Fiji ramps up Covid-19 protocols amid case spike

 From 1 January 2022, travellers to Fiji must now produce a negative PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test taken no more than two calendar days before the scheduled day of departure, the government said on Wednesday.

Prior to this, travellers had to return a negative PCR test 72 hours before leaving for Fiji.

The Health Ministry made changes to its travel protocols overnight as senior officials prepared for a possible third wave of the coronavirus outbreak.

Fiji braces for Covid-19 third wave

Two weeks ago, Fiji was reporting less than 10 cases of the Covid-19.

This week, the Health Ministry has confirmed 208 new cases of Covid-19 in the community with 20 reported on Christmas Day, 109 on Boxing Day and 79 on Monday.

On 24 December, the ministry reported 109 new cases; 40 of them were recorded on 23 December and 69 cases on Christmas Eve.

Fiji reopened its borders to international travellers on 1 December and thousands of tourists have arrived from its partner countries such as New Zealand, Australia and the United States.

Six travelers test positive for Covid-19 in Fiji

The Ministry of Health recorded the cases after the mandatory 3-day hotel stay and testing.

MOH’s Permanent Secretary, Doctor James Fong said in accordance with entry requirements, all cases had tested negative in the 72 hours before departure and are fully vaccinated.

Dr Fong added that all the cases are either asymptomatic or have mild symptoms and have been isolated within hotels with protocols that have been established in the lead-up to border opening.

He said the positive samples will be sent to the partner laboratory in Australia for genomic sequencing.

Fijians urged to take Omicron variant seriously

Fiji reported two cases of the variant two weeks ago - both patients had arrived in the country from Nigeria on 25 November.

Health Secretary James Fong said more than 70 countries had reported cases of Omicron and it was probably in most countries, even if it hadn't been detected yet.

He said if there was an outbreak in Fiji, it could again overwhelm the health system.

Dr Fong said vaccines alone would not get any country out of the crisis, and that nations must prevent the spread of Omicron with mask wearing, hand washing, and social distancing.

Air NZ resumes flights to Nadi

Air NZ's first commercial flight to Fiji amid the Covid-19 pandemic arrived in Nadi last week.

Chris Chand, of Fiji Airports, said the flight from Auckland carried repatriated Fijians and tourists.

With New Zealand's borders closed to Fiji, customer loads have been understandably quite low, the airline said in a statement.

"We have been operating one return Nadi flight per week through the pandemic which has been mostly cargo into Nadi," he said.

FASANOC end efforts to qualify for the 2022 Commonwealth Games

Part of their qualification criteria for the event in Birmingham next year, athletes must have participated in credible regional or international events in the last two years.

But the organisation admitted in September that financial constraints and the impact of the pandemic would likely affect their preparations for the Games.

FASANOC chief executive Lorraine Mar said due to travel restrictions, badminton, cycling and squash have not been able to train nor travel overseas for training and competition.

Fiji international’s NRL return confirmed

Naiqama exited the competition at the end of 2018 after stints with the Wests Tigers, Panthers and Knights. He joined Super League team, St Helens, whom he won three grand finals with.

He returns to the NRL after his two-try performance in the 2021 Super League grand final saw him claim the Harry Sunderland Medal as man of the match.

The Fijian international adds experience and depth to the Roosters’ outside backs after Brett and Josh Morris retired.


Fijians test positive for Omicron variant - Govt

The pair travelled to Fiji from Nigeria on November 25.

They both tested positive to Covid-19 while in a border quarantine facility.

Health Secretary James Fong said last night their samples were sent to a reference laboratory in Australia for urgent genomic sequencing.

Dr Fong said both travellers' results were confirmed positive for the Omicron variant.

Fiji tests cases from African nations

Health Secretary Dr James Fong confirmed the cases of interest were Fijian nationals returning from Africa.

"In Fiji, we currently have Covid-positive travellers in quarantine who arrived in the country from African states before we knew about Omicron.

"They have been quarantined in line with the stringent measures we apply to countries we consider a red zone for ongoing viral spread. Their specimens will be forwarded this week overseas for genetic sequencing."

Bula - welcome to Fiji

Welcome Home to Fiji which is 'Open For Happiness'. That is the message Tourism Fiji and its stakeholders are selling to holiday makers in its Travel Partner Countries.

There are four flights into Fiji, 2 from Sydney, one in the morning and the other in the afternoon. A flight from Melbourne will arrive get in just after midnight and a large flight from Los Angeles early on December 2.

Despite fears the new Covid-19 variant Omicron has spread into the community in New South Wales where the first flight of tourists come from, Fiji said it is ready to receive visitors.