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Travelling Post Covid What you need to know

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Travelling Post Covid What you need to know
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Travelling Post Covid: Fiji, Pulau, Thailand, What you need to know

Fijian warrior dance. Credit: Mark Snyder Tourism Fiji
Fijian warrior dance. Credit: Mark Snyder Tourism Fiji

After months and months of border closures, finally some of our favourite diving destinations are opening their international borders – hooray!

But… before you go crazy and book onto the next available liveaboard, there are a few additional requirements to entering and leaving each country, and they all differ. And before you even book, you’ll need your International Covid Vaccination Certificate.

Here are a few examples of conditions to entry for a few of our favourite dive destinations now open.

Fiji

Let’s talk about Fiji first, as they say BULA! to the world on the 1st of December 2021. There are still some entry restrictions however:

  • First, you need to be fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to entry
  • Travel insurance in mandatory.
  • You need to present a negative PCR Covid test on arrival
  • You need to choose accommodation and other travel arrangements with a Care Fiji Commitment (CFC) accredited operator.
  • Two days after you arrive, you’ll need to take a Rapid Antigen Covid test (all CFC accredited hotels can organise this – for a fee), before you embark on any day trips outside the resort or jump on a liveaboard.

Then you need to make sure you’re familiar with your home country’s requirements for returning home. Australians will need to take a PCR Covid test 48 hours prior to leaving Fiji, and Fiji currently has very few PCR testing facilities, so it’s recommended the test is booked well in advance.

There are costs involved with each of these tests, in Fiji, the Rapid Antigen tests cost around FJ $30, while the PCR tests cost FJ 350, so you’ll need to factor this into your holiday budget.

Staying with a Care Fiji Commitment (CFC) accredited hotel assures a World Health Organisation (WHO)-approved standard of best-practice health and safety measures for travel in a post-COVID world. Every tourism business will also have a dedicated Wellness Ambassador who is responsible for rolling out these enhanced health and safety measures across the business and keeping everybody safe.

Palau

Palau is open! BUT… there are a few requirements for entry, and documentation that needs to be presented to your chosen airline at check-in.

Vaccination. Travellers must submit proof of complete COVID-19 vaccination with final dose administered at least 14 days prior to arrival.

Negative COVID-19 PCR Test or Documentation of Recovery. All Travellers must also provide proof of either: a. A negative result of a COVID-19 PCR test, and such test must be taken within three days prior to departure from the point of origin; or b. Documentation of recovery from COVID-19 which includes proof of a recent positive viral test and a letter from a healthcare provider or a public health official stating that you have recovered and are cleared to travel.

Testing and Mitigation Orders After Arrival. All Travellers will be tested on the fifth day following their arrival and are required to follow the Mitigation Orders issued upon arrival. This makes liveaboard trips a little tricky, so it might be worth looking at a land-based dive trip.

Thailand

After trialling its so-called ‘Sandbox Program’ Thailand now allows fully vaccinated visitors from 46 approved countries (including Australia and New Zealand) to enter by air with no quarantine requirements. Visitors will need to show that they are COVID-free at their time of travel with a PCR test undertaken before they leave their home country, and do a test in Thailand, after which they will be free to move around the country in the same way that any Thai citizen can.

Returning home…

Currently, Australia requires travellers to undertake a PCR Covid test 2 days prior to returning home, which is easier to organise in some countries than others. Some countries classified in the ‘Green Zone’ are exempt, including Vanuatu, The Solomons, Samoa, Tonga and Niue.

The team at Diveplanit Travel can help you navigate the entry and exit requirements for all your favourite dive destinations. Email us at enquire@diveplanit.com or call us on FREECALL 1800 607 913. Dive Planit Website

For more information about countries that are opening and what their entry requirements are visit. https://bit.ly/ScubaGoatpodcast

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Picture of Adrian Stacey
Adrian Stacey
Scuba Diver ANZ Editor, Adrian Stacey, first learned to dive on the Great Barrier Reef over 24 years ago. Since then he has worked as a dive instructor and underwater photographer in various locations around the world including, Egypt, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Thailand, Mexico and Saba. He has now settled in Australia, back to where his love of diving first began.
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