Welcome to the Bula Bubble: How Australians and New Zealanders will soon be allowed to travel to Fiji – but with strict quarantine and testing conditions
- The ‘Bula Bubble’ proposal was unveiled by Fijian leader Frank Bainimarama
- Aussies and Kiwis would be need to undergo 14 days of quarantine before travel
- Travellers also need to test negative to COVID-19 within 48 hours of departure
- Tourists would only be allowed in designated hotels and resorts during their trip
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
Australians and New Zealanders may be able to holiday in Fiji if they quarantine for 14 days before their flight and test negative to COVID-19 within 48 hours of departure.
The ‘Bula Bubble’ proposal was unveiled by Fijian prime minister Frank Bainimarama on Sunday to kick start the tourist industry after international borders were locked during the coronavirus pandemic.
While a start date has not been determined, Mr Bainimarama said he was working with Australia’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly to outline a safe travel strategy, the Australian Financial Review reported.
Under Bula Bubble guidelines, Aussies and Kiwis would be required to present a medical certificate proving they tested negative to the respiratory illness within 48 hours of departure to Fiji.
Australians and New Zealanders may be able to holiday in Fiji as coronavirus restrictions ease. Pictured: South Sea Island in Fiji – where tourists may be able to go under new rules
Holiday-makers who choose to isolate on the South Pacific island would then have to test negative to COVID-19 after the quarantine period. Pictured: a woman holidaying in Fiji
Tourists would also either be required to quarantine in their home country for 14 days before their flight, or quarantine at a designated hotel in Fiji – at the traveller’s expense.
Holiday-makers who choose to isolate on the South Pacific island would then have to test negative to COVID-19 after the quarantine period before being allowed to leave the hotel and travel within restricted areas called VIP lanes.
The lanes would allow safe transport between Nadi Airport and approved hotels and resorts.
Fiji would enforce VIP lanes for tourists to allow transport between Nadi Airport and approved hotels and resorts. Pictured: A Fiji Airways flight departing Sydney Airport
There would also be safe ‘blue lanes’ for yachts sailing into the Pacific country.
Sailors at sea for less than 14 days would need to complete the remaining isolation period at the dock and test negative to the virus before being allowed into the country.
Frank Bainimarama said the rules were in place to ensure people can holiday in the picturesque nation safely
Mr Bainimarama said the rules were in place to ensure people can holiday in the picturesque nation safely.
‘Working with Fiji Airways and Tourism Fiji, we’ll be welcoming Aussies and Kiwis to holiday in Fiji in a manner that is carefully controlled and safely insulated,’ he said.
‘Everywhere they go will be wholly dedicated to others who match the same criteria, safely guided by what we’re calling “VIP lanes”, allowing them to vacation in paradise.’
He also said if Australia and New Zealand eradicate COVID-19 completely, the quarantine requirements and VIP lane restrictions would be lifted.
Fiji has not had a new coronvirus case in 64 days.
Nightclubs are closed, gatherings are restricted to 100 people and there are enforced curfews between 11pm and 4am.