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COVID-19 travel restrictions to remain for now

February 15, 2020 4:50 pm

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has assured that travel restrictions implemented in light of COVID-19 will normalize when it is safe to do so.

Many local hotels and tour operators have reported vast cancellations of bookings from Asian tourists.

The World Bank and other economic experts have warned COVID-19 will have an adverse effect on many countries.

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There are no confirmed or suspected cases of the deadly virus in Fiji as our borders remain closed to all foreign nationals who have been present in mainland China within two weeks of their intended travel here.

The Prime Minister says the borders will remain closed as local health authorizes are constantly assessing the situation on the ground.

Bainimarama assured pre-screening measures remain in place to prevent any infected persons from transiting to Fiji.

“Stricter border controls, as well as travel disruptions around the world, are already having an impact on visitor arrivals and the global economy as a whole. The potential for further economic implications is substantial; for comparison, in 2003, the SARS virus was projected to have shaved as much as $100 billion US-dollars off the global economy. The coronavirus is expected to be much worse, and the World Bank has warned that least-developed countries will likely be hit the hardest by this crisis”.

COVID-19 has now infected more than 67,000 people globally, the vast majority in mainland China.

The death toll is at least 1,526, including three people outside mainland China.

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