Fiji reopens international borders for cruise ships

Effective from June 15 Fiji’s international borders reopen for cruise vessels. Picture: SUPPLIED/CRUISEMAPPER

Fiji will reopen its international borders to cruise ships effective from Thursday, after a ban of more than two years.

A statement issued by the Ministry of Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport said welcoming back cruise ships back into Fijian waters was a key facet of Fiji’s ongoing economic recovery.

According to the ministry pre-COVID, cruise companies, their passengers, and crew spent $F44.2 million ($US21.4m) annually in Fiji, adding that the 2018 study on the economic impact of cruise tourism in Fiji also revealed that each cruise ship voyage brought an average of $F305,000 ($US147,000) in spending per port of call and one cruise ship passenger brought $F90 ($US44) of spending each.

However to ensure safe return of cruise vessels to Fiji, the Government will put in place additional measures to reduce risks, including:

  • All travellers 16 years and above – both cruise passengers and crew – to be fully vaccinated with a Fiji recognised COVID-19 vaccine;
  • A Rapid Antigen Test taken within 24 hours prior to disembarkation at Fijian ports;
  • Valid medical travel insurance, with international coverage of COVID-19.

The statement further said all onshore excursions would also be guided by health and safety protocols, including the Care Fiji Commitment and mandates imposed by the cruise industry including implementation of appropriate operating and outbreak management plans, and COVID-19 safety plans would also help reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission onboard ships.

Meanwhile the CRMT will continue to review Fiji’s entry requirements and COVID safe measures, with a focus on strengthening community surveillance and the robustness of the in-country testing digital platform, supplemented by the already high vaccination rates.

According to the ministry the high direct spends by visitors to our shores will directly benefit handicraft sellers, which are mostly women, as well as local tour operators who regularly line up at the Lautoka port on cruise days.

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