Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama has outlined the country’s plan to lift border restrictions, The announcement comes with a reopen date on December 1 to limited countries. Australians will be among the first international guests allowed to visit Fiji.
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from sky news 12.10.21
Australians will be among the first international guests allowed to visit Fiji when the country reopens to tourists within weeks.
Fiji’s Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama this week outlined the country’s plan to lift border restrictions, with an official reopening to select countries on December 1.
Mr Bainimarama said the international border for tourism will first reopen to a list of “travel-partner countries”, including Australia, New Zealand, the United States and United Kingdom.
Fully vaccinated travellers from the approved countries are currently subject to seven day quarantine on arrival but that will begin to change from next month.
“From 11 November, we’ll reopen our border to these travel-partner countries in earnest,” Mr Bainimarama said.
“There will be no traditional quarantine requirement. Instead, we’ll have different sets of protocols for tourists, for residents and for those visiting friends and relatives.
“Tourists from travel-partner countries will have no quarantine requirement from 11 November onward ahead of our official reopening on 1 December. Instead, after showing proof of vaccination and testing negative for the virus 72 hours prior to their departure, they will arrive in Fiji and head straight to their hotel.”
Tourists travelling from “travel-partner countries” will be tested 48 hours after arrival, before being allowed to freely visit “safe-travel areas”.
“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,” Mr Bainimarama said.
“Then, a Rapid Diagnostic Test taken 48 hours after their arrival will grant them free reign of safe-travel areas, where they can take part in tours that allow our tour operators to make a living, shop for souvenirs and eat at restaurants. We’re drawing up the borders of those travel-safe areas now.
“They will be large enough for tourists to enjoy the best of Fiji, but restrictive enough to protect areas with low vaccination coverage. This two-day period of hotel confinement is a measure that we expect to relax as more Fijians become fully vaccinated.”
Mr Bainimarama said Fiji was eager to see the return of tourists, particularly from Australia and New Zealand.
“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,” he said.
“We are entirely confident in our ability to manage the risk associated with quarantine-free travel. Our planes are prepared. Our airports are adapted.”
The list of “travel-partner countries” also includes the United Arab Emirates, Canada, Qatar, Germany, Spain, France, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Switzerland, Japan and most Pacific Island countries and territories.
“To come to Fiji, travellers must have spent at least 10 days in any of these places. This list isn’t fixed, countries can be added as they achieve widespread vaccination of their populations,” Mr Bainimarama said.
“Fiji will have 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.
“And before departing for Fiji, anyone aged 12 years and above must show a negative RT-PCR result for COVID-19 from a test taken within three days of departure. At Nadi Airport, immediately upon arrival, all travellers must download careFIJI onto their phones.”
Fiji Airways has announced it is relaunching flights between Fiji and Sydney from December 1.
“From 1st December, Fiji Airways will launch 14 flights a week from Sydney (twice a day) on the new state-of-the-art Airbus A350-900 and energy efficient Boeing 737 Max, with daily flights from Melbourne and Brisbane also scheduled to resume,” the airline said.
Meanwhile, Jetstar flights from Sydney to Fiji will take wing from December 17 and Qantas services from December 19.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison this week revealed international borders could be reopened for Australian travellers from as early as November 1.
Mr Morrison confirmed plans to “accelerate” the reopening of international borders using home quarantine for fully vaccinated travellers have been discussed with New South Wales Premier Dominic Perrottet.