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Wednesday 22 September 2021

Fiji readies to open its doors to tourists

Fiji plans to reopen its borders to international tourists by November, aiming to rebuild a pandemic-devastated economy. 

"Our goal is to free our country - and our economy - from the rut of the pandemic," Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama said in a statement.

Once 80% of Fiji's eligible population has been vaccinated, it will offer quarantine-free travel to visitors from a "green list" of locations.

Of Fiji's eligible population, 66% is currently fully vaccinated and Bainimarama predicts the country's target will be met by November 1, the Agence France Presse news agency reported. 

Fiji's current green list includes Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Canada, Korea, Singapore and parts of the United States.

Visitors would need to be fully vaccinated and test negative for Covid-19 prior to their departure en route to Fiji.

Once in Fiji, they would stay in designated zones where all contacts, from hospitality staff to tour operators, would be fully vaccinated.

Reviving tourism, which government figures estimate accounts for 40% of Fiji's economy, is seen as crucial to containing rising poverty in the  islands nation of under one million people.

Fiji was free of community transmission for a year before a Delta outbreak emerged in April.

The bulk of Fiji's tourists come from Australia and New Zealand, from where foreign travel is currently banned, and travellers from both countries would currently face a two-week quarantine at their own expense upon returning home.

# Image: Likuliku Resort, Fiji 

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