The Fiji travel bubble: Everything you need to know about travelling to Fiji
If you’re planning to jump on a flight to Nadi in the post-pandemic world, here is everything you need to know for a seamless experience.
The information in this article is correct as at the time of publishing. We recommend all guests travelling to check the latest information and advice on the relevant Government websites. The Australian Government information is available at the Department of Home Affairs, Department of Health and Smartraveller. Fiji Government information is available at mcttt.gov.fj.
With the opening of Fiji’s borders to international tourists on 1 December, Australians once again have the chance to access one of the world’s great destinations, the land of “bula”, the friendly island nation that wraps its visitors in such a famously warm embrace.
To travel once again to Fiji is to experience everything this beautiful nation represents, from family-friendly resort stays, to immersive cultural experiences, world-class diving and snorkelling, and pure, blissful beachside relaxation. This is a country that does tourism well, and we can’t wait to get back there to enjoy it.
Of course, this is a post-pandemic world, so not everything is the same as it once was, and that includes travel to Fiji. There are processes in place to protect travellers and to protect the island nation, which currently has a COVID-19 vaccination rate of 65%. The new rules for travellers may seem complicated and a little restrictive to begin with, though follow them all and there’s no reason why a holiday in Fiji can’t be just as relaxing and exciting and enjoyable as it always was.
If you’re planning to jump on a flight to Nadi (and then flying back home to Australia again), here is everything you need to know for a seamless experience. Though do be aware that rules and restrictions are rapidly changing, and though everything in this story was correct at the time of publishing, we encourage you to check with both Australian and Fijian authorities before booking and travelling to get the most up-to-date information.
Credit: Tourism Fiji.
WHEN WILL FIJI OPEN ITS BORDERS TO AUSTRALIA?
From 1 December, anyone travelling on an Australian, New Zealand or American passport – as well as selected others – will also be allowed to enter Fiji for the purposes of tourism. Virgin Australia will begin its Sydney to Nadi flights on 17 December, which is great news for those planning a summer getaway.
What are the requirements to leave Australia?
Double-vaccination against COVID-19
You will need to be double-vaccinated against COVID-19 to leave Australia without special permission from the Department of Home Affairs. Provided you have had those two shots – of the AstraZeneca, Moderna or Pfizer vaccine – you will be allowed to leave the country for a holiday in Fiji, or anywhere else in the world that is currently accepting tourists. Children under 12, who are currently not eligible for a vaccine in Australia, are exempted from this rule.
What are the entry requirements to Fiji?
Have spent the past 10 days in Australia or another approved partner country. Please see https://www.fiji.travel/covid-19/travelling-to-fiji for the full list of partner countries.
Travellers aged 18+ need to be double-vaccinated against COVID-19 at least 14 days prior
Travellers aged 12+ must present evidence of a negative RT-PCR test taken 72 hours before departure.
You must stay at Care Fiji Commitment (CFC) certified hotel for the first three nights and you may take part in CFC approved excursions and activities within the Safe Travel Area during this period. You must also produce proof of a minimum of three nights pre-paid accommodation at a Care Fiji Commitment (CFC) certified property (hotel/resort) which must also include CFC certified transport from the airport.
You must take an approved Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) two days after arrival in Fiji at your hotel.
Travellers must have medical travel insurance, with international coverage that covers COVID-19 before travelling
Proof of the above
A mask for the airport and the flight
There are rules to follow to ensure smooth entry into Fiji. To begin with, you and everyone you are travelling with will have to have spent at least the past 10 days in Australia, or other approved partner country, prior to departure to Nadi.
All travellers aged 18 and over will have to be double-vaccinated against COVID-19 at least 14 days prior to departure, and all travellers 12 and over must produce a negative PCR test taken no more than two calendar days prior to the scheduled day of departure. This applies to anyone disembarking in and transiting through Fiji.
Getting that PCR result isn’t as simple as rolling up to your local hospital and taking a test as normal. For international travel, you will need to find a local pathology clinic that performs PCR tests and then supplies the necessary documentation. This is likely to cost about $150. To find local clinics, google “travel PCR test” and your city or suburb – there are plenty offering this service, and there are even facilities at Sydney airport that can turn around results in an hour, though at a higher cost.
