By Jenny Hewett
Dec 1, 2021
IT’S BEEN ALMOST TWO YEARS between poolside cocktails, but balmy Fiji is reopening as of December 1 (and, since we’ll be on the first flight over there with Fiji Airways, we’re extremely excited — so stay tuned for #bathrobemafia spam). Just in time, Fiji reached another milestone, announcing that 90 percent of its eligible population is now fully vaccinated, ensuring further peace of mind for tourists and staff. Despite that, there are still conditions that international travelers will need to meet before traipsing around Fiji’s 333 islands, jungle landscapes and powder-soft beaches. Here’s what you need to know.
Who can travel to Fiji under this initial reopening program?
Quarantine-free travel is open to fully vaccinated travelers from ‘Travel Partner’ countries, typically those with high vaccination rates and low case numbers. Currently Fiji recognizes Astra-Zeneca, Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. Unvaccinated children under 18 can travel with a vaccinated adult. Travel Partner countries include Australia, Singapore, Japan, Republic of Korea and the U.S. A full list can be viewed here: https://www.fiji.travel/faq
Do you have to quarantine?
Technically not. However, you’ll need to provide proof of a negative RT-PCR test before your flight, have travel insurance that covers any potential COVID costs and show proof of a minimum three-night accommodation booking at a Care Fiji Commitment certified property. Travelers will then be required to take a mandatory rapid COVID antigen test 48 hours after their arrival at their hotel (from FJ$30), download the careFiji contact tracing app and avoid travel to low vaccination areas. You’ll also need a negative RT-PCR test before you fly home (from FJ$150). With all testing in Fiji managed at your hotel, it’s wise to speak to them ahead of your trip.
Essentially, you can use the facilities within your resort and take part in experiences, tours and day-trips, as long as you use Care Fiji Commitment certified operators. Once the first three-day period has passed and you’ve received your negative test result, you’re free to explore Fiji as you wish.
What is Care Fiji Commitment (CFC)?
The Fijian tourism industry has efficiently implemented its Care Fiji Commitment program, a WHO-approved standard of best-practice health and safety measures. All staff at CFC certified businesses are 100-percent vaccinated and Wellness Ambassadors have been appointed to ensure COVID-safe protocols are being followed. Currently, more than 500 tourism operators are registered with CFC and more than 240 are soon to be certified. You can find a list of CFC resorts, hotels and operators here: https://www.fiji.travel/covid-19/safer-than-ever.
Who is flying to Fiji as of the reopening?
Fiji Airways has resumed direct flights for fully vaccinated travelers from Australia as of the country’s official reopening on December 1, from Singapore on December 7 and from Japan on December 8. Reassuringly, the airline has been awarded the highest possible COVID safety certifications by the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) and SimpliFlying for its hospital-grade health measures, as well as the SKYTRAX 5-star COVID-19 Airline Safety Rating, one of only six airlines in the world to achieve this recognition. And its contemporary flat-bed business class setup on the brand new A350 is considered to be one of the best in the region.
5 luxury vacay packages at resorts in Fiji
1. VOMO Island Resort
Channel Rebel Wilson, the new face of Tourism Fiji (and by default its awesome reopening), and kick back as she recently did at this ultra-luxury all-inclusive resort in the Mamanuca Islands. Popular with families is the Baby Butler Package, which includes up to eight hours of care per day for five days for FJ$580.
vomofiji.com; from FJD$9,150 for five nights year-round.
2. Nanuku Fiji
Get up to three nights free when you stay for nine, plus daily breakfast at this sprawling 220-hectare escape not far Beqa Lagoon. Auberge resorts are known for luxury and the one in Fiji is no different. Shorten your stay and you’ll still get rewarded, with guests who book seven days getting two nights free and those staying five getting one night complimentary.
aubergeresorts.com/nanuku; from FJ$12,300 for nine nights.
3. Castaway Island Resort
Courtesy of Castaway Island Fiji (2)
This sliver of an island is a playground for families and they want to feed you all for free, too. Book a stay of four nights or longer and you’ll receive all meals for the duration of your stay free. Package applies for two adults and two children 12 and under, plus added bonuses, such as high tea for two, or eight hours of babysitting.
reservation.outrigger.com; from FJ$4,550 for four nights in an Island Bure for travel until March 2023.
4. Kokomo Private Island
Arrive like royalty at this private-island resort when you book a stay of six nights or more. Travelers opting for the ‘Fly Free’ package get complimentary return heli or seaplane transfers from Nadi International Airport, which includes a refreshing wait at Komoko’s luxury transfer lounge before boarding, plus a 45-minute spa treatment at the resort and all meals.
kokomoislandfiji.com; from FJ$4,210 per villa per night for select dates in 2022 and 2023.
5. Shangri-La Yanuca Island
Even in far-flung Fiji, when it comes to resorts, ‘a resort within a resort’ is peak luxury. The adults-only Reef Wing offers a package for couples, which includes a bottle of wine on arrival, exclusive access to the infinity pool in the adults-only precinct, complimentary sunset cocktails and canapes, adults-only lunchtime dining and 30 extra minutes when you book an hour-long massage.
shangri-la.com/yanucaisland; from FJ$429 per night.