Chichibunomiya Minato Rugby Matsuri 2022

The Fiji Embassy Tokyo participated in the “Chichibunomiya Minato Rugby Matsuri 2022” supported by KOWA Vantelin, at Chichibunomiya Rugby Ground in Tokyo on Sunday, 24 April 2022.

PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT – ONLINE VEHICLE SALE FRAUD

The Fiji Embassy Tokyo [FET] warns consumers that criminal perpetrators may post fraudulent online classified advertisements offering vehicles for sale that are not, nor have ever been, in their possession.

The fake advertisements usually include photos matching the description of the vehicle and a phone number or email address to contact the supposed seller. Once contact is established, the criminal sends the intended buyer additional photos along with an explanation for the discounted price and the urgency of the transaction.

Once the transaction is completed, the criminal typically ignores a follow-up call, text messages, or emails from the buyer or may demand additional payments. In the end, the vehicle is not delivered, and the buyer can never recuperate their losses.   

Tips for Avoiding Fraudulent Online Vehicle Sales:

  • Collect information about used vehicle exporters with all details about their company, establishment, address, email, telephone, and others.
  • Check the address on Google search, call on the landline phone numbers, and ask for a police verification certificate and registration. You can search the company on JETRO, JUMVEA, etc. All the information and establishment year of the company helps you judge the goodwill of the exporter.
  • Contact the exporter and enquire about the purchase process and payment terms. Take a printout or save it. Carefully go through again. Clarify all doubts. If terms are clear, that is a sign that they are well experienced and honest.
  • Check the stocks of the exporter for two-three days and note if stock is changing and new items are added. If yes, that means they are active in the business.
  • Select a vehicle and check the details, including pictures from all angles, VIN, or inspection sheets. These certificates assure you what you will get through inspection of all used vehicles, both interior and exterior, and verifying the chassis number of the vehicle is done. Then the vehicles are stamped. Place an order for one unit in your first deal. If the deal is as you expected, then go-ahead for more. 
  • Do not be carried away by low-price offers that could be a trap from the frauds. Take ample time to check and make a decision always and compare an offer from different exporters.
  • Ask for a reference buyer or importer in Fiji who already imports a car from the exporter. You can cross-verify from buyer/importer about dealing with an exporter. 
  • Avoid sellers who refuse to share their company`s registration details.
  • Criminals take extra effort to disguise themselves and have recognizable words in their email names or domain. If you are suspicious or unsure about an email that claims to be from a legitimate business, locate the company online and contact them directly.
  • Don’t give out your financial or personal information, such as credit card number or bank account information, until you verify that the online company you’re liaising with is legitimate.

Should you need any clarifications pertaining to the above, please feel free to contact Second Secretary, Mr. Ashneel Shankar on ashneel.shankar@fijiembassy.jp

Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum’s Statement on Lifting of COVID-19 Restrictions, Sunday, 6 February 2022

Bula Vinaka.

This announcement is to review our COVID response and make some important changes to our strategy. But before we get into those details, we want to speak briefly on the serious flooding brought by heavy rains in the West.

A total of five schools have opened as evacuation centres; three schools in Ba, one in Lautoka, and one in Nadi. Heavy rain is expected to continue till mid-week and flash and riverine flooding will be an issue in the coming days for the Western Division and some places in Vanua Levu.

This, unfortunately, has had some unexpected implications for the primary school students in the West who we know have been looking forward to returning to their classrooms and seeing their friends and teachers.

Due to the flooding, all primary and secondary schools in the West will be closed for the next week. We know that’s disappointing news for students who have all been preparing for their return to the classroom, but the weather has taken a very poor turn and it’s safest we wait another week until the rains clear up.

The Central, Eastern, and Northern divisions are not impacted by this decision which means that all schools in these divisions will be open as scheduled and will be welcoming back teachers and students. But, if the rains do pick-up in any of these areas, we’ll have no choice but to close the schools.

And, in the interest of fairness, we are pausing Year 13 exams and deferring the remaining exams until next week nationwide. Year 12 exams all over Fiji are deferred to next week as well.

Now, let’s review where we stand on our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since the day the pandemic arrived in Fiji, we have lived under some form of COVID-19 restrictions. Think back to that day –– 19 March 2020 –– and everything that the world has endured since; outbreaks of the virus, lockdowns, 5.7 million lives lost around the world, as well global economic devastation. In Fiji alone, we lost over 100,000 livelihoods.

This has been a once-in-a-century crisis by every measure. And have confronted it through the greatest mobilization of resources –– both human and financial –– in Fijian history.

500 million dollars in assistance was paid, directly, by the government to Fijians whose employment was affected. Over 66,000 food ration packs were delivered to families who were isolating in their homes. 1.3 million doses and counting of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered. Today –– thanks to policies like no jab, no job –– over 90% of Fijians over the age of 15 are fully-vaccinated.

We did all of this –– averting a socioeconomic catastrophe and readying ourselves for a recovery –– while managing the devastation of adverse weather, including storms, floods, and four cyclones: Harold, Yasa, Ana and Cody.

We were guided by a strategic vision to free our country from the grip of the pandemic. That strategy demanded decisive leadership from government, and it demanded discipline, compassion and solidarity from every Fijian. Together, we saved lives –– thousands of them –– while government worked diligently behind-the-scenes with our friends from Australia, India, New Zealand and the US to secure COVID-19 vaccines. Then, we restored jobs –– thousands of them –– by becoming one of the world’s most vaccinated societies, earning back our freedoms and re-opening our borders to the world.

We were guided every day by our Hon Prime Minister’s direction, who reminded us that “Our journey to the new normal is a marathon, not a sprint. We have to move forward in step with the science at a careful and responsible pace.” And we did so by instituting measures that were proportional to the threat the virus posed, easing them when appropriate and strengthening them when necessary, including when the Omicron variant arrived at our shores.

While Omicron produced a less severe disease than past variants, its highly contagious nature posed a threat to the capacity of our healthcare system. We upped our enforcement of COVID-safe measures in response while we continued to deploy booster doses to enhance our community immunity. Unlike many more advanced countries, our ICU capacity was never overwhelmed by the third wave of cases thanks to our high vaccination coverage and our stepped-up enforcement of COVID-safe measures. And we avoided a crisis in the delivery of outpatient care by quickly opening up private GP clinics to members of the public, with the costs covered by the government. And we plan to open more private GP clinics to the public.

Ladies and gentlemen, the science says today that the worst of the Omicron wave is behind us. Hospitalisations are falling and the number of boosted Fijians is rising every day. It’s time for a new direction; one that is guided by the same principles our Hon Prime Minister set out, one that considers the lessons we’ve learned, and one recognises that –– while the pandemic is not over –– it has entered a totally new phase.

What this means in practice is that we no longer need to look at the world solely through the lens of COVID-19. We are moving to a stage where we can remove our blinders and treat COVID as an endemic disease instead of a pandemic, not unlike the common flu. COVID cases aren’t going away, but our focus –– from a health and policy standpoint –– will be on particularly vulnerable groups, while the rest of our society more or less live normally as we rebuild our economy and focus on addressing the other challenges affecting the lives of ordinary people, for example, non-communicable diseases. For the past several weeks, we have been carefully reviewing the Omicron variant’s impact on our healthcare system, consulting our experts and crafting a new phase for our response that takes the nation forward at the responsible pace our Hon Prime Minister asked of us.

We have far more certainty than we did two years, or even one year, ago. Still, it is important to mention there are a number of variables we’ll continue to monitor over the coming months. But we promised the Fijian people that we will only have restrictions if they are truly necessary, and we’ll lift them as soon as we can. That is what is happening today.

