COVID-19: Fiji to reopen to international travellers in December

Authorities in Fiji have announced the country will open its borders to international travellers from December 1.

The announcement was made on Fiji Day on Monday (local time) which celebrates more than 50 years of the island nation's independence.

Landscape: Split underwater shot of family on ocean bilibili ride
Photo credit: Tourism Fiji

Earlier this year, Fiji was struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic, which was spreading fast and stretching the country's health system. But now 80 percent of the eligible population is vaccinated. 

Fiji's Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama said the nation is ready to welcome visitors back to its 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. I've seen their protocols first-hand," Bainimarama said. 

High Angle shot of couple relaxing on bilibili
Photo credit: Tourism Fiji

Travellers to Fiji must be fully vaccinated and come from a list of 'Travel Partner' countries, which New Zealand is on, and must have a negative PCR test taken 72-hours prior to departure. 

Fiji has set up designated travel-safe areas where travellers can visit knowing that everyone they interact with will be fully vaccinated. 

Children under 18-years-old can travel with a vaccinated adult.

Low angled aerial of couple kayaking towards island
Photo credit: Tourism Fiji

"This is the moment we have been planning for nearly two years and I can assure the world that Fiji is safe and ready to welcome you back," said Tourism Fiji's CEO Brent Hill.

"Our 333 islands are just as beautiful - if not more beautiful - than ever and the locals just as warm and friendly. Fiji delivers the holiday the world needs and deserves right now, and we can finally offer that again starting December." 

Under current New Zealand travel restrictions, visitors to Fiji would still need to quarantine upon return to Aotearoa, with MIQ supply still vastly outstripped by demand.

But Fijian authorities are confident the nation will be one of the first New Zealand opens itself up to when restrictions are eased further.