Fiji drops pre-departure tests for vaccinated tourists from May

As of yesterday, the new curfew hours on the island of Viti Levu are from 6pm to 4am. Photo:...
Photo: Getty Images
Fiji has dropped pre-departure tests for tourists coming to the islands.

From Sunday 1 May, fully vaccinated travellers will no longer need to provide proof of a negative test to board a flight to Fiji.

The Fijian government's decision was met with enthusiasm from tourism operators.

Tourism Fiji CEO, Brent Hill, called it "another significant step for Fiji".

"The Fijian Government has continued to respond to data and science, and moved quickly to make these changes," he said.

Prior to the pandemic, two fifths of the islands' business was reliant on travel and tourism.

As they move into the vital winter travel season, Fiji Airways said it would be a boost for arlines.

"We expect even bigger numbers and we'll be ramping up our service in response," said a spokesperson for the airline.

But what does it mean for travellers?

Testing at the border

Airlines including Air New Zealand and Fiji Airways will no longer ask for tests to travel.

Pre-departure test requirements are set by the country you're transiting or travelling to.

Travellers will still need to pre-book RATs for arrival in Fiji.

The dropping of pre-departure tests means a potentially higher number of cases detected at the border.

Those planning travel should be prepared to Isolate in their hotel or resort for up to 7 days. After this period travellers will be provided a "fit to fly" certificate, allowing them to return home.

A top tip when booking accommodation is to check with your isolation protocols, should the worst happen.

While many resorts will allow you to isolate in your room, or even on a private island - other hotels will have to move positive or suspected guests to "overflow" facilities. This could even be in a different hotel, for the period of isolation.

Requirements to enter Fiji

As of April, vaccinated travellers could travel to Fiji for leisure without needing to book quarantine. The latest easing of restrictions sees pre-departure tests also dropped.

Some entry requirements will still need to be met before you can start your Fijian holiday:

You will need to book a "RAT on arrival" before flying to Fiji. This must be booked within 48-72 hours of arrival and costs $38FJD. Tests must be pre-booked at entrytestfiji.com.

Travellers over 16 will need to provide proof of vaccination against Covid-19, with a course recognised by Fiji's ministry of health.

Travellers must also have proof of travel insurance covering Covid-19.

For travellers flying to a destination still needing a pre-departure test before flying, these can be arranged through your hotel or phramacy. They cost around $30 for a RAT and $200 for a PCR, for destinations where rapid antigen tests are not accepted.

Make sure you have plans in case of contracting Covid while in Fiji.

Hotels and resorts registered under the Care Fiji Commitment (CFC) will have a health official or "Wellness Ambassador". They can help arrange pre-departure tests to leave and help you isolate safely, should you test positive.

As of April, tourists were no longer required to book accommodation through the CFC programme, however Tourism Fiji encourages tourists to look for accredited hotel options.

"Our recommendation is for NZ visitors to Fiji to continue to choose to stay and play in CFC approved accommodation and activity providers while on holiday in Fiji."

Since October 2020 there are now over 2,000 tourism providers and resorts signed up to the Care Fiji Commitment.

Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter