‘Fiji will not lift COVID restrictions’

Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Health and Medical Services Dr James Fong stresses a point during the joint press conference between Ministry of Tourism and Police. Picture: RAMA/FILE

Fiji will not lift COVID-19 restrictions out of fear of a resurgence of cases which was experienced after a few health measures were relaxed in November last year.

Responding to questions on whether Fiji would follow the latest strategy taken by the United Kingdom, Ministry of Health permanent secretary Dr James Fong said Fiji had learnt from countries that had made similar moves, only to experience a resurgence in cases.

“Unfortunately, we have seen that done before by many countries only to be followed by a resurgence of the virus,” Dr Fong said.

“In Fiji we had the same experience.”

This week UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced in the English Parliament the lifting of all COVID-19 measures introduced to combat the Omicron variant, like compulsory mask-wearing on public transport and in shops, guidance to work from home and vaccine certificates – from next week.

Mr Johnson also told the House of Commons that the legal requirement on people with coronavirus to self-isolate would be allowed to lapse when the regulations expired on March 24, and that date could be brought forward.

Supported by cheers from some on the Conservative side of Parliament, Mr Johnson announced an immediate end to the need for pupils to wear masks at secondary schools.

British media had reported that although it had been expected that Mr Johnson would announce the end of work-from-home guidance and the need to show a certificate proving vaccination or a recent negative COVID test to enter some venues, the immediate lifting of mandatory mask rules came as a surprise to some.

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