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Fiji relaxes border curbs for fully vaccinated travellers

Fiji has relaxed its border restrictions for fully vaccinated travellers from travel partner countries which include New Zealand, Australia, the UK and the US.

Fiji’s Permanent Secretary for Health James Fong said that the island nation’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, reports Xinhua news agency.

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 trialed during this time and further refined in preparation for December 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 per cent of the adult target population in Fiji are 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 per cent of adults and 33,307 children have received one dose.

Fiji reported its first confirmed Covid case on March 19 last year and the second wave of the pandemic started in April this year.

The island nation, which has a population of around 900,000, now has recorded more than 52,000 confirmed cases in total, with 679 deaths.

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