Fijians returning from non-essential travel to pay their quarantine costs

Fijians returning from non-essential overseas trips, including visiting friends and family and those who have been residing overseas, will have to pay their quarantine costs, averaging around $2,200, under new COVID-19 protocols, effective from 29 March 2021.

In a statement, the Fijian Government said the directive is to prevent misuse and abuse of the local quarantine arrangement after “reports of individuals repeatedly taking advantage” of it, which has over the course of a year since March 2020, cost the government $18 million covering meals, accommodation, swab tests, transportation and personnel costs for 12,800 Fijians.

There are certain classes of people/cases who will not be liable for charges but will have to be endorsed by the Permanent Secretary for Health and Medical Services, Dr James Fong, who is also the designated Quarantine Authority of Fiji.

Who will be affected?

All Fijian passport holders, including Fijians who have been residing overseas and are dual passport holders or permanent residents of another country who are planning to repatriate for personal reasons, including to visit friends and family.

Average quarantine costs

Depends on the quarantine facility and will average around $2,200 for the entire 14-day quarantine.

What the charges will cover?

The cost of accommodation and meals, which will be directly payable to the quarantine facilities. COVID-19 swab tests (minimum 2), transfers from airport to quarantine facility, monitoring and site surveillance, will continue to be paid to the Ministry of Health and Medical Services for all repatriating Fijians.

Who are exempted?

●           Fijian citizens who have travelled outside of before 28 March 2020 and are now returning home;

●           Students and their approved dependents on Government sponsored or Government endorsed scholarships returning after completion of studies;

●           Patient and approved companion referred/supported by the Fijian Ministry of Health and Medical Services to seek medical assistance/intervention overseas;

●           Fijian citizens employed under a Government-to-Government arrangement that the Fijian Government is a party to, such as workers returning under labour schemes; and

●           Returning servicemen, Fijian Government officials, Fijian Diplomats (including spouse and children under the age of 18 years) who have travelled for official purposes.

“These charges are being implemented well after our neighbouring countries, including Australia and New Zealand, as well as other developed countries, who have similar border quarantine requirements. Moving forward, the Fijian Government will continue to prioritise the health and safety of Fijians returning home while preventing misuse and abuse of the Fijian quarantine system.”

Ministry of Health Statement
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