Plans for Fiji to be included in the proposed travel bubble with Australia and New Zealand may not eventuate anytime soon, as both countries are battling with another wave of the coronavirus.
Australian High Commissioner to Fiji John Feakes says the recent influx of new COVID cases may lead to the extension of the country’s travel restriction policy.
Feakes says while the Federal government is imposing stringent measures to contain the virus, the decision to allow Australian tourists to visit Fiji is not applicable now.
“We understand critically how get Australian tourists back in Fiji, but we want to do it safely. But at the moment with the outbreak in Australia, we need to get that under control before we can contemplate or regularizing travel between the two countries.”
New Zealand High Commissioner to Fiji Jonathan Curr says it may be premature at this stage to predict prospects of the proposed travel bubble.
He emphasized the need to strengthen bilateral relations in these times of uncertainty.
“But I think the importance of countries working together of collaborating, sharing information and working to find creative solutions dealing with the impacts of this pandemic is really important. We are fortunate we have a great relationship with Fiji and we are in constant dialogue and support each other getting through these challenging time for our country and people.”
Economy Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says Fiji is in constant dialogue with Australia and NZ adding that they will be taking extra precautions to ensure that if Fiji is included in the Bubble, there is no threat of COVID-19 being imported into the country.
The two countries make up the largest portion of tourists to Fiji every year and easing travel restrictions would mean slowly reviving our tourism industry.
(Source: FBC Business news 17