From Monday 7 February, which is from midnight tonight, the curfew will be lifted. Not moved. Not shifted. Lifted, completely.

The curfew was implemented to prevent non-essential gatherings that can spread the virus and allow for reliable contact tracing at certain hours in the evening. In some ways, it served as the national barometer of progress towards normalcy, as we moved the start time from 6pm, hour by hour, to midnight in recognition of reaching our vaccination targets. Now, it’s removed entirely.

We recognise that the curfew had other benefits unrelated to the virus itself. We’ve spoken with many households, in particular, who have told us that they were grateful to have their children and loved ones at home more often because of the curfew. These are benefits that came unexpectedly, and hopefully, most people will continue to spend more time with their loved ones, at home, and take care of their community.

Of course, we can’t justify the continuation of a curfew for the sake of just these benefits. But we want to highlight them nonetheless. Because if you are someone who found they spent more quality time at home, became more productive or studied more, you can make the choice to keep those good habits. The pandemic has taught us all some hard lessons and the more insights we take out of it the better –– lessons from the hard times but also the good times we have had with our families and loved ones.

The curfew also meant less movement and therefore fewer opportunities for criminals. We’ve taken this matter very seriously and we’ve been in discussions with the Fiji Police Force for weeks to review their capacity and strategy to contain criminal activity. With the curfew lifted, our Police are adopting a new posture to uphold public safety, putting more boots on the ground in communities and high-traffic areas to crack down on criminality. The Commissioner of Police, who is here with us, will elaborate further on their strategy.

Even though the curfew is removed, nightclubs will not be allowed to operate. However, taverns, many of which used to be licensed as nightclubs, may open until 1am at 80% capacity throughout Fiji, provided that seating is properly spaced out, dancing is not allowed, and all areas are well ventilated.

As for our other health measures, the following changes take effect from tomorrow:

Public Service Vehicles can operate at full capacity, which include buses, mini-buses, carriers and taxis however we will continue to enforce mask-wearing onboard all vehicles.

Indoor and outdoor sporting events, including competitive sports, may be held with spectators at 80% capacity provided those spectators wear masks.

Businesses, venues, and houses of worship may open at full capacity, with the exception of high-risk businesses, which must operate at 80% capacity. High-risk businesses include cinemas, bars, taverns, gyms, hairdressing and salon services, tattoo parlours, and gaming venues.

The careFIJI App and QR will not be required for entry into businesses and venues anymore because we are not presently relying on contact tracing as part of our COVID-19 response. The careFIJI App may be required again in the future if the epidemiological situation changes, so please keep the app on your phone so it is easily available if needed.

The Vax Check tool is also no longer required for use by businesses given that Fiji is a highly vaccinated society. However, the high-risk businesses that we’ve just listed out and all Care Fiji Certified businesses will be required to check the vaccination cards of their patrons and customers.

It is the responsibility of businesses to enforce COVID-safe behaviour on the premises. The fines for violations remain in effect.
There is no more restriction on informal gatherings, including gatherings at home, effective immediately.

We’ve also developed clearer guidance on where masks are required to be worn. The full guidance on mask-wearing will be published online.

Australia recently made a change to its testing requirements for their citizens returning from international travel by accepting rapid antigen tests as an alternative to PCR tests. We’re adding that same option.

Travellers 12 years and above entering Fiji from a Travel Partner Country may produce a negative Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) taken within 24 hours of the flight’s scheduled departure. In other words, the more expensive PCR tests are no longer required to board flights to Fiji.

Details of acceptable test-kits are published online. The Ministry of Health and Medical Services, will continue to monitor the global epidemiological situation and may re-introduce more stringent risk reduction measures if required.

We’re also reviewing the requirement of a three-day Care Fiji Certified Accommodation requirement for arrivals into Fiji in favour of an entry system that allows passengers to submit confirmation of a booked COVID-19 test in Fiji within 48 hours of landing in Fiji. Before we make that change, we need more testing sites open in Fiji. We’ve put out an Expression of Interest for the private sector and we encourage more people to apply so that we can open as many testing sites as possible. We’ll have more details to announce on that policy shift soon.