As per Smartraveller guidance, the Fiji government requires that all travellers must have medical travel insurance, with international coverage for COVID-19, before arriving in Fiji.
At the airport
So now you’re all set to board your flight to Nadi. At the airport you will need to have with you proof of vaccination, proof of PCR test results, proof you’ve been in Australia for the past 10 days (photos, receipts etc), as well as all of the standard travel documentation. Note that Virgin Australia’s self-check-in counters are currently closed, and it is recommended to arrive at the airport four hours before departure for international flights, to allow time for all of the extra checks that are now necessary.
And you’re on the plane! Although, before you switch your phone to flight mode, download the careFIJI app, which will be necessary throughout your time in Fiji – this is a check-in app, similar to those used in Australia, which you will use to scan QR codes and record your locations while on holiday.
Credit: Tourism Fiji.
What you’ll need to do when in Fiji
On arrival in Nadi, you and your family members will have to make your way directly to a Care Fiji Commitment-approved hotel for at least the first three nights of your stay. This is a little like quarantine, only you get use of all facilities at the hotel or resort; so really, it’s not that much like quarantine.
Care Fiji Commitment accreditation is awarded to hotels and resorts that have World Health Organisation-standard health and safety measures, as well as 100 per cent vaccinated staff, and access to isolation facilities, testing and medical care. There are a wide range of accommodation providers across Fiji who have been awarded this accreditation, and travellers can move between them during their three days of quarantine.
As well as a stay in one of these hotels or resorts, travellers over 12 will have to take a rapid-antigen COVID-19 test within 48 hours of arrival (facilitated by the hotel). If you test positive, you will be required to isolate for 10 days, which can be done at your accommodation in which you’re completing your quarantine.
Get a negative result, however, then see out your three days in CFC-approved accommodation, and you’re free to move around Fiji as normal. You will need the careFIJI app to check into facilities and attractions, and there are certain parts of Fiji with low vaccination rates that are currently off-limits to foreign visitors, though this is changing all the time, and a map will be provided on arrival to highlight these areas.
Other than that, follow all public health measures, including mask-wearing where necessary, relax and enjoy.
What you’ll need for your return to Australia
Proof of a negative PCR test within 72 hours of departure
Standard travel documentation
A mask for the airport and flight
Two COVID-19 tests back in Australia (one within 24 hours and one on or after day seven)
All too soon, it will be time to fly back to Australia. To do this, you will first need to be an Australian citizen or permanent resident. You and all family members over four years of age will need to take a PCR test in Fiji within 72 hours of departure, and return a negative result.
Facilities to perform these tests can be found in Nadi and Suva, and tests can also be performed at selected CFC-approved hotels and resorts throughout Fiji. The time taken to return results, however, varies, and you will need to ensure, firstly, that your test takes place within 72 hours of your flight departing, and that the results – and necessary documentation – will be returned before you make your way to the airport. This is the traveller’s responsibility, and it’s something you will need to factor into your plans, whether you’re going to be in Nadi or Suva within 72 hours of departure, or staying at accommodation that can facilitate a test.
If you return a positive result, you will be required to isolate and stay in Fiji until you can return a negative result, or prove – via a doctor’s certificate – that you have recovered from COVID-19 in order to fly back to Australia.
For all travellers at Nadi airport, ensure you have your test documentation, your vaccination certificate, and all of the standard travel documentation to return to Australia. And of course, bring a mask – it will have to be worn on all flights.
If you’re flying back into NSW, Victoria or the ACT, there are no quarantine requirements upon arrival yet you will be required to take two more COVID-19 tests, which can be done at free government testing centres: the first within 24 hours of arrival, and the second on or after day seven after arriving.
Clearly, there are a lot of hoops here to jump through to holiday in Fiji, and a lot of changes for those who were used to travel in the pre-pandemic world. However, take the necessary precautions, plan well and follow the rules, and paradise awaits.
Whether you like a relaxing or an active holiday, Fiji has something for everyone. Book flights to Fiji with Virgin Australia and discover pure paradise for yourself.