Is there really a better place to soak up the sun than Fiji? As one of Australia’s closest island neighbours, you’d be crazy not to visit this secluded island paradise, at least once in your lifetime.
Exercise a high degree of caution in Fiji due to the impacts of COVID-19.
Fiji is made up of more than 330 tropical islands, of which only 100 are permanently inhabited. The two main islands of Fiji – Viti Levu and Vanua Levu – account for most of Fiji’s population. Fijian’s highly value family and community, and it shows – if you speak with anyone who’s ever been to Fiji, they’ll tell you that the Fijians are among the happiest, most friendly people on earth.
Apart from the endlessly hospitable people, there’s no denying that part of what makes Fiji one of the most attractive tourist destinations is the never-ending string of white-sandy beaches and crystal clear waters. Hundreds of thousands of tourists flock to Fiji each year – an impressive 340,800 Australian tourists alone holidayed in Fiji in the year ending December 2018.
Fiji has a warm, tropical climate all year round – maximum temperatures rarely move out of the 26-31 degree range, which means it’s the hotspot destination for beach lovers. Although, it isn’t just about the beaches. Nature lovers, look no further than the island of Taveuni. Taveuni is the country’s third largest island, commonly referred to as the ‘Garden Island’ because of its lush-green jungles with an abundance of wildlife, volcanic peaks and secluded waterfalls.
There are activities and experiences for everyone, so Fiji won’t disappoint. From the chance to dive amongst endless beautiful coral reefs, and ample opportunities for hikers and bird-watchers, it really will be a place you’ll want to return to again and again
In the same way you would prepare yourself for any trip, it’s important to consider the risks of disease and illness that can very quickly taint the experience of a dream tropical island holiday. Speak with your healthcare professional about which vaccinations or other preventative measures you might need prior to your departure.
Before you go to Fiji
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all travellers are up-to-date with their routine vaccinations including; measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), hepatitis B, polio, influenza and pneumococcal disease. These vaccinations are given as part of the National Immunisation Program (NIP). For a full list please refer to the NIP schedule, available here In some cases, you may need a booster or re-vaccination against a disease to ensure you still have immunity.
Everyone aged 5 years and older is recommended to ensure they are up to date with their COVID-19 vaccinations before travel.
There is an increased risk of contracting hepatitis A and typhoid in Fiji, both of which can be contracted through contaminated food or water. Depending on where you are staying and what activities you have planned, a vaccination against hepatitis B may also be recommended.
Your doctor will be able to let you know which vaccinations are recommended for you, based on the time of year, destination/s, activities planned and the duration of your stay.
It is best to consult with your doctor or travel health clinic at least a month prior to your departure. They will be able to advise you about any vaccinations that you may need for your trip well before you leave, based on your specific travel plans.
What your doctor will need to know:
- When you plan to travel (time of year/season)
- The duration of your trip
- The regions of Fiji you are visiting
- Your planned activities (i.e. if you are visiting remote and/or wilderness areas)
- If you will be in contact with animals
- If you are up-to-date with your routine vaccinations
Your doctor may also conduct a general health check-up. This may be needed for your travel insurance if you have a pre-existing medical condition.
If you are not up-to-date with your routine vaccinations, or if your doctor believes you may be at an increased risk of contracting a vaccine-preventable disease, then they may recommend that you get a booster or be vaccinated/revaccinated against a particular disease.
Some health insurance companies provide coverage for vaccinations. You will need to contact your health insurance provider to see what they cover.
When you see your doctor regarding your trip, Medicare may cover the total cost of your consultation fees (if it is a bulk billing practice), or otherwise a portion of the cost. However, if you need to be vaccinated, Medicare will not cover the cost of the vaccines themselves.
The standard of healthcare facilities in Fiji is generally not as high as in Australia. Hospitals often lack equipment and medications. Therefore, it is important you are prepared before heading off on your trip.
