SUVA (FBC News/Fiji Times/Pacnews) — Fijian hotel workers are pleading with the New Zealand and Australian governments to open up the borders with Fiji just as the trans-Tasman countries have done with each other.
Countless hotel workers have had to return to their villages as they no longer have the income to sustain themselves in urban centers.
Rusiate Seninawanawa, a tourism worker, made this heartfelt and emotional plea that represents most tourism industry workers who have been struggling for more than a year now to make ends meet.
“I really plead with the Australian and New Zealand government to please work with us. Work with Fiji as we really depend on Tourism. “
Seninawanawa’s wife told FBC News that they will soon be moving back to the village as life has become hard in urban centers.
“Now we have to move back to the village as our landlord has been updating our rent.”
Minister for Tourism Faiyaz Koya said Fiji has worked hard from the start of the pandemic to tick most of the boxes needed to join a travel bubble.
“You would have seen from the discussions from the Australians also that they still have Fiji in their thoughts. We understand especially with New Zealand that they have a territory to look after also first, we understand what they are saying.”
The government continues to call on all eligible Fijians to register for the Covid-19 vaccine.
“It’s one of the critical steps towards opening our borders and restoring the world-renowned Bula smile on the faces of Fijians,” Koya said.
Meanwhile, the Australian government says it will really need to be confident that Covid-19 is suppressed in Australia before opening quarantine-free travel to Fiji.
This was the word from Australian ambassador to Fiji, John Feakes.