THE re-emergence of COVID-19 in New Zealand and Australia will further delay the resumption of international travel to Fiji, said Governor of the Reserve Bank of Fiji, Ariff Ali.

He made the comments in a RBF press release that was posted on the central bank’s website on August 27.

“The COVID-19 pandemic continues to soar across the globe,” he said.

“The resurgence of infections in Australia and New Zealand will now further delay the resumption of international travel to Fiji and defer the return to some form of normalcy of tourism, our largest industry.”

Mr Ali said on a positive note, there had been some progress in finding a vaccine. The outlook for RBF’s twin monetary policy objectives of low inflation and comfortable level of foreign reserves remain intact, said the central bank.

“However, the persistence of the pandemic and the associated delay in the resumption of international travel is a significant downside risk to the outlook.”

The RBF said it would closely monitor economic developments and risks and align monetary policy where appropriate.

“Domestically, partial indicators for consumption and investment remain well below those recorded a year ago and are in line with the forecast for the sharpest economic contraction on record,” said Mr Ali.

“However, recent sectoral data shows some improvements over the month.”