SUVA, Dec. 29 (Xinhua) — Fiji announced on Wednesday that it will re-tighten its border restrictions for all foreign travellers from Jan. 1, next year as more COVID-19 cases continue to be confirmed among foreign travellers coming to the island nation.
According to a statement by Fiji’s Health Ministry, effective from Jan. 1, all foreign travellers from the travel partner countries and non-travel partner countries must produce a negative PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test taken no more than 2 calendar days prior to the scheduled day of departure.
Prior to this, foreign travellers had to return a negative PCR test 72 hours before leaving for Fiji.
The changes apply to all travellers disembarking in and transiting through Fiji which re-opened its international borders for tourists from its travel partner countries such as Australia and the United States.
In addition, all eligible foreign travellers will now be required to take an approved Rapid Antigen Test after 24 hours of their arrival into the island nation.
Fiji’s Permanent Secretary for Health James Fong said the changes came as more COVID-19 cases continue to be recorded among the foreign travellers coming to the country.
All these cases were of fully vaccinated individuals who tested negative on their three-day pre-departure PCR test and are currently in isolation within Fijian hotels.
He said that they anticipated an increasing number of cases from border quarantine facilities.
Fong added that the Health Ministry is now preparing hospitals for any likely surge in COVID-19 cases.
While health facilities are being prepared, he also stressed that the possibility of reintroducing earlier curfews, placing more restrictions on gatherings, and escalating further their masking mandates is always under consideration.
Fong urged the Fijians to get vaccinated to ensure they are protected against the deadly disease.
Currently, a total of 91.9 percent of the adult target population in Fiji have been fully vaccinated while 97.7 percent have received one dose of COVID-19 vaccines.