Fiji expresses interest in joining travel bubble
May 7, 2020 7:53 am
The Fijian Government is in talks with New Zealand and Australia to be included in a ‘travel bubble’ that could help boost our economy.
However, the Civil Aviation Minister says they’re also taking extra precautions to ensure there is no threat of importing COVID-19 if Fiji is included in the relaxation of travel restrictions with our two largest trading partners.
Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says they’ve been in touch with respective ministers from Australia and New Zealand on the matter and are waiting for a formal response.
“We’ll also be vulnerable too so we need to ensure that we don’t get any cases coming in from overseas too. Most definitely there’s quite a lot of discussions we’ve been having, quite a lot of it.”
Sayed-Khaiyum adds while joining the trans-Tasman bubble would be beneficial to our economy, we must ensure that Fiji continues to flatten our COVID-19 curve to grow the confidence of our closest markets.
“We understand that there need to be various ways of being able to deal with the travel bubble. There needs to be legal regime requirements as we know and what would be the obligations and duties of one party visiting the other.”
Fiji Hotel and Tourism Association Chief Executive Fantasha Lockington says they will have to put measures in place to protect tourist if Fiji joins the travel bubble.
“In terms of the Tasman bubble definitely Fiji and the Pacific Islands want to be part of it but we have to do our part to make sure that we could do the same thing as they would expect the reciprocal countries that they would open up their borders to do.”
Relaxed travel restrictions would mean Fiji could begin marketing itself and get tourism moving again.