These testing protocols will form a part of the updated FHTA Minimum COVID Safe Guidelines and Recommended Standard Operating Procedures. A flow chart or process map of the Testing Protocols can be found HERE.
1.0 48-hour Post Fiji Arrival Rapid Antigen Test
1.1 The Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) is required to be taken by all guests arriving from overseas, 48 hours post (flight) arrival. A list of approved RATs is available here and this should be checked if guests have brought their own supplies with them.
1.2 This is a Ministry of Health & Medical Services (MHMS) requirement to ensure any recent COVID exposure between your guest’s pre-departure RT-PCR test and their arrival into Fiji can be picked up by the post-arrival 48hour RAT.
1.3 Hotels should ensure staff are aware of these requirements and the protocols around testing, recording and reporting results and that any breaches leading to community infections that are traced back to hotels not adhering to the explained protocols will result in penalties and the revoking of operational licenses under the Public Health Act.
1.4 Hotels should ensure staff remind guests during the check-in process, including the 48-hour testing reminders in information during room drops or as part of the welcome packages. This will mean that Check-in staff always ask guests about their arrival time in Fiji.
2.0 Testing Protocols
2.1 Hotels should provide an accessible room or cordoned off section in the hotel that will allow some privacy for guest testing, as well as encourage a smooth and efficient processing of a number of guests at the same time.
2.2 Guests should be provided with testing times with indicated locations and ensure medical, lab or resort staff are ready.
2.3 Allow 20-30mns between guest tests for result confirmation and recording. Have up to 2 separate, 2-hour windows (eg 9am – 11am & 4 -6pm) that is confirmed to your testing providers and your guests. The testing team should be provided with your guest details for recording purposes.
2.4 Children 12 years and above need to be tested as well but only with parental approval.
2.5 Results for each test must be recorded by hotel staff in the Excel Sheet template here
2.6 Trained hotel staff should be advised to offer the guest the choice of self-testing if they have done the test before and ensure they provide oversight for the correct process and results verification.
2.7 Provide printed explanations where possible, for testing in the testing areas (or videos) to help guests (and staff) understand what to expect.
2.8 Where a medical practitioner or private lab has been engaged to provide the testing service, their personnel should not be allowed to enter guest rooms. If the guest prefers to take the test in the room specifically, we recommend this take place in the doorway of the guest room. Your usual guest room privacy protocols should still apply.
2.9 If a guest has been unable to take the 48-hour test for any reason, they may still get a test up to 72 hours post their arrival into Fiji.
2.10 Any guest that has not taken a test, left the hotel before such a test was taken (unless moving to another hotel) or refused to take a test; must be reported to the Border health Protection Unit (BHPU) at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 6724474 or contact the after-hours shift supervisor on 8905997.
2.11 All arriving visitors into Fiji must take this test, including returning Fiji citizens, residents and Work Permit Holders.
2.12 Refusing to take the test to prove a negative result is deemed a breach of the COVID Safe Protocols and Public Health Act and is a finable offence – $10,000 or imprisonment.
3.0 Test Kit Waste Disposal
3.1 Please collect all used test kits and dispose of these separately by:
- Incinerating (do not bury) or
- Have the contracted labs or medical staff take it with them when they leave
- All PPE used in the hotels should also be incinerated.
4.0 Recording the Results
4.1 Refer to the Hotel Test Recording template
4.2 The monitoring of guests for their RAT is the responsibility of the hotel. Hotels must advise and remind the guest of the requirement, provide a location for the swabbing to take place with some privacy and confirm how and who will provide the tests.
4.3 Always provide the option of allowing a guest to self-test, especially if they have been doing this test before.
4.4 Be prepared to contact a guest who has not turned up for a scheduled test and to offer alternative testing options (another time, location or medical professional/lab).
4.5 We recommend testing is scheduled and this information is shared with guests to choose their preferred times.
4.6 The hotel must ensure the contracted labs or medical personnel have provided the results back to the hotel as well as the written confirmation to the guest.
4.7 Hotel staff must not accept any test results from guests that they have not verified by hotel staff themselves or been verified by contracted labs or medical staff.
5.0 Reporting Results
5.1 Results of all guest tests are noted in the Reporting Template provided and are sent in on a WEEKLY basis only, or retained for confirmation if the testing results are being submitted to MHMS directly.
5.2 Do not PDF, convert to Word or lock the Excel Sheet
5.3 Take details of the guest passport used to enter Fiji for which details were provided to airport (and health) authorities as guest information on the reporting sheet.