All Care Fiji Certified hotels, transport operators, and businesses must welcome this flexibility with stronger adherence to the measures that are required to maintain their certifications. If you fail to meet the high bar of COVID safety we’ve set for our visitors, our COVID safe Ambassadors and Police will shut you down. We cannot tolerate one bad apple in our tourism sector spoiling the bunch for all those who are following the rules.

These easings of restrictions mean a great deal for our economy and for the restoration of livelihoods. With the ease of restrictions locally and testing requirements made easier and more affordable, we’ll create more local economic activity and attract more tourists. That means more business, including for micro and small businesses, more demand, and more jobs for our people. And it will further consolidate our path towards record-breaking economic growth.

We would like to thank you all for your compliance, getting vaccinated, and acting in a true patriotic spirit helping those in need as a community. With this effort from all of us we are able to lift most restrictions and welcome back a sense of normality to our lives.

But there are some people, a tiny minority, who are not yet vaccinated. We urge them to get vaccinated. We are only able to rollback these measures because of the high rate of vaccination we have achieved, but there’s more we want to be able to do, including getting our cinemas, hair salons, gyms, tattoo parlours and all the other businesses currently operating under capacity restrictions to fully reopen and get back more jobs for Fijians.

So to those who are not fully vaccinated, our message is to please get it done. And those who are eligible for boosters, please get boosted. Getting vaccinated and getting boosted is the best way we can protect the progress we’re announcing today and ensure that none of these health protection measures need to come back into force. Let’s also please use these new freedoms responsibly and continue with the common-sense measures, like mask-wearing, physical distancing and good handwashing and sanitising, that can keep us safe.

Let us close by wishing our friends in New Zealand a happy Waitangi Day. This week, 244 tonnes of aid donated by Fijians, NGOs, faith-based groups and our Tongan Community in Fiji arrived on Tonga’s shores aboard a Fijian vessel funded by the New Zealand Government. That shared act of Pacific solidarity speaks volumes of the shared values of our people. Needless to say, we’re all looking forward to 14 March, when we can safely welcome visitors from New Zealand to Fiji.

Thank you.

I’m here with The Minister for Education, Heritage and the Arts, the Commissioner of Police and the Permanent Secretary for Health and Medical Services.

Minister Kumar and the Commissioner have some brief updates for us on school closures and exams deferments. Then, we’ll take some questions

(Source, Fijian Government Website)

https://www.fiji.gov.fj/Media-Centre/Speeches/English/ATTORNEY-GENERAL-AIYAZ-SAYED-KHAIYUM-S-STATEMENT-O

Updated Fiji Entry Conditions – 27 December 2021

Please refer to the link for updated Fiji Entry Conditions as at 27 December 2021:

Requirement for Fijian e-Passports

Please refer below are the requirements for obtaining a Fijian e-Passport:

Requirements-for-Fijian-e-Passports

Honourable Prime Minister Bainimarama’s COVID-19 Announcement (10 October 2021)

Bula Vinaka and Happy Fiji Day!

I spent this morning at our first Fiji Navy Church Service after five long months of worshipping from home. Sitting among my fellow servicemen and women, along with my loved ones and friends, new and old, I was grateful. Grateful to every Fijian who helped get us here; our doctors, nurses, and members of our disciplined forces, the lorry drivers, and our teams deploying food rations and disbursing unemployment assistance, and grateful to each of you, the Fijians who have chosen the protection that vaccines offer.

We did not regain the privilege of returning to our churches, temples and mosques simply because we wanted it or even demanded it. We earned it through sacrifice. Fiji’s streets were never filled with mask-less protestors calling for the premature rollback of health restrictions. We returned to our houses of worship, to our places of work, to our businesses and into the arms of our friends and family the right way: By becoming one of the fastest-vaccinated countries in the world. And we should be proud to have made that journey together with compassion, patience, and vigilance.

