Fiji will officially reopen to international travellers from 1 December 2021 after being closed for nearly two years due to the pandemic. Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama announced the decision today [Sunday 10 October] – Fiji Day.
Residents of Australia and New Zealand are among a short-list of nationals that will be welcomed to the South Pacific tourism hot spot from the start of summer. Citizens of the USA, UK, UAE, Canada, Qatar, Germany, Spain, France, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Switzerland, Japan and most Pacific Island Countries and Territories will also be permitted.
“To our friends in Australia and New Zealand and to the residents of other countries we’re preparing to welcome, our message is simple: Fiji is ready to welcome you back to our shores,” said PM Bainimarama.
“We are entirely confident in our ability to manage the risk associated with quarantine-free travel. Our planes are prepared, our airports are adapted. Every Fijian hotel and tour operator in Fiji will be certified under the Care Fiji Commitment program. And our people’s world-renowned hospitality is as wonderful as you all remember. Our first scheduled tourism flight to the country — on Fiji Airways — will be on 1 December.”
Bainimarama said Fiji will enforce a “no-jab, no-fly policy”.
“Travellers aged 18 years and above must be fully vaccinated with either the Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca or – and this is a new addition – the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccines.”
Additionally, tourists from travel-partner countries will be able to enter Fiji with no quarantine requirement from 11 November onward ahead of the official opening on 1 December.
The country, which is ready to safely welcome travellers back after reaching the vaccination milestone of 80% of its eligible population being fully vaccinated, will still have some travel requirements in place to provide a level of assurance to both their visitors and its locals.
“Tourists will spend their first two days in Fiji on their hotel premises. They won’t be locked in a room. They can use all hotel amenities and get settled in.”
After 48 hours and a Rapid Diagnostic Test is taken, they will be granted “free reign of safe-travel areas”
“This two-day period of hotel confinement is a measure that we expect to relax as more Fijians become fully vaccinated,” Bainimarama said.
Tourists from travel-partner countries will need to provide a negative PCR test taken less than 3 days prior to departure from home country, and fulfilling any obligation to take an additional test prior to returning home, based on individual home country requirements. Unvaccinated children under the age of 18 will be able to travel to Fiji accompanied by a vaccinated adult.
“It’s been almost two years since we welcomed international visitors. And in these two years, we’ve struggled, we’ve adapted and we’ve prepared. Today, our national airline is ready, our hotels and tour providers are ready, and Fijians are ready to safely welcome the world back. We are ready to let happiness find you again,” said Minister for Tourism, Hon. Faiyaz Koya.
“We are ecstatic that Fiji will open its borders to international visitors before the end of the year,” says Tourism Fiji’s CEO Brent Hill.
“This is the moment we have been planning for nearly two years now and I can assure the world that Fiji is safe and ready to welcome you back. The islands are just as beautiful – if not more beautiful – than ever and the locals just as warm and friendly. Fiji is the vacation the world needs and deserves right now, and we can finally offer that again from December,” Hill said.
The health and safety of its people and visitors remains Fiji’s number one priority; Travellers can book and travel in confidence with the destination-wide Care Fiji Commitment, a World Health Organisation approved standard of best practice health and safety measures for travel in a post-COVID world. Every person in Fiji that visitors interact with on their holiday, will have a dedicated Wellness Ambassador responsible for keeping everybody safe, however travel insurance is still highly recommended.
Land and air travel packages will soon be available to book. Travellers can reserve their flights now on fijiairways.com and browse and book resort stays at www.fiji.travel.
Lead image: Kokomo Private Island, One Bedroom Sunset