we are in a war against the COVID-19 pandemic. There can be no relaxing of our guards.

Savour the freedom to do what you want. Savour the joy of been able to stay out longer at night.

But be mindful of why it is important that we adhere to COVID-19 safety protocols. We know what we have to do. We know why we must wear masks correctly.

We know why we must wash our hands often with soap and water.

We know about physical distancing and we know what we must do in public spaces.

The last thing we want is complacency creeping in, and derailing all our efforts to bring back order in our lives. So stay well, and stay safe Fiji!

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