The discovery of a potentially more contagious strain of the coronavirus in the United Kingdom has prompted Fijian authorities to restrict incoming flights to Fiji from today.
Fiji’s borders will remain closed to incoming flights until Monday 28 December to allow the Ministry of Health and Medical Services to review its border quarantine processes against this fast-spreading variety of the virus.
Exemptions, however, may be made by the Permanent Secretary for Health for inbound travellers from countries other than those affected by this potentially contagious strain of the novel Coronavirus.
The situation will be reviewed during this period and may be extended, the ministry said in a statement.
Fiji joins a host of countries that have halted travel from the UK for the same reason. On Monday, Australia reportedly recorded cases of the new COVID-19 strain.
“If this new strain of the virus is easier to transmit, it could potentially pose an increased risk of inflight transmission to other passengers. The review will assess what steps Fiji may need to take to proactively mitigate any increased risk from this newly-discovered strain.”Fiji Ministry of Health
Meanwhile, several repatriation flights have been approved to land up to 24 December.
The ministry said any traveller on-board these flights coming from the UK, as well as passengers deemed as travelling contacts of UK-based travellers, will be identified and quarantined separately.