#FeatureFriday: We’re Dreaming Of The South Pacific

aerial photo of cook islands
Photo By Official Site of Cook Islands Tourism

If you’re a fan of faraway destinations that conjure up images of so-clear-you-can-see-to-the-bottom-oceans, powdery white sands, brilliant sunshine and over-the-crystal blue water bungalows then there is a good chance that a stay on an island in the South Pacific is on your bucket list. And we have good news for you – three of the most sought after South Pacific destinations – French Polynesia – often referred to as The Islands of Tahiti – the Cook Islands and the Fiji Islands – are opening back up to vaccinated visitors very soon! That being said – let’s take a look at these absolutely amazing destinations and their entry requirements!

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Fiji

As of December 1st, Fiji is open and anxiously awaiting international visitors once again! Made up of 333 islands, Fiji is known for its beautiful beaches, stunning scenery and of course that warm BULA spirit. It’s no wonder its residents consider themselves the happiest people on earth! Wait what? What is BULA? Oh, that’s a Fiji island greeting – and so much more! It’s actually the spirit of the islands that will envelop you while you are there and then stay with you long after you leave. A romantic rendezvous for two, family fun for four, a girl’s getaway for an entire group or a solo sojourn – Fiji is the perfect South Pacific paradise for any type of vacation!

Ready to pack your bags for Fiji? Here are the updated conditions of entry according to Tourism Fiji:

  • Fiji will initially offer quarantine-free travel to fully vaccinated tourists from Travel Partner countries which includes the United States of America. The following applies to visitors from Travel Partner countries who plan to visit Fiji from 1st December.
  • Official documentation relating to your vaccine status, RT-PCR tests, CFC bookings and travel insurance will be checked at the airport by Fiji Airways before you fly and other airlines may do the same.
  • Travel should be safe and stress-free so for now Fiji is only open to fully vaccinated travelers 18 years and over and their accompanying minors. Currently, Fiji recognizes Astra-Zeneca, Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
  • It is essential that everyone over 12 years old gets a negative RT PCR Test done 3 days before you board your flight to Fiji as this will be checked. Your RT-PCR tests should be taken by a travel test provider that issues an official document with your results. PCR tests must be performed by nasopharyngeal, nasal or mid-turbinate specimen collection methods. Drive through tests and SMS text results will not be accepted.
  • All travelers who visit Fiji will need to stay at a CFC certified accommodation. Make sure you have documented proof of a confirmed minimum 3-night CFC booking before your flight as well as a CFC transfer booking from the airport to your hotel.
  • Travelers must have proof of insurance for COVID-19 coverage. Many travel insurance companies now include this coverage in their standard policies but if yours does not, you can also purchase one online prior to travel with Fiji Care.
  • Travel for tourists on holiday in Fiji is quarantine free but you will need to take a mandatory Rapid COVID-19 test at a CFC-certified resort 48 hours after your arrival in our islands. Please factor this into your overall trip cost.
     

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The Cook Islands

The Cook Islands are made up of 15 islands each of which is located in the same time zone as the Hawaiian Islands. Described as an “unspoiled paradise, complete with white sand beaches, blue lagoons, and lush green mountains,” the islands are unique in that there are no branded resorts, not one building taller than a coconut tree and no traffic lights. So, what will you find here? All the modern conveniences that you’re used to, a host of different accommodation options, numerous activities to partake in and plenty of space to just lay back and enjoy some peace and quiet. There really is something for every type of traveler here. And we are excited to announce that this paradise is open for vaccinated visitors starting January 13th, 2022!

Here are the travel entry requirements according to the Official Site Of Cook Islands Tourism:

Travel Entry Requirements From 13 January 2022: The Cook Islands Government has made the important decision to re-open the borders from the 13 January 2022 (Cook Islands time). This decision was based on a range of high-level advice from the Government’s Border Easement Taskforce and data modelling experts in New Zealand.

  • All travelers must be fully vaccinated.
  • All travelers will need to provide a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 72 hours prior to departure to the Cook Islands.
  • Every traveler must complete the Cook Islands Ministry of Health travel declaration no more than 72 hours before departing New Zealand.
  • All travelers will be required to use CookSafe and CookSafe+ which are the two official contact tracing systems in the Cook Islands.
  • Access to the Cook Islands will soon be available via New Zealand. All travelers outside of New Zealand will need to meet New Zealand entry travel requirements, before continuing travel onto the Cook Islands.

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The Islands of Tahiti

Although most people have heard of Tahiti – few are aware that it is actually just one island in what is known as French Polynesia – that is also commonly referred to as the Islands of Tahiti. But there’s more! French Polynesia– i.e., the Islands of Tahiti – consists of 118 islands – but some are quite tiny – not to mention deserted – and thus they only measure out to 1600 square miles of land. Got that? In any case, not to be outdone by Fiji or the Cook Islands – these islands are just as stunningly picturesque, teaming with natural wonders and ready to welcome you for total relaxation or full on adventure – think scuba diving with sharks! – the choice is yours as they are open for vaccinated visitors now!

According to Tahiti Tourism here are the updated conditions of entry and movement within The Islands of Tahiti:

Regarding the new measures for travel within The Islands of Tahiti, the High Commissioner has published the latest measures for the movement of people within the territory from Monday, November 15 at midnight:

  • The curfew is now lifted on all the archipelagos
  • Wearing a mask is no longer mandatory outside
  • Introduction of a Health Pass

What is a Health Pass? A Health Pass is the evidence of your health credentials presented in digital or printed format. It will be required for people over 12 years old and 2 months old and will be applied under the exact same conditions for residents and international visitors staying in The Islands of Tahiti.

How to obtain a Health Pass? You will need to present one of the following health evidences among the three following ones:

  • A certificate of vaccination against COVID-19 issued by the country of origin, presenting a full vaccination status (please check the list of approved vaccines in French Polynesia)
  • Evidence of a negative RT-PCR test taken no more than 72 hours prior, or a negative antigen test taken no more than 48 hours prior
  • A certificate of recovery or proof of a positive test result (issued by a competent health authority), dated at least 11 days before and less than 6 months ago.

For which activities is the Health Pass applicable?

  • Air and sea transportation from Tahiti and Moorea to the outer islands as of November 22, 2021. (It will not be applicable for travel between Tahiti and Moorea).
  • Discotheques, night clubs and dance halls as of December 1, 2021.
  • Cultural, artistic and festive events organized in establishments open to the public or open air events as of December 1st, 2021.
  • Trade fairs and exhibitions with more than 50 exhibitors as of December 1st, 2021.
  • Hospitals and clinics for visitors and patients with scheduled care as of December 1st, 2021.

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And there you have it! Are you as excited as we are to cross one or two or all three of these destinations off your bucket list? And you know as these islands open, they are bound to be welcoming back tourists with amazing deals – meaning there is no better time to book than RIGHT NOW! Contact your Travel Gurus today for your customized itinerary as well as for details on things to see and do in the South Pacific, where to stay, price points and more. Oh, and if you need a payment plan to fund your travel adventure – we got those too!

Namaste!

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