Published on : Thursday, September 16, 2021
Fiji is all set to welcome tourists again by the end of 2021. The island nation had initially intended to reopen its borders to tourists in December, but the date is likely to move up as the country’s vaccination program continues. The mew of reopening was met with elated responses from Fiji’s tourism community, which has been harshly affected by the pandemic.
Despite the country being otherwise closed to foreign travelers, a group of 30 elite individuals were allowed to spend three months in the country as part of a special agreement with the government. However, in order to have a successful reopening, businesses, locals and visitors will need to follow guidelines laid out by the country’s Care Fiji plan. Travelers will need to download the Care Fiji app in their phones ahead of arriving in the country. They will be able to use the app to book hotels and resorts in line with the program.
Brent Hill, the CEO, Tourism Fiji, the country’s national tourism body said in a statement that travellers permitted to enter the country will need to be fully vaccinated, show evidence of a negative Covid-19 PCR test and be from a “green list” nation, although the criteria for the green list has not yet been released. Meanwhile, Faiyaz Koya, the Minister for Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport previously announced that the nation is collectively working towards a November reopening.
He mentioned that with COVID-safe behavior, the nation will reduce community transmission and give confidence that Fiji is a safe holiday destination and will not be a source of cases in their respective countries. He mentioned that he is confident with all the collective effort and will achieve the desired outcomes and create a safe environment to welcome back tourists.
The country’s national airline will also play a major role in the reopening process. Brent Hill mentioned that Fiji Airways is committed to putting on a strong schedule right from the get-go and are committed to opening across a number of their ports that they flew to and providing capacity. He also mentioned that there will be flight and resort deals on offer as part of the country’s reopening.
As per official records, half the country’s eligible adults have taken both doses of a vaccine, while the Fijian government has mentioned that 97.2 percent of the “target population” had received at least one shot. According to Tourism Fiji, the discrepancy has to do with the ages of those being vaccinated. About one-fourth of the country is under 18, and Fiji does not yet have vaccines specifically aimed at children.