5.4 Note the contracted lab being used by the hotel to provide the test results
5.5 Guest information required includes
- Name & Passport Number,
- DOB (if possible dd.mm.yyyy)
- Result & date of test
- Hotel Name
All negative results are filled in and sent to email@example.com Border Health Protection Unit. Contact 6724474 / After-hours shift supervisor 8905997
5.6 For enquiries and to check suspected breaches or checking protocols or for any result sending challenges – please contact the Fiji Hotel & Tourism Association on firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 9926980
6.0 Confirmation of RAT Negative Results
6.1 If the guest is travelling to another part of Fiji or to another hotel, or to join an activity, they may require proof of a negative RAT to take with them. This can be provided by the contracted lab or medical profession or the MHMS lab being used.
6.2 If the hotel has had no choice but to manage the Rapid Antigen Testing themselves, they can use the following template to fill, sign off and provide to the guest: COVID Test Results Template
6.3 Guests should be asked to sign a consent form to confirm their understanding and agreement to the testing: COVID Test Consent Form
7.0 Positive Test Results
7.1 In the event a guest returns a positive RAT result, please note the following actions:
7.1.1 Do NOT panic. The guest has been vaccinated, has been cleared to travel with an RT-PCR negative result into Fiji, and is most probably asymptomatic (showing no symptoms) and therefore highly unlikely to be infectious. And everyone they are and has been in contact with, have all been vaccinated.
- The positive Rapid Antigen Test result may simply mean that guest has had COVID before and the test has simply picked up some historical evidence of this. Or they may have picked up COVID on their way here but may only display mild symptoms, if any at all.
- Have the guest return to their room for the mandatory 7 days isolation or, if the guest is unable to continue the isolation period in your property, then contact tourism Fiji on email@example.com for available isolation rooms.
- A PCR test can be requested by the guest to verify the result, if required by your insurance company.
7.1.2 Isolation of a Positive Guest. Please do not panic the guest or nearby guests. Do all possible to maintain confidentiality.
126.96.36.199 While the guest is in isolation, ensure that they are comfortable throughout the isolation period with access to room service, movies, etc.
188.8.131.52 If the guest is an adult and part of a family – make arrangements to separate the family. The family can remain in the room while the positive guest is moved to another room.
184.108.40.206 The family or couple can choose to remain together as well if they wish.
220.127.116.11 If the positive person is a child, at least one parent should stay with the child
- if there are 2 adults and 1 child travelling as a family, they can choose to stay together, noting that if a negative close contact who isolates with a positive case then tests positive, they will need to commence a 7-day isolation period.
- International requirements for the uplifting of their citizens who have tested positive will be based on MHMS evidence confirming this isolation took place via a “Fit to Fly” letter and they are no longer infectious. They may not be allowed to re-enter their country otherwise.
18.104.22.168 The confirmation of a positive Rapid Antigen Test, in this case, will need to be reported to BHPU.
22.214.171.124 The medical staff from MHMS will confirm whether the guest will remain in their rooms for the full 7 days or less.
126.96.36.199 No further testing is required during the isolation period.
188.8.131.52 Hotels should confirm insurance cover and support the guest(s) to rebook flights, be as comfortable as possible during their isolation period and provide any assistance as needed. Refer to recommended tips.
184.108.40.206 We strongly recommend hotels allow guests remaining on the property to be charged a rack rate for the duration of their extended stay
8.0 Hotel Staff Testing
8.1 Every hotel staff member MUST be tested, once a month. This is also reported on the Reporting Template provided, under the section heading – Staff Testing. However, the information required should only cover – the number of staff (percentage of full staffing) and any positive cases.
8.2 Select staff from different departments so that there is a wide range of staff from different sections that do not always work together or come into contact with each other.
8.3 If there are 50 staff in 5 different departments – over a period of 1 month, you would organise 10 – 15 staff to be tested once a week by rostering & scheduling their tests to ensure a mix of the 5 different departments were completed each time.
8.4 The tests are for RAT only.
8.5 Positive results are followed up with PCR tests:
- Send the staff home and advise them to isolate as best they can or removed from shared staff accommodation and placed into their own staff room
- The hotel must call the contracted lab or medical personnel being used to conduct the PCR test as soon as possible
- Confirmed PCR positivity result follow up actions will be guided by the MHMS advice to further isolate the staff for the full or reduced 10-day timeframe and where this should take place (home, off the island resort or in hospital)
9.0 Testing Requirements to Return to Home Countries
9.1 Currently all countries require proof of a negative test for travellers to be allowed back into their countries of origin.
