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“Blue Lanes” to allow yachts and pleasure craft sail to Fiji

June 21, 2020 12:31 pm
Safe “blue lanes”, will be established for yachts and pleasure craft sailing to Fiji, but the requirements are strict. [File Photo]

Safe “blue lanes”, will be established for yachts and pleasure craft sailing to Fiji, but the requirements are strict.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says any boat coming to Fiji will be carefully considered on a case-by-case basis.

The Prime Minister says being alone at sea is a verifiable, self-contained quarantine.

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He says that means anyone coming by pleasure craft to Fiji, as long as they haven’t interacted with others, are very low-risk, but their economic impact is very high-reward.

Bainimarama says these ships particularly super yachts produce immense economic value for Fiji.

“To start, the only port of entry will be Port Denarau Marina. If this pilot project and if successful, we will consider extending blue lanes to other ports and marinas.”

The PM highlighted that those eligible to sail to Fiji fall under two categories, both of which will require them to be tested in another country before departing.

“If their journey to Fiji will take 14 days or longer uninterrupted at sea, once they dock in Fiji and show proof of a negative test result, everyone on board will be screened by the Ministry of Health for symptoms. If they’re deemed to be healthy, their yacht will be allowed to freely visit other ports throughout Fiji. Alternatively, those with a journey at sea shorter than 14 days will be required to make up the difference in quarantine once they dock in Fiji at their own cost. So, say they spend eight days alone at sea – they will then be required to pay for six days of quarantine in Fiji, after which they can be cleared by a negative test result, also at their own cost”.

The Prime Minister’s interest has been expressed in using the Pacific for travel, maintenance, and stocking in the build-up to the 36th America’s Cup next year, in which Fiji could be used as a safe “parking lot” until the start of cyclone season.

Cruise ships, meanwhile, are still strictly banned.

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