Fiji is preparing to reopen its borders to international travelers in November as the tropical destination looks to allow non-essential travel for the first time since the pandemic began.
When the pandemic started, Fiji closed its borders to all non-citizens and prevented international travel. However, Fiji Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama announced that he plans to reopen on November 1st.
If the planned November 1st opening goes ahead, that will be months before Fiji had initially planned to reopen. The Prime Minister stated that based on recent developments locally and abroad, the government is confident it can achieve its reopen if we stick to the plan.
The Prime Minister declared, “That’s the target we’ve set now, and it bases itself on the success we’ve had with the vaccination campaign.”
The Entry Requirements
As of yet, Fiji hasn’t confirmed the proposed entry requirements for international travelers. But reports suggest the nation will only allow fully vaccinated travelers to enter the country.
The government suggests the only exemptions would be for a “few emergencies.” The Fiji Health Secretary James Fong said Fiji would build a solid border health team, including the military and police, to provide leadership to strengthen the quarantine measures on the borders and prepare for international arrivals.
He also said, “We are also setting up a container laboratory in Namaka which has the capacity to process around 500 tests per day.” The Tourism and Trade Minister, Faiyaz Koya stated, “Our preparation is largely attributed to how we have come together, with a shared vision, to ramp up co-ordination.”
The Tourism and Trade Minister also believes that the nation will base the reopening on variants of concern, vaccination levels, and the number of tests available on the border.
At the moment, there is only one way you can visit Fiji — by booking a private island, which starts at $9,600 per night and booking a minimum of 14 nights. Alternatively, you can enter if you own a private yacht. So basically, for 99.9 percent of people, there is no way of getting into Fiji.
According to Tourism Fiji CEO Brent Hill, Fiji is already working with airlines to streamline the process and prepare for reopening.
He stated, “It’s quite a detailed and lengthy process to work through, starting with how to make sure our product is ready and at the international level that we want,”
“There are all the elements around what protocols we put in place to keep both locals and tourists safe. We want people to feel incredibly safe coming to Fiji.”
The COVID-19 Situation In Fiji
Fiji has largely controlled the COVID-19 pandemic. There have been over 47,256 confirmed cases of COVID-19 on the islands, and the country has recorded over 500 deaths. Fiji’s remote nature has helped keep COVID-19 cases low in the country.
Furthermore, the country has administered over 821,657 vaccine doses as of August 27th, 2021. Fiji has fully vaccinated 26.4 percent of its population, and that’s a total of 235,000 vaccine doses.
Fiji only started vaccinating its population in April, and the country has speeded up the vaccination rates considerably in recent weeks. Fiji attracts around 1.3 million visitors per year, and many tourists come from the U.S, Europe, and Australia.
However, Fiji has directly given priority to its citizens working in the travel sector, which equates to around 100,000 people. Reports suggest they’ve vaccinated everyone that works in the tourism industry.
The news that Fiji is reopening soon gives U.S travelers another gorgeous tropical destination to visit this winter.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com