9.1.1 Australia – Travellers will be expected to provide written proof of a negative Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) result from a professional testing lab, medical professional or MHMS facility to be permitted to board their flight. Hotels that have a contracted medical professional or medically trained staff that conduct RAT on-site are also able to provide the confirmation. Children 5 years or older must also provide a negative test result. UPDATE (28.01.22): To enter Australia from Fiji, all inbound passengers must provide a negative accepted COVID-19 test result. These tests can be either PCR or RAT. The PCR test must be done within 3 days before the day of the flight’s scheduled departure. The RAT must be done within 24 hours of the flight’s scheduled departure time. If a traveller with a confirmed case of COVID-19 has isolated and recovered but their pre-departure PCR test results continue to be positive, exemptions from the negative PCR test requirement may be available. Travellers in these circumstances are required to provide a certificate from a medical practitioner. Please note the medical certificate must contain specific information in order to be accepted by Australian authorities for boarding on return flights. Please check the above link for the latest requirements.
It is important to note that in order for a medical certificate to be valid, it must certify that it has been at least 14 days since the first positive result from a PCR test (rapid tests do not qualify for this requirement). This is why it is important to arrange PCR testing as soon as possible when a COVID-19 infection is suspected.
9.1.2 USA – Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT) that are approved by WHO are accepted. Travellers will be expected to provide written proof of a negative result from a professional testing lab, medical professional or MHMS facility to be permitted to board their flight. Confirmation details must include the name of the RAT used. UPDATE (04.12.2021): Starting December 6, all air passengers, regardless of vaccination status, must show a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 1 day before travel to the United States. (CDC) Air passengers 2 years or older boarding a flight to the United States must fill and submit an Attestation confirming their vaccination status and negative test status or recovery from COVID. This form may be downloaded from the CDC website here.
9.1.3 Japan – RT-PCR tests are required for re-entry into Japan. Travellers will be expected to provide written proof of a negative result on this form ONLY to be permitted to board their flight and enter Japan. Guests returning to Japan should be provided testing confirmation on this form.
9.2 Per entry requirements to travel into most countries – this must be taken 72 hours prior to the guest’s departure from Fiji. This means that they can take a test within the 72-hour timeframe of their departure, so long as their test results can be provided in time for their check-in.
9.3 Guests travelling from outer island resorts may get a test from many of the laboratories and testing facilities available around the country.
9.4 Appointments should be made in advance and confirmation for result turnaround provided. Guests should also be advised to note traffic conditions when making appointments.
10.0 Testing Timeframes for Departures
To understand the requirements for testing for guests
10.1 Guests staying for 5 days or less – only need to get their RT-PCR test, 72 hours prior to their departure. They do NOT need to do a Rapid Antigen Test 48-hours post-arrival.
10.2 Guests staying for more than 5 days – must do a 48-hour post-arrival RAT and then do their RT-PCR test 72 hours prior to their departure from Fiji.
10.3 You may utilise this form to understand testing requirements for arriving guests.
11.0 OTHER INFORMATION
11.1 Insurance Information
11.1.1 Aside from medical care, travel insurance protects travellers in the case of lost or stolen luggage and personal effects, trip cancellation, personal liability, funeral expenses, emergency dental treatment and evacuation back to their country of residence.
11.1.2 Insurance companies provide add-ons that will cover items like expensive cameras, laptops and iPads and other items, but for many travellers, a general travel insurance policy should provide basic cover.
11.1.3 All guests should have Travel Insurance for their travel prior to their arrival in Fiji and this will be available for purchase, even on arrival in Fiji.
11.1.4 Insurance will cover booking changes, extended stays due to positive testing and the country’s requirement to remain in isolation. The insurance does not have to say that it covers COVID specifically.
 The isolation protocols are required to ensure MHMS can confirm to the country of (the guest’s) origin that the guest has served a prescribed isolation period that will enable the guest to receive their Fit to Fly document (Australia) or Recovery Document (USA) to get back home. This is also the expectation from the country of origin (verification of the isolation protocols) to enable the uplifting of what may be a still positive guest, to get back home.
 Hotels must have an “Isolation Plan” – guests should be assisted to choose to move to a mainland property, a Managed Quarantine Facility or simply a cheaper hotel if so required, for their isolation period.