Fiji to reopen for tourism as it hits vaccine milestone

Fiji will lift Covid-19 restrictions and declare its reopening for international travel once the country meets a vaccination milestone Saturday.

Changes to the country’s virus limitations would be announced on Sunday afternoon after 80 percent of the adult population received two doses of a Covid-19 vaccination, Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama said.

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“A whole three weeks ahead of plan! I’m grateful to everyone who’s rolled up their sleeves to assist make Fiji secure,” Bainimarama said in a tweet.

“I’ll announce the lifting of Covid limitations at home and our plan to reopen Fiji to the world.”

Last month officials said once the aim was reached, Fiji will resume travel for “green list” locations, including Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Canada, South Korea, Singapore and parts of the United States.

Visitors must be completely vaccinated and test negative for Covid-19 before departure under the previously established plan.

Once in Fiji, they would remain in designated zones where all contacts, from hotel employees to tour operators, would be properly vaccinated.

Reviving tourism, which government data indicate contributes to 40 percent of Fiji’s GDP, is considered as important to limiting rising poverty in the nation of under one million people.

The South Pacific nation was free of Covid for a year before the advent of the Delta variety in April.

The outbreak’s case numbers peaked in July with more than 1,200 new cases daily.

Only 40 cases were documented on Saturday.

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