Fiji could soon be introducing a ‘Bula Bubble’ with Australia.
Fiji could soon be introducing a ‘Bula Bubble’ with Australia.

’Bula bubble’ to let Aussies go to Fiji

A "Bula Bubble" in which Australians could travel to Fiji as long as they quarantined for 14 days and returned a negative coronavirus test has been proposed by the Pacific island nation.

The plan was put forward by Fiji yesterday as both Australia and New Zealand continue to discuss the possibility of a trans-Tasman bubble between the two countries, the Australian Financial Review reports.

Fiji's proposal would see Australian travellers required to test and return a negative result for coronavirus within 48 hours prior to their flight to the island.

17/10/2019: Fiji PM Frank Bainimarama speaks at an Australia Fiji Business Forum, at a hotel in Brisbane. Lyndon Mechielsen/The Australian
17/10/2019: Fiji PM Frank Bainimarama speaks at an Australia Fiji Business Forum, at a hotel in Brisbane. Lyndon Mechielsen/The Australian

Tourists would be given the option to either complete two week quarantine in Australia or in a designated Fijian hotel upon arrival in the country, which they would need to foot the bill for.

Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama said travellers would be required to limit their movement around the country to specially approved reports, transport and hotels.

"Working with Fiji Airways and Tourism Fiji, we'll be welcoming Aussies and Kiwis to holiday in Fiji in a manner that is carefully controlled and safely insulated," he said.

"Everywhere they go will be wholly dedicated to others who match the same criteria, safely guided by what we're calling 'VIP lanes', allowing them to vacation in paradise."

Fiji will also look to introduce "blue lanes" for yachts and ships to come into the country, with a 14 day isolation period completed on board.

Arrivals will be limited to Port Denarau Marina and tourists will be required to test negative to coronavirus before being allowed to disembark.

Under the proposal Australians would be allowed to complete their 14 day quarantine at a Fijian hotel — but we’re not sure if visits to the pool would be allowed.
Under the proposal Australians would be allowed to complete their 14 day quarantine at a Fijian hotel — but we’re not sure if visits to the pool would be allowed.

'BALI BUBBLE' ALSO IN WORKS

Fiji isn't the only neighbouring country hoping to get its tourism industry back on track by allowing Australians in, with the Indonesian government drawing up similar plans.

The travel bubble would be between China, South Korea, Japan and Australia, Indonesia's deputy co-ordinating Minister for maritime affairs and investment Odo Manuhutu said last week.

"For the initial stage we are opening [our borders] firstly to those four countries, and other countries will follow suit, and of course health protocols will be prioritised," he said at a virtual news conference.

According to local media, the plan would involve implementing a criteria for foreign travellers permitted to visit the country, which would include the offering of packages for "in-city tourism".

According to Coconuts, these packages would be "ladened with strict health protocols, as part of an effort to revive domestic tourism".

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Picture: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Picture: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images.

NEW ZEALAND TRAVEL LOOKS UNLIKELY AS CASES SPIKE

The trans-Tasman bubble between Australia and New Zealand has been promoted for weeks as both countries managed to tackle the coronavirus curve early-on on and flatten the number of cases.

Discussions between Prime Minister Scott Morrison and New Zealand leader Jacinda Ardern have been happening since early May, with launch dates tipped anywhere from July to September.

But with several of Australia's state borders still closed, a suggested July 1 corridor across the ditch is looking less and less likely - especially now.

Victoria has recorded double digit new cases for almost a week, many which are worryingly the result of community transmission.

The spike has prompted several states, including neighbouring NSW to warn people against travelling to Victoria.

Meanwhile New Zealand has nine cases - all returning passengers in hotel quarantine - but still a bad setback for a country which just two weeks ago Ms Ardern declared virus free.

 

 

Originally published as 'Bula bubble' to let Aussies go to Fiji


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