Fiji scraps requirement for pre-departure PCR test for Australian tourists

Since reopening to international travellers in December, Fiji tourism has hit some serious speedbumps in the forms of a cyclone, a tsunami threat and of course, Omicron. But despite the setbacks, the narrative of recovery gathers pace for the perennial favourite of holidaying Australians.

With upwards of 90 per cent of Fijian adults vaccinated, restrictions on locals continue to ease.

Fiji Airways has resumed regular flights to the Australian east coast, New Zealand, the United States and Singapore.

And in further good news for a nation that's hugely dependent on tourism, with it contributing almost 40 per cent of GDP pre-pandemic, the Fiji Government is now allowing visitors from travel partner countries, Australia included, the option of using a rapid antigen test within 24 hours of scheduled flight departure as opposed to the more expensive PCR test, to enter Fiji.

While some properties battled on with dramatically reduced occupancies during the worst of international restrictions, others closed. However, in the coming months, several mothballed resorts will welcome guests for the first time in almost two years, including Likuliku Lagoon Resort, which opened its doors on February 1 after a 699-day hiatus. 

The award-winning property, one of Fiji's first to offer over-water accommodation, closed on January 31, 2020, for what it had planned as a two-month renovation period. Its first guests were from Australia, the US and France.

The ultra-exclusive private resort which has hosted royalty and rock stars, Dolphin Island just off the north coast of Viti Levu was also officially back in business on February 1 and the adults-only Tokoriki Island Resort, on Malolo Island in the Mamanuca chain, welcomes guests back to its overwater bures February 28.

March 16 marks the official relaunch of the popular Sheraton Fiji Golf and Beach Resort, and it will debut a $FJ70million ($46 million) refurbishment, while sister property, Sheraton Resort & Spa Tokoriki Island comes back into play April 1.

Other April openings include Six Senses Fiji, Matamanoa Island Resort and Malamala Beach Club, right in time for high season.