International travel has been banned from Australia for several months, but as it turns out there is a perfectly legal way to visit Fiji, though it may cost a little more than you are used to.
Fiji has opened "Blue Lanes" for yachts and pleasure craft to come to Fiji and travel between their islands.
The Blue Lane allows you to sail into Port Denarau Marina, and you do not have to self-isolate or quarantine on arrival if you have been quarantined on your boat for 14 days.
The process is quite simple (once you have a yacht, I guess).
- Contact a Fiji Yacht agent, who will liaise with the local authorities.
- Complete a RT-PCR test to confirm that you are free of Covid-19. The test must be taken less than 3 days before you start sailing.
- Submit your full itinerary for your stay in Fiji.
- Install and activate the Fiji contact tracing app careFiji.
- Activate your yacht's AIS (Automatic Identification System) so that the Fijian Navy can confirm the uninterrupted sailing time, to determine if you need to quarantine once you arrive in Fiji.
Once you arrive in Fiji, if you have already spent 14 days uninterrupted at sea, then you are given another RT-PCR test to check you are still negative. Once the results come back, you are free to dock at Port Denarau and then sail throughout Fiji.
Over 100 tourists and 30 yachts have taken advantage of the program since it has started, with visitors including Australians and New Zealanders. The Fiji government assesses each application depending on case-by-case basis, but says that all nationalities are welcome.
Fiji has had only 27 cases of Covid-19, and gone over 100 days without community transmission. The "Blue Lanes" initiative has been operating for over a month, and the Fijian Government sees it as the safest way to restart tourism on the island.