Over 80 percent of adults in Fiji are fully-vaccinated, and more than 96 percent have received at least one dose. You may remember that our target date for reaching the 80- percent threshold was 31 October. So, job well done, everyone. We hit our goal a full three weeks ahead of schedule. And today, on Fiji Day, we can celebrate with some major announcements about what we can all expect life will look like for us heading into December of this year.

My fellow Fijians, before we get to those changes, let me be clear that I am not here to roll out the victory banner and declare “mission accomplished”. 80.3 percent of adults may be fully vaccinated, but there are still many Fijians who are only partially vaccinated, meaning they have only received one dose, and partial protection is not enough. Our mission is to make sure all those Fijians get dose number two. And as for the several thousand who are not vaccinated at all –– some of whom represent large chunks of certain communities in certain locations–– we need to get them off the sideline and into this national effort.

In that spirit, we have a very big draw for our Win Together Sweepstakes today, with 51,000 dollars in prize money being split among ten fully-vaccinated Fijians in recognition of our 51st anniversary of independence. I’ve said before, the best reward for being vaccinated is the protection vaccines provide against COVID-19. But it takes time to get both doses, and those who have made that good choice deserve a “thank you” from their nation. That’s what we’re here to do. I’ll remind everyone of how the lottery works.

This screen behind me displays the same random number generator that we used last time. At the press of a button, it will run through all of the names of the fully-vaccinated Fijians who applied for this draw. Last time, we selected one winner. Today, we’re selecting ten. Each of whom will receive 5,100 dollars.

If you don’t see your name –– don’t worry. There will be more chances to win. We have Christmas draw planned for December where 10 fully-vaccinated adults will win 2,500 dollars each and 20 fully-vaccinated children from ages 12 to 17 will win 500 dollars each. We will announce details on when and how to apply.

Congratulations to our ten winners, we’ll be in contact with each of them to deliver the good news if they’re not watching already.

My fellow Fijians, we named this national vaccine lottery the Win Together sweepstakes because even if your name is not among these ten lucky Fijians — we all win when all of us become fully-vaccinated. We have shared in the sacrifice of this struggle — as His Excellency the President reminded us in his Fiji Day address — and we all share in the success of our response. Our national prize is the good health of our people and the ability to live our lives, and earn our living, as we all choose.

It pains me to know that so many of our citizens have been denied what we all once took for granted: the freedom to travel about our country and be with friends and family. The freedom to go to your jobs and earn yourselves a living. Because we acted decisively through polices like “no jab, no job”, we can restore many of our freedoms. Tens of thousands of Fijians now also have a chance to return to their livelihoods, whether they work in hotels, restaurants, bars, tour companies, factories, or as drivers, roadside vendors, or other self-employed entrepreneurs,

From today, 10 October, 2021:

The curfew hours will be from 11 pm until 4 am. I’ve said this before, no matter when it starts, a curfew is not normal and cannot exist indefinitely. Once 90% of adults are fully vaccinated, the curfew hours will be from midnight to 4 am. And once we have the data to show that the virus no longer presents a serious public health threat, we will lift the curfew entirely.

Nearly all businesses, workplaces including public transportation can operate at 80% capacity to children and to fully vaccinated adults. The only exceptions to this relaxation are taverns, bars, and gaming venues. These are especially high-risk businesses due to the way they require people to crowd together. We’ll be announcing a set of protocols that take effect from 11 November that will allow these venues to safely re-open to fully vaccinated members of the public.

All venues must use our new VAX-Check tool to verify the vaccine status of their patrons –– it’s easy and free.