See your doctor at least a month before departure to discuss your travel health requirements.
- Register your trip with Smart Traveller
- Make sure you have enough of your regular prescription medicines;
- Ensure you’re up-to-date with your routine vaccinations
- Take out travel insurance - to cover you and your family for medical and other costs resulting from unexpected incidents and accidents
- Put together a travel kit with paracetamol and aspirin, diarrhoeal medicine, oral rehydration salts, antiseptic lotion or ointment, adhesive bandages and other wound dressings, insect repellent, sunscreen, latex gloves, thermometer, motion sickness medicine, and water purification tablets
- The tap water is Fiji is not necessarily safe to drink. Drink bottled or filtered water only and check the plastic seal on bottled water is intact. Avoid adding ice to your drinks, and check that salad and fruit have been washed with filtered water prior to consumption.
- Use condoms to prevent sexually transmitted infections, such as chlamydia, gonorrhoea, human papillomavirus, herpes, syphilis, hepatitis B and HIV.
- There is a risk of contracting mosquito-borne illnesses such as dengue in Fiji. Dengue is spread through the bite of particular type of infected mosquito, which bites indoors and outdoors during the daytime. In some cases people who get infected do not show any symptoms, but those that do become ill 4–7 days after the bite, and have flu-like symptoms including intermittent high fever, severe headache, muscle, joint and bone pain, and a skin rash with red spots. In some cases, the illness may progress to dengue haemorrhagic fever, a very serious condition that can be fatal.
- There is not yet a vaccine for dengue available to travellers. If you travel to Fiji you should avoid being bitten by mosquitoes by protecting yourself with insect repellent, wearing clothing that covers your arms and legs, and staying in accommodation that has working door and window screens.
Sources & Citations
1. Worldometer. Fiji Population (live). Available at: https://www.worldometers.info/world-population/fiji-population/ (accessed 15 February 2022).
2. My Fiji. About Fiji. Available at: https://www.myfiji.com/about-fiji/ (accessed 15 February 2022).
3. World Atlas. Languages of Fiji. Available at: https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/languages-of-fiji.html (accessed 15 February 2022).
4. Lonely Planet. Fiji. Available at: https://www.lonelyplanet.com/fiji (accessed 15 February 2022).
5. Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA). Travel trends – February 2019. Available at: http://www.afta.com.au/uploads/582/190312_february_afta-travel-trends-report_final_v2.pdf (accessed 14 February 2022).
6. Tourism Fiji. Fiji Weather. Available at: https://www.tourismfiji.com/fiji-weather.html (accessed 15 February 2022).
7. Fiji Guide. About Taveuni – Fiji’s Garden Island. Available at: https://fijiguide.com/destinations/taveuni-fijis-garden-island/#.XnwpiYgzaUk (accessed 15 February 2022).
8. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Travelers’ Health Fiji – Traveler View. Available at: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/fiji (accessed 15 February 2022).
9. Australian Government, Department of Health. National Immunisation Program Schedule. Available at: https://www.health.gov.au/health-topics/immunisation/immunisation-throughout-life/national-immunisation-program-schedule#national-immunisation-program-schedule-from-1-april-2019 (accessed 15 February 2022).
10. finder.com.au. Are travel vaccinations covered by health insurance? Available at: https://www.finder.com.au/travel-vaccinations (accessed 15 February 2022).
11. Smartraveller. Fiji Travel advice and safety. Available at: https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/destinations/pacific/fiji (accessed 15 February 2022).
12. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. Traveler’s Health Pack Smart. Available at: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/pack-smart (accessed 8 February 2022).
13. Australian Government. Smart Traveller – Infectious Diseases. Available at: https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/before-you-go/health/diseases (accessed 8 February 2022).
14. International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers (IAMAT). Dengue. Available at: https://www.iamat.org/country/fiji/risk/dengue (accessed 15 February 2022).
MAT-AU-2200219 Date of preparation March 2022Show All