27 Jul 2020

Fiji opens up to boats in a bid to get some tourism rolling

From , 6:02 am on 27 July 2020

Fiji's so-called "Blue Lanes" are officially open and the government says it's expecting the arrival of 100 boats to the country amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

With its 'Bula Bubble' proposal with New Zealand and Australia yet to get off the ground, Fiji's Blue Lanes initiative begins what the government hopes will be the ailing tourism industry's road to recovery.

The first vessel berthed at the Port Denarau Marina in Nadi last week with two New Zealanders onboard.

But the requirements are strict as boat owners must first complete 14 days or longer uninterrupted at sea - this means the vessels must not stop at any other port on their way to Fiji.

Boat owners must also show proof of a negative test result for Covid-19 and everyone onboard will need to undergo screening by Fijian health officials when they are allowed through the lanes.

Christine Rovoi reports.

The Port Denarau Marina in Nadi.

The Port Denarau Marina in Nadi. Photo: Supplied/Port Denarau Marina