Many people in Fiji have been forced to stay away from home due to our need to prevent the virus from traveling from island to island, and my heart goes out to them. But I’m happy to announce today that anyone who is fully vaccinated can now travel to Vanua Levu by boat or by air with transport companies that are COVID-safe compliant –– such as Fiji Link. Travellers must register a negative COVID-19 test result on Rapid COVID-19 Test before travel. Upon arrival, they must immediately enter home quarantine for a period of seven days, but they will be home with family at last. Travel to the other islands including the outer islands will still be maintained under the current protocols and easing of restrictions will be implemented once there are increased rates of vaccination. So, I once again urge all those in the islands to please get fully vaccinated as quickly as possible.

We plan to drop any quarantine requirement for inter-island travel once more Fijians in Vanua Levu and other islands are fully vaccinated. From 11 November, we will open regular inter-island travel if –– and only if –– vaccination rates continue to steadily rise in the Northern Division and the maritime islands.

These are measures I am truly happy to announce on Fiji Day, because they are important steps toward reuniting us physically as one nation and one people.

We have no choice but to keep some measures in place for now. We will continue to enforce a mask mandate for all indoor public venues, on public transportation, and in crowded public settings — like markets, shopping malls, and bus stands, and the police remain empowered to issue spot fines to rule-breakers. Businesses that poorly enforce mask-wearing will be fined or shut down. In all other settings outside your home, mask-wearing is still strongly encouraged. But it won’t be required to wear a mask if you’re walking the seawall, going for a jog or walk to exercise, or having a picnic on the beach—and obviously, it’s not required for a gathering in your home.

I am also very happy to announce that we can start playing contact sports again, including rugby, netball, football, basketball, and cricket. And there will be no restrictions on the size of outdoor gatherings. Funerals, weddings, birthdays and other events can be held outdoors without restrictions on the number in attendance. Indoor venues can operate at 80% capacity, and everyone at the event must be fully-vaccinated. Again, let me remind everyone that mask-wearing is a must in all indoor public spaces and in crowded outdoor spaces.

Stadiums can also open. But spectators must be vaccinated and if sitting in close proximity at organised sporting events must wear masks.

Our ability to vaccinate adolescents from ages 15 to 17 now also gives us the opportunity to bring Years 12 and 13 students back to the classroom, and we will reopen classes for them beginning 1 November. The Ministry of Education will announce re-openings for other school years later, but we needed to give this group priority because many of these students are preparing for university or vocational training, and they are at an important point in their academic careers. So, I want to urge parents who have not made sure their 15, 16, or 17-year old is vaccinated to do so urgently so that they can be protected and be safe and get back to their normal schooling.

My fellow Fijians, this may almost sound like a full return to the COVID-Contained Fiji we knew earlier this year. It isn’t. If you think back to that time, you’ll remember why. Six months ago, most of us were not carrying masks with us everywhere we went. Too often, people were crowding where they should not have been. Most mobile phones did not have careFIJI installed. The virus felt a world away. It isn’t anymore. We are co-existing with the virus, not conquering it, and health experts now say we will have to do so.

Nearly every nation, including Australia, New Zealand and Fiji, has accepted that this virus will continue to circulate, like the common flu, and that vaccines are the most sustainable way forward. There will be cases of COVID-19 recorded in Fiji; we can count on that. But here is a critical fact: Vaccines will protect us. Vaccines ensure that cases –– when they do pop up –– are mild. Moving forward, we’ll be looking at rates of severe cases most carefully.

But as I’ve said, some Fijians are only partially-vaccinated, and a tiny minority are not vaccinated at all. What is more, we are still in the process of vaccinating our children, and we need to protect them. So we cannot afford a mad rush back to the carefree ways of living and doing business we once knew—at least not yet. We should be focussed on our adherence to rules that remain in place, not exploiting those that are being relaxed. Mask-wearing and physical distancing, and the use of the careFIJI app will continue to be firmly enforced in the settings I’ve just described.

