Fiji’s government decided to reopen its borders to boost the national touristic sector. The small island nation heavily relies on the international visitors, so, the traditional dancers in grass skirts were welcoming guests in Nadi.
Since Tuesday, Fiji welcomes the international tourists, as the South Pacific nation opened its borders to international guests for the first time since theCOVID-19 pandemic began. Flight from Sydney touched down at Nadi airport at 11:40 AM, marking a final for 615 days of full isolation for the tourism-dependent nation, AFP reported.
As the plane taxied down the runway, two fire engines lined up and aimed their hoses in the air to honour it with a water salute. Almost 200 Australians preferred to visit Fiji as the island reopens its border. Foreign travellers need to be fully vaccinated and test negative for COVID-19 prior to departure. Moreover, they obliged to provide two-week travel history to ensure they have not visited corona hotspots.
Fiji Airways boss Andre Viljoen stressed that it was a “momentous” occasion after a tough 20 months for the tropical bucket-list destination, where tourism accounts for about 40 percent of the economy.
According to Viljoen, strict health rules were in place to contain COVID-19 and the recent emergence of the Omicron variant had not deterred passengers. “Flights are coming in at full capacity,” Fiji Airways boss added.
Fiji has tightened restrictions on arrivals from Southern Africa but made no changes to rules surrounding “travel partner” countries, whose citizens can now experience a tropical getaway in the Pacific idyll. They include France, New Zealand, the US, as well as countries where Omicron has been detected like Japan, Australia, Canada and the UK.
The Fiji tourism authorities have noted around 75,000 bookings for the next couple of months, which is a nice surprise.