Fiji will begin reopening to international travellers in December after achieving its 80 per cent fully-vaccinated population target.
Fiji’s Prime Minister, Frank Bainimarama, said the country’s borders will reopen to international visitors from select countries from 1 December 2021.
Travellers from Australia, New Zealand, the US, the UK, the United Arab Emirates, Canada, Qatar, Germany, Spain, France, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Switzerland, Japan, and most Pacific Island countries and territories will be the first lot permitted to travel to the destination.
“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,” Bainimarama 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. 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.”
Fiji Airways revealed its plans to resume flights between Sydney and Nadi from the date that borders reopen, with flights taking off from Sydney on the morning of 1 December.
The airline 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.
Qantas and Virgin Australia have both scheduled flight resumptions between Australia and Fiji from 19 December and 23 December respectively.
On top of its high vaccine rates, Fiji plans to bolster safety for locals and visitors with a range of entry requirements and safety measures.
To enter Fiji, travellers must be fully vaccinated by a “travel partner” country, which is defined as one with high vaccination rates and low-test positivity rates, such as Australia.
Travellers will also need to provide a negative PCR test taken less than three days prior to departure from their home country and fulfil 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,” said Fiji’s Minister for Tourism, Faiyaz Koya.
“We are ready to let happiness find you again.”
In line with the announcement, Marriott International announced it will progressively re-open its range of Fijian resorts and villas.
Bookings are already open for Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay (featured image) and Sheraton Fiji Golf & Beach Resort, Sheraton Resort & Spa, Tokoriki Island and Sheraton Denarau Villas are all taking bookings for stays commencing from April 2022.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison recently announced Australia will lift its ban on overseas travel next month, allowing Australians to leave the country without needing an exemption.
Fully-vaccinated citizens and permanent residents will be able to quarantine at home for seven days after returning from overseas, instead of forking out thousands of dollars for two weeks in hotel quarantine.
However, key industry figures have urged the government to meet with travel industry bodies to establish a clear path to a resumption of travel before any real recovery can take place.
Featured image source: Marriott