Let me now issue a brief disclaimer. Nothing I am announcing is an irreversible decision. As you know, one of the constants during this pandemic has been change—change in what we know about the virus and how it spreads, change in the way we respond to new information, and changes in the restrictions we have had to endure based on the ebbs and flows of the pandemic.

We expect that widespread vaccination will protect us against the worst of the virus, but if we see serious outbreaks due to such things as new global variants that lead to concerning rates of hospitalisations, we will have no choice but to re-introduce restrictions. To sustain this recovery, we have to adapt to new ways of going about our lives. Unsafe habits like sharing the same bowl of grog or passing around the same cigarette butt should not happen. And not just when the cameras are rolling or when the police are watching. We have to actually change the way we think, we have to change our attitude and we have to change the way we do things, and the most important moments in that change are when no one is watching. My fellow Fijians, I am not the most important enforcer of our COVID-safe habits, and neither is the Commissioner of Police or his officers. It is not the Permanent Secretary for Health and Medical Services, either. It is each of you.

Being a COVID-safe country is good for us, and it is for our economy. As we look to open our border, we have to recognise that tourists don’t just magically appear in our hotels. We have to attract them. And our tourists in this new normal are health and price sensitive. Our Fijian Hospitality –– which is loved so fondly around the world –– has to adapt around a new and unrelenting focus on health and wellbeing as we plan to re-open Fiji as the safest destination for tourism and travel anywhere in the world.

Fiji’s international border for tourism will re-open firstly to a list of travel partners, which includes Australia, New Zealand, United States of America, United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, Canada, Qatar, Germany, Spain, France, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Switzerland, Japan and most Pacific Island Countries and Territories. To come to Fiji, travellers must have spent at least 10 days in any of these places. This list isn’t fixed, Countries can be added as they achieve widespread vaccination of their populations.

Fiji will have a no-jab, no-fly policy. Travellers aged 18 years and above must be fully vaccinated with either the Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca or — and this is a new addition — the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccines. And before departing for Fiji, anyone aged 12 years and above must show a negative RT-PCR result for COVID-19 from a test taken within three days of departure. At Nadi Airport, immediately upon arrival, all travellers must download careFIJI onto their phones.

From tomorrow, fully vaccinated travellers from these countries will have an amended seven-day quarantine period in Fiji, after which they will be tested for COVID-19 before entering the community.

From 11 November, we’ll re-open our border to these travel-partner countries in earnest. There will be no traditional quarantine requirement. Instead, we’ll have different sets of protocols for tourists, for residents, and for those visiting friends and relatives. I’ll go through each group’s requirements.

Tourists from travel-partner countries will have no quarantine requirement from 11 November onward ahead of our official reopening on 1 December. Instead, after showing proof of vaccination and testing negative for the virus 72 hours prior to their departure, they will arrive in Fiji and head straight to their hotel.

Tourists will spend their first two days in Fiji on their hotel premises. They won’t be locked in a room. They can use all hotel amenities and get settled in. Then, a Rapid Diagnostic Test taken 48 hours after their arrival will grant them free reign of safe-travel areas, where they can take part in tours that allow our tour operators to make a living, shop for souvenirs, and eat at restaurants. We’re drawing up the borders of those travel-safe areas now. They will be large enough for tourists to enjoy the best of Fiji, but restrictive enough to protect areas with low vaccination coverage. This two-day period of hotel confinement is a measure that we expect to relax as more Fijians become fully vaccinated.

Hotels and tour operators in Fiji that welcome these tourists must all become Care Fiji Commitment Certified by our COVID-19 Risk Management Taskforce –– no exceptions.

The Care Fiji Commitment Certification will be the industry standard for COVID-safe tourism. It will require all hotels and excursions to meet the highest standards of comfort, health and safety.

Hotels must guarantee access to comfortable, well-supplied isolation facilities and medical care such as testing, routine staff-swabbing, and escalation protocols in the event that positive cases are detected by private medical practitioners affiliated with these businesses.
It requires hotels to make the arrangements and bear the costs of all COVID-19 testing.

