Australia’s favourite island destination opens for holidaying!

Travel BlogFiji man jumping on jetty
Listen to Australia’s favourite island destination opens for holidaying!

Fiji will officially open borders and start welcoming travellers from November 11 – hurrah! Read on for details on what Fiji reopening travel will be like, how will it take place, and more importantly – when can we all start having holidays we deserve. Especially epic Fijian holidays.

Fiji: Vaccinated and ready!

As of writing, Fiji is now 80% fully vaccinated and steadily rising. To celebrate this occasion, Fijian prime minister Frank Bainimarama announced on Fiji’s national day that the island nation will be opening for international travellers from November 11. Additionally, from December 1, Fiji Airways will start operating its international tourist flights again.

All domestic travel restrictions will also be lifted from November 11. Masks are on, very much – but that’s it. Weddings and parties can take place sans any restrictions. Sports like rugby, netball, soccer are on in stadiums! And here, we would like to take a pause and reflect such banal, everyday announcements would have never given rise to such joy and happiness. But we’ve waited patiently, stuck to the path and this is where the pot of gold is for all of us. Fiji opening borders is true.

Will Fiji open to Australia?

PM Bainimarama simultaneously announced relaxation of COVID restrictions as travel picks up. This included erstwhile mandatory quarantine periods from designated travel partner countries like Australia, New Zealand, USA, the United Kingdom, and other countries. So yes, Fiji opening for Aussie travellers is very much on.

What vaccines is Fiji accepting?

Vaccination and Fiji
Vaccinated? Fiji is waiting!

As of right now, Fiji recognises the AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and Moderna vaccines. But, as with other countries, this list will keep getting updated. The crux is, if we’re to travel anywhere now, a double dose of vaccination is necessary. Nay, mandatory. Anti-vaxxers should invest in home upgrades and better WiFi, says a recent Traveller Australia op-ed and we cannot but agree.

Fiji Opening Borders: New Normal for post-lockdown holidays

Travellers will need to have with them a proof of vaccination and COVID-negative RT-PCR test report before departure. Once they land and clear customs, there is no quarantine restrictions whatsoever. Travellers will make their way to their designated hotel and pass another COVID-negative test within the first 48 hours. “They won’t be locked in a room. They can use all hotel amenities and get settled in. A COVID test taken within 48 hours after their arrival will grant them free rein of safe travel areas,” the Fijian PM said. Then, travellers can freely go on tours, shop, eat and … holiday like 2018!

To be honest, this is not so different from a soft quarantine. But haven’t we often moseyed about the resort on a relaxed holiday? It’s not so different, and a tiny sacrifice at best, we think.

The safe travel zones are being inked now – this is temporary and to protect areas with currently low vaccination coverage. Bainimarama added that even the two-day hotel confinement would most probably be relaxed as more and more Fijians become fully vaccinated.

careFIJI app
Coming to Fiji for a holiday? Get careFIJI app!

Care Fiji Commitment Certified Hotels & Resorts

The PM also announced that all hotels and tour operators working with inbound tourists must become Care Fiji Commitment Certified with Fiji reopening. It means that all hotels and resorts have WHO-approved health and safety practices throughout their business. The programme mandates stringent standards of comfort, safety, and health. Resorts, hotels and motels must make the arrangements for and bear the costs of all COVID-19 testing, and must assure access to ‘comfortable, well-supplied isolation facilities and medical care’.

Plus, each resort and hotel will have a Wellness Champion, a point-person who oversees COVID safety of guests and staff.

PM Bainimarama said ‘’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. We are entirely confident in our ability to manage the risk associated with quarantine-free travel. Our planes are prepared. Our airports are adapted”.

Fiji resort kids club activity
Families, couples, experiential travellers; hear one, hear all: Fiji is welcoming international travellers again!

What about countries which are not Fiji’s Travel Partners?

Travellers from other parts of the world have complete a 10-day quarantine in a centre on arrival, then return a negative COVID-19 test result. But even these measures will be slowly relaxed eventually. Besides Fiji Airways, other airlines such as Qantas and Jetstar have also announced direct flights from Sydney to Fiji from mid-December. Depending on demand, more connections would be added, they said.

No Quarantine Fiji Holidays? Yes, please!

For travellers, airlines and the travel industry, this is the beginning of returning travel to bigger and better than what we left at the end of 2019. Globally, the travel sector has had time to rest, reflect and make critical changes to how we soak in and experience travel and tourism. With Fiji opening borders setting dates to border reopening, let’s bring back happy South Pacific holidays!

Check out our other blogs on what resorts are doing with regards to COVID-safe preparations. Oh, did you know we cover anything and everything South Pacific? Yeah, check out our blogs, Top 10 listicles, deep dives and more on Fiji, Samoa, Cook Islands, Tahiti, and more!

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