Fiji’s national airline has announced flights to the South Pacific paradise will take-off for fully-vaccinated international visitors before the end of the year with eager Australians set to be some of the first to benefit.
The announcement from Fiji Airways comes after the country’s prime minister outlined protocols for international travel and what the new covid-safe normal will look like when borders reopen.
Arriving tourists will not have to complete quarantine but they must be fully vaccinated, present evidence of a negative test prior to boarding, and complete an additional rapid test at their pre-booked resort or hotel upon arrival.
Flights to resume as vaccination rates soar
It comes as the country edges closer to its target of having the entire working population vaccinated by November, as it aims to become one of the world’s first fully vaccinated tourist destinations.
The first commercial flight from Australia to Fiji since March 2020 is scheduled to depart Sydney December 1.
The airline is looking to launch 14 flights a week, twice a day from Sydney, with daily flights from Melbourne and Brisbane also planned to resume.
“After almost two years of no tourism, we cannot wait to welcome back international travellers,” Fiji Airways Managing Director and CEO Andre Viljoen said.
“We can finally give our Australian friends a big bula welcome onboard our aircraft and safely transport them to a well-deserved holiday in paradise.”
Mr Vijoen said Fiji Airways fully supports the health framework set out by the Fijian government and has implemented additional measures such as compulsory masks while flying.
“Fiji is a pioneer of covid-safe international travel,” he said.
Plan to fast track travel
Meanwhile, prime minister Scott Morrison and NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet have indicated they will "accelerate" opening the international border for NSW with vaccination rates rising rapidly.
Mr Morrison said it will be made possible once arrangements for seven day home quarantine are finalised.
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