Fiji is Open for Happiness – We can travel to Fiji now!

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FIJI TRAVEL INFORMATION

as at 10 January 2021

On the 1st of December 2021, Fiji opened for happiness for fully vaccinated residents of NSW and Victoria. The other States will follow as their respective Governments see fit. Home quarantine requirements have been removed for fully vaccinated international arrivals to Victoria and New South Wales. You are however, required to get do a PCR test within 24 hours of arriving home and to self- isolate until you get a negative result.  A follow up PCR test is also required at day 6. Both of these tests can be undertaken at any Government testing clinic. 

These tests are additional to the overseas test you are required to do 72 hours prior to returning home.

As is the case for all destinations, travel will be a little different than it was in 2019 when you just grabbed your passport, sunscreen and jumped on the next available flight. There are requirements that must be adhered to pre, during and post travel.  These requirements are changing and adapting constantly, and it is imperative that prior to travel you seek the most recent advice from the official sources.

Travelling to Fiji:  https://www.mcttt.gov.fj/home/traveltofiji/international-travel/

Travelling to/from Australia:  www.smarttraveller.gov.au

Prior to departure

Passport: Ensure your passport is valid at least six months beyond your anticipated return date.

State Restrictions: Whilst Victoria and NSW have confirmed quarantine free travel; this is not the case for all States. Ensure you have checked the travel requirements for your state of origin as you may require re-entry permits, pre-approval to depart, and quarantine on your return (at your expense).

Vaccination: You must be fully vaccinated with a Fiji COVID-19 approved vaccine. These are Astra Zeneca, Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson and Johnson. There must be a minimum of 14 days between your second vaccination dose and the day of your departure. All travellers aged 12 years + must have internationally recognised proof of that vaccination and provide it at the time of travel. Travellers under 12 years will be exempt provided they are accompanied by a fully vaccinated parent/guardian.

Please ensure your name on your vaccination certificate is identical to your name in your passport.  All vaccination certificate information can be found at https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/subjects/getting-help-during-coronavirus-covid-19/covid-19-vaccinations/what-types-proof-there-are/international-covid-19-vaccination-certificate-proof     

Your Itinerary: Prior to arriving in Fiji, you must have stayed in a Travel Partner Country for at least ten days before departure. Australia and New Zealand are both travel partner countries. You must have purchased a prepaid itinerary, including a minimum three nights accommodation at a Care Fiji Commitment (CFC)^ certified property (hotel/resort). Your itinerary must include CFC certified ground transfers from the airport.

^Care Fiji Commitment was implemented by Tourism Fiji and has been WHO approved to the highest standard of best practice health and safety measures. You can read more here and see a comprehensive list of certified properties and transfer operators – https://www.fiji.travel/covid-19/safer-than-ever

Travel Insurance: Comprehensive Travel Insurance that includes COVID-19 medical cover is mandatory for travel to Fiji. You will be asked to present proof of your valid cover at airport check in and you will be refused boarding if you cannot present it. It’s important to note that not all travel insurance is equal, and it is often the case that if it is free with your credit card, it may not include COVID-19 cover.  At the time of writing, travel insurance will not cover you against expenses incurred in the event of a border closure.

PCR Test: All travellers 12 years and above are required to produce a negative RT-PCR test taken no more than two calendar days before the day of departure (this has changed from the 72 hour requirement). Note that you require valid proof of your pre-departure COVID 19 test before heading to the airport. Private pathology clinics generally provide the approved documentation.  You are responsible for paying for this COVID 19 test. Free Government testing clinics (drive-throughs, for example, where you would currently go if you were symptomatic) are not suitable in most cases, as you need to ensure your test result includes all the necessary information to meet the relevant government requirements for international travel.  A standard test result will not suffice. Wherever you get your test done, ensure that you make it known at the outset that you require it for international travel purposes and be guided by their response as to whether they are capable of doing it or not. These tests cost approx. $80 – $200 per person. We understand that many of the PCR testing clinics that provide travel certificates require you to take your passport with you at the time of testing. 

Testing clinics in Australia are currently under significant duress due to high volumes.  If you are able to prebook your test at a relevant time to ensure you get your results prior to travel, we strongly urge you to do so.  

Are you feeling poorly? Stay home!

If you wake up on the day of travel or feel ill the day before travel, stay home! Contact your travel agent to discuss your options.

When in Fiji

Contract Tracing: You must download Fiji’s contract tracing mobile application CareFIJI and keep your Bluetooth always turned on when in Fiji.

Rapid Antigen Test: Your first 72 hours must be spent in a CFC-approved resort. You are no longer required to ‘quarantine’ within your hotel on arrival but rather, are requested to exclusively use CFC approved experiences, restaurants and businesses. Ensure that you check-in using the QR codes and provide proof of vaccination.

If you are required to spend overnight in Nadi due to transfer restrictions, you can do so providing it is an approved resort and your ongoing transfers/resort are likewise CFC approved. You will then be required to take a rapid COVID 19 test after 24 hours of arriving in Fiji (this has changed from the 48 hour requirement). Providing you test negative, you will be free to explore Fiji, bearing in mind the requirement to stay within CFC-approved properties, excursions and activities within the Safe Travel area.

The Rapid Antigen Test will be at your expense (estimated to be approx. F$35 per person). This will be done by trained professionals/certified health professionals associated with the hotel.

If you test positive whilst in Fiji, you will most likely be sent to a Fiji Government-approved Quarantine Hotel (at your expense) or isolated within your confirmed hotel depending on their ability to accommodate you, and require further testing and a minimum  7 day isolation (previously 10 days) assuming that at the end of the 7 days you are fever free for 24 hours and other symptoms have improved.  Each CFC approved resort has a designated and trained wellness ambassador and they will be able to assist you with ‘what happens next’ in the instance you do test positive.

COVID Safe practices: Whilst Fiji has achieved over 80% of its eligible population vaccination target, there is still an element of the public that is vulnerable to COVID. Therefore, masks will be required in relevant situations, and social distancing will apply.  Please avoid visiting low vaccination areas when in Fiji.

Coming Home

Travel declaration: Every traveller entering Australia should complete an Australia Travel Declaration 72 hours before they travel. The successful submission of your declaration does not guarantee entry into Australia. https://atd.homeaffairs.gov.au/

Australia requires a PCR Test to be undertaken within 72 hours of your departure. You will require proof that you have tested negative to board your flight and return home.

At the time of this article, it was anticipated that the CFC resorts would assist guests to either undertake the test, or coordinate getting the test done in a local clinic, depending on where guests are staying. These tests will again be at your expense, and whilst we are waiting on confirmation, it appears that the costs will vary depending on the location of the resort and the facilities available. We are anticipating that these will cost between F$180-F$350 per person. Transfer costs may also be incurred. Test results will be text directly to your mobile phone.

You will NOT be permitted to return home if you have not received your PCR test result at the time of airport check-in or if you test positive. In the latter instance, you will again be required to quarantine in Fiji at your expense.  

Note – The Australian Government currently requires a negative PCR test or a 14 day period to have passed since the first positive result before guests can return home.  Therefore an Australian who is still testing positive will be discharged from isolation after 7 days, but will need to wait for the full 14 days before returning to Australia.  A ‘Fit to Fly’ certificate will be provided at the completion of your 7 day isolation period.

We recommend that you undertake your return PCR test as early as you can (max. 72 hours before departure) to provide as much time as possible for the results to be returned to you.

As the traveller, you are responsible for ensuring you are compliant with all COVID regulations when travelling to an international destination and returning to Australia. Any costs incurred, such as testing and quarantine, are additional to any package cost and will be borne by you directly. Requirements are changing and adapting constantly, and it is the traveller’s responsibility to ensure they have met all criteria required within the time frames demanded by each destination.

Marilyn Lynch

Director – Island Escapes 

DISCLAIMER: This is to be used as a general travel guide only.  The information within is a collation of official information provided by government websites and resources on the day of writing. Although all care has been taken to ensure accuracy, international travel advice is changing daily. We suggest you regularly refer to the official government website links we have added throughout.two calender

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