Hotels must also employ Wellness Ambassadors who will take on the responsibility of managing and monitoring these protocols as well as training staff. These ambassadors must undergo training through a programme run by the Ministry of Health and Medical Services, in conjunction with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
All of these measures will be checked during the certification process and regularly enforced thereafter. Breaches will cause hotels and tour operators to be shut down.

We’re counting on the full cooperation of our tourism industry to ensure that when our borders do open, they stay open.

Ideally, these travel-safe areas will include all of our outer islands, the entire Coral Coast, Taveuni, Kadavu, and all of the North. Unfortunately, there are some locations with low vaccination coverage. For the sake of their residents, these areas are being deemed “no-go zones”. That means no tourists allowed. We’ll be publishing a map every week showing where these areas are located. Everyone –– tourist or not –– will be discouraged from stopping in these communities to shop or purchase items by the roadside until more of their residents get the jab. If you live in one of these places, you must get vaccinated so that you can be part of our COVID-safe future. This will help you reap the full benefits of our recovery — it is about jobs, income and connection. Don’t wait another day to be vaccinated, be protected and be part of Fiji’s reopening.

For returning residents from travel-partner countries or those visiting friends and relatives, our protocols are bit different. These travellers will want to leave the travel-safe areas, and they can. After spending three days on a hotel premises in Fiji, a negative COVID-19 test result will allow these travellers to enter Fijian communities in any location.

Finally, for travellers from countries that are not yet travel-safe partners, fully vaccinated travellers must complete a ten-day stint in a traditional quarantine centre upon arrival in Fiji before a negative COVID-19 test result clears them to enter the community.

To our friends in Australia and New Zealand and to the residents of other countries we’re preparing to welcome, our message is simple: Fiji is ready to welcome you back to our shores. We are entirely confident in our ability to manage the risk associated with quarantine-free travel. Our planes are prepared. Our airports are adapted. I’ve seen their protocols first-hand. The Fiji Airways team have been awaiting this day for months. They are more than ready to fly you safely to our shores, and they have the highest possible SKYTRAX 5-Star COVID-19 Airline Safety Rating and the Diamond certification by the Airline Passenger Experience Association or APEX to show for it. Every Fijian hotel and tour operator in Fiji will be certified under the “Care Fiji Commitment” program. And our people’s world-renowned hospitality is as wonderful as you all remember. Our first scheduled tourism flight to the country — on Fiji Airways — will be on 1 December.

Given that we are in the process of readjusting in the midst of so many changes, we will also put Daylight Savings Time on hold for this year. It will also make the reopening of scheduled commercial air service much smoother if we don’t have to be concerned shifting arrival and departure times, which may look like a simple thing but requires some significant logistical adjustments domestically and internationally.

That’s a broad overview. After this announcement, an expert panel with representatives from Fiji Airways, Tourism Fiji and our Hotel and Tourism Association, the Attorney-General, the Minister for Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport, and the PS for Health and Medical Services will go over the specifics and take questions from the media.

In his Fiji Day address, His Excellency the President spoke of hope. He told us that while hope for a better tomorrow has remained elusive for nearly two years of unknowns and uncertainty due to the pandemic, we should find the courage to embrace hope, for we have earned it.

Today, we heed those words by doing one better than hoping for our best future; we are planning carefully for its arrival. But we need all of you with us to sustain this reopening and spur on our economic recovery. Jobs depend on it. Livelihoods depend on it. Businesses depend on it. Most of all, lives depend on our continued adherence to the measures we know can keep us safe.

Happy Fiji Day. God Bless you all.

(Source: The Fiji Government Website)

https://www.fiji.gov.fj/Media-Centre/Speeches/English/PM-BAINIMARAMA-S-COVID-19-ANNOUNCEMENT-10-10-21