FHTA COVID-19 Member Awareness Information
As of today, there are still no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Fiji. We remain free of infection but the World Health Organisation has now confirmed that the virus is spreading faster out of China now and the Fiji Government has put in place more stringent controls for border protection as well as issued travel restrictions for a wider range of countries.
There is an urgent need for extra vigilance from everyone.
Your staff may have questions or concerns about COVID-19 – more specifically, what precautions they should be taking to protect themselves, your property and customers. With the right plans and processes in place, both your staff and your customers will feel confident that appropriate steps have been taken to keep them protected.
FHTA recommends the following that are also CDC and WHO supported guidelines for your staff to ensure their safety and that of your customers and business and are meant to enhance what you may already have in place:
1. Separate fact from fiction
As with anything, there is a lot of misinformation available. Ensure your staff and customers are informed by factual, verified information about the virus – such as that provided by WHO. Their website even covers off common myths around coronavirus, which may be helpful for dealing with questions from both staff and customer Let your staff know that you will be communicating with them regularly (and how/where they can find that information) in order to keep them informed with up-to-date and relevant information.
Regular updates are provided by FHTA through information received from the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Health & Medical Services and the Department of Immigration and can be found on the FHTA website (website link).
Updates are available on CDC’s web page at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV
2. Heightened hygiene recommendations
- Wash hands – remind staff about the importance of thorough hand washing practices and ensure that policy reminders and signage are readily available and visible.
- Provide hand sanitisers – in places where your staff and customers interact each other and others
- Use Good Quality Disinfectants – check disinfectants being used are not overly diluted and are of good quality. Discuss these with your Housekeeping and Cleaning staff
- Food Handling – extra precaution should always be taken when it comes to food handling practices
- Sanitise Public Areas – increase vigilance and cleanliness protocols around areas such as elevators, door handles, handrails and drinking fountains.
3. Strongly Discourage kava bowl sharing
- Use a ladle to serve the kava
- Ensure that during kava ceremonies each guest uses their own separate kava drinking bowls (bilo) and that these are thoroughly washed if being reused later
- Discourage kava bowl sharing amongst staff immediately
4. Have an emergency plan in place
- Communicate with your guests and customers about what they should do and expect should they experience any symptoms.
- Prepare measures in the event of a suspected case
- If anyone develops any of the symptoms (fever, cough or difficulty breathing), you must immediately contact one of the numbers listed below. If you need to see a doctor please call ahead, using the provided phone numbers, before visiting the doctor to reduce the risk of infecting other patients.
5. Establish quarantine protocols
- What happens in the event that a guest, customer or staff member is suspected as a potential carrier of the virus? Along with your emergency plan, have quarantine processes mapped out and put in place immediately. You must be clear on what this could mean for your business in terms of staff, guests and business-as-usual operations.
- As with any emergency or epidemic, your business’s ability to react swiftly will make all the difference. Good preparation goes a long way in ensuring your staff and customers are at ease and they would be grateful for your communication channels to keep them informed and making certain their safety is a top priority.
6. Separate sick employees
- Sick employees should be encouraged to stay home.
- CDC recommends that employees who appear to have acute respiratory illness symptoms (i.e. cough, shortness of breath) upon arrival to work or become sick during the day should be separated from other employees.
- Employees who suspect they may have members of their family at home who are sick should be encouraged to get medical assistance.
7. Separate sick guests
- Guests in hotels who become sick should be isolated from other guests and requested to remain in their rooms and the emergency medical numbers provided below contacted As noted earlier, please call ahead, using the following phone numbers, before visiting to reduce the risk of infecting other patients.
- The numbers for each division are:
- Central 2219905
- Eastern 2219906
- Western 2219907
- Northern 2219908