Photo by Don Mammoser/Shutterstock
We could all use an escape to an island paradise right about now.
Fully vaccinated adults (as well as unvaccinated children accompanying them) can now travel to Fiji from the U.S. and several other countries.
After nearly two years of its borders being closed, the 333 islands that make up the South Pacific nation of Fiji reopened December 1 to vaccinated international travelers from select countries, including the United States.
Fiji pushed ahead with reopening plans, welcoming back its first tourists in more than 600 days, despite the threat posed by the newly detected Omicron coronavirus variant. Officials welcomed the first tourist flight from Sydney on Wednesday with more flights from Australia and the U.S. scheduled in the coming days.
Travelers from Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, United States, United Kingdom, and most Pacific Island countries and territories can now to travel to Fiji if they are fully vaccinated. They will also need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure, and then take another COVID-19 rapid test 48 hours after arriving at their hotel, resort, or accommodation in Fiji. Unvaccinated children under 18 are allowed to travel to Fiji as long as they are accompanied by a vaccinated adult.
Travelers will need to download the careFIJI contact tracing app to be able to enter into businesses in Fiji.
U.S. travelers should be aware that all international passengers age two and older flying into the U.S. (including returning U.S. citizens and permanent residents) must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test before boarding their flight to the United States.
Fiji Airways offers direct flights from numerous U.S. gateways to the islands.
“We have been waiting for this day for the past 20 months,” Fiji Airways chief executive Andre Viljoen told media on December 1.
He said the airline’s health and safety measures had been designed to account for potential coronavirus variants, and it had put in place extra screening for Omicron to ensure passengers hadn’t recently visited any high-risk countries.
Viljoen also said the airline experienced some cancellations in recent days following media coverage of the new variant, which was first reported in South Africa last week, but it also had re-bookings and new bookings, resulting in little overall change.
Tourism Fiji chief executive Brent Hill said 75,000 tourists had booked travel to the country over the next couple of months. Fiji was spared from the worst of the virus until April, when an outbreak of the Delta variant took hold. The outbreak killed nearly 700 people but has now faded to about five new infections each day.
About 64 percent of Fiji’s population is fully vaccinated and 70 percent have had at least one dose, according to Our World in Data. Fiji has compiled a list of certified resorts, where 100 percent of the staff have been vaccinated.
This story was originally published on October 11, 2021, and has been updated to include current information. Associated Press contributed reporting.
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