Editorial comment – Sticking to the rules

The signage at the Fiji's main international airport in Nadi. Picture: FT FILE

The reopening of the containment borders in September started a chain of events that saw a slow return of foot traffic in most urban centres around the country.

It then kick-started a rather quick return of traffic around the country as people lapped up the return of freedom to travel.

Now with sports set to return to the field this weekend, there is great anticipation among sports fans.

Soccer returns tomorrow, with the Fiji Football Association making no bones about the requirement to adhere to very strict COVID safe rules.

The momentum is building towards a return to some semblance of normality.

There appears to be a sense of appreciation of the scenarios that are unfolding in the wake of major decisions made by the powers that be.

In his Fiji Day address, the Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, said Fiji’s international border for tourism would reopen to a list of travel partners which include Australia, New Zealand, United States of America, United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, Canada, Qatar, Germany, Spain, France, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Switzerland, Japan and most Pacific Island Countries and Territories.

Any effort to boost our economy will no doubt be embraced with enthusiasm.

As we gear up for the planned reopening of our international border next month, and the great anticipation focused on tourism, we have to take a minute here to remind ourselves about safety matters.

On the homefront, let’s not be dragged into a false sense of security that the virus is no longer with us.

Let’s not be lulled into a corner, dreaming about being COVID-free.

The bottom line is that we are still reminded about community transmission.

We are still reminded about cases and our pretty high death rate since the second wave started in April this year.

The number of people who have died in the second wave should be a concern for us all.

It is too high and is a reflection of how we managed and responded to the second wave.

Our challenge is to appreciate and acknowledge what happened, and learn from that episode as we focus on moving forward.

In saying that, the next focus should be to keep the virus at bay, and fight the likelihood of a third wave as our borders open and international travellers arrive here.

We must be part of the solution.

That means staying focused.

It means adhering to COVID-safe rules.

Keep those masks on if you are going to be out in public.

Watch what you touch when out in public.

Keep a safe distance always.

Wash your hands often with soap and water.

This may sound like a recorder permanently on replay mode.

But the reality is that some of us are living life dangerously, ignoring safety rules.

We cannot afford to do that.

So as we go out to watch some of those soccer matches tomorrow, let’s keep this in mind.

We know what to do.

We know the safety rules.

We know what to avoid.

The onus is on us to do the right thing!

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