SUVA - Fiji relaxed on Thursday its border restrictions for fully vaccinated travellers from travel partner countries which include New Zealand, Australia, Britain and the United States.
Fiji's Permanent Secretary for Health James Fong said that Fiji's quarantine protocols to support international travel have been adjusted to take into account the increasing protection gained by having fully vaccinated persons travelling with other vaccinated persons to highly vaccinated destinations.
He said that this will involve less stringent conditions with more priority given to the testing protocols that ensure early identification and isolation of positive travellers. This will involve a three-day stay in a hotel with a test to be done on day two. A negative result will allow for discharge into the community on day three.
According to Fong, from Thursday, they will be transitioning from Border Quarantine Protocols to Border Risk Reduction Protocol for all travellers coming in from travel partner countries.
From Thursday, incoming travel will be restricted to diplomats, returning Fiji residents, permit holders and those approved by the Covid-19 Risk Mitigation Taskforce.
Fong stressed that the Border Risk Reduction Protocol Processes will be trialled during this time and further refined in preparation for Dec. 1 when tourists can start arriving in Fiji.
Approvals for home quarantine in the island nation will be extremely limited during this pilot phase.
Fong added that changes to domestic travel quarantine protocols will be announced on Friday once vaccination coverage data in Fiji's second largest island of Vanua Levu and some of the maritime islands is obtained.
Currently, 88.7 percent of the adult target population in Fiji are now fully vaccinated while 22 117 children aged between 15 and 17 years have received two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine. A total of 96.8 percent of adults have received one dose while 33 307 children have received one dose.
Fiji reported its first confirmed Covid-19 case on March 19 last year and its second wave of Covid-19 started in April this year.
Fong has also warned that Fijians need to understand that the third wave of Covid-19 will come in the island nation, and Fijians need to ensure they take all measures to protect themselves and those around them.