FHTA: No severe illness and hospitalisation

Tour Managers (Fiji) Ltd customer service representative Iliana Nakadi (left) assists visitors on arrival at the Nadi International Airport on the first flight from Sydney, Australia as Fiji opened its border for international travel in December. Picture: REINAL CHAND

Despite the positivity rate for visitors being around 1 per cent, the Fiji Hotel and Tourism Association is pleased to note that there have been no reports of anyone becoming severely ill or hospitalised.

According to a statement from the association, more visitors were asymptomatic or with mild symptoms which lasted only a few days.

“Five weeks after Fiji reopened its borders to international visitors, we have welcomed around 30,000 visitors that have included Fijians returning home for the holidays to visit friends and family.

“We are thrilled to be able to have more of our tourism staff back at work after 20 months of uncertainty and they are just as happy to be back at work, welcoming our visitors back and ensuring our visitors have a safe, memorable holiday.

“Barring some incidents where some visitors have been unhappy with the required COVID-safe protocols that demand their post-arrival positive confirmation of infection means they go into a 10-day isolation in their hotel; international travellers and returning residents understand that Fijian health authority protocols that align with international governments are followed strictly.”

In a post-COVID travel world, testing, isolation, proof of vaccination and testing results were all part of the security systems which countries had put in place to keep visitors, tourism workers and local communities safe, the statement read.

“Fiji is no different and like our travel partner countries that have allowed their citizens to travel to Fiji, airlines, travel agents, hotels and tourism authorities have provided ample warnings, reminders on the need for adequate travel insurance and the risks of testing positive during holidays.”

The FHTA stated it continued to work closely alongside other stakeholders like Tourism Fiji, the Border Health Protection Unit (BHPU), Ministry of Health, Ministry of Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport (MCTTT) and Fiji Airways to continue to ensure compliance all round.

“Tourism operators are doing their best with the complicated and constantly changing protocols to manage visitor testing, result turnarounds and isolation requirements for our staff and visitors alike, in the interests of their safety.

“Our collective responsibility is to ensure their holidays are as safe as possible and that they can return to their countries having also complied with strict Australian and US travel requirements.

“This responsibility continues, even while we prepare to manage the new challenges of an approaching tropical depression that may evolve into a cyclone,” the association stated.

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