Island News

Inter-Island Ferry Operator Seeks Ways To Keep Business Afloat

Already Mr Baivatu’s vessels operating under the franchise scheme to Kadavu, Lau and Lomaiviti have ensured services and supplies to the island provinces are not affected.
26 Mar 2020 17:11
Inter-Island Ferry Operator Seeks Ways To Keep Business Afloat
South Island Traders managing director Ulaiasi Baivatu on April 23, 2019. Photo: Ronald Kumar

In light of the call by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama to avoid all non-essential travel including movement within the Maritime Zone a shipping operator has proposed measures to lift his business.

The strategy includes a plea for the Government to help on two fronts.

South Island Shipping owner Ulaiasi Baivatu said because these were extraordinary times and if the situation got worse Government should step in to help their business stay above water.

“It would be good to quarantine the area at Narain Jetty before passengers’ board vessels,” he said.

“The Ministry of Health should set up base at the wharf and their personnel conduct screenings for passengers and crew. Maybe some six hours before boarding.

“And if passengers travel to the islands are finally stopped than at least we should be allowed to transport essential goods so islanders do not lack supply of  their basics food items.”

Already Mr Baivatu’s vessels operating under the franchise scheme to Kadavu, Lau and Lomaiviti have ensured services and supplies to the island provinces are not affected.

He has also adopted initiatives in efforts to halt the spread of the infectious Coronavirus disease COVID-19.

These involve ensuring the hygiene of passengers along with crew members as well as physical distancing and use of temperature guns for screening those who maybe have above normal body temperatures of 30.8 Degrees Celcius.

On Tuesday, Mr Bainimarama urged all Fijians, everywhere in Fiji, to avoid all non-essential travel. That means no Fijian should travel from their home unless absolutely necessary.

“And they certainly should not be travelling around the country, across divisions or to different islands,” he said

Edited by Percy Kean.

Feedbackpercy.kean@fijisun.com.fj

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