- Normal precautions
- High degree of caution
- Avoid non-essential travel
- Do not travel
- Safety and Security
- Local Laws and Customs
- Natural Disasters and Climate
- Additional Information
- Embassy Contact
General COVID-19 Travel Advisory in Operation:
Avoid non-essential travel until further notice:
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade advises against all non-essential travel overseas until further notice. This includes Great Britain but does not apply to Northern Ireland. It also includes all travel by cruise ship.
If you are currently travelling outside of Ireland:
Flight restrictions and route cancellations are happening on a daily basis worldwide and there is no guarantee that air routes will continue to operate. For this reason, where commercial flights are still an option, we recommend that people who wish to do so make arrangements to return to Ireland as soon as possible.
We are working with airlines to show maximum flexibility to those passengers who need to change their existing flight arrangements. Where commercial flights are no longer available, we are working side-by-side with our international partners to identify alternative options where possible.
It may not be feasible or possible for everyone who wants to travel back to Ireland to do so in the short term. We ask Irish citizens remaining abroad to make decisions that safeguard their health and well-being and that they follow local public health and safety requirements. We ask that they remain in close contact with family, friends and their local Irish Embassy or Consulate.
We know that this is a stressful situation for citizens and our embassy network is working around the clock to provide people with all the information and assistance that we can, bearing in mind the situation is unfolding across multiple countries and is not one under our control.
What to do on entering Ireland from abroad:
The Irish Health Authorities require anyone coming into Ireland, apart from Northern Ireland, to restrict their movements on arrival for 14 days. Check the Irish Health Service COVID-19 Advice Page for full information on these requirements. This includes Irish residents. Exemptions are in place for providers of essential supply chain services such as hauliers, pilots and maritime staff.
Where to go for more information:
We continue to make updates to our online travel advice for over 200 countries and recommend that you download our TravelWise App and follow us on Twitter. If abroad you should register with your local Irish Embassy or Consulate and regularly check their website and especially their Twitter accounts for details of any local public health measures and travel restrictions.
Avoid non-essential travel.
Latest Travel Alert
COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus
Emergency responses to the Covid-19 crisis in many countries have included restrictions of flights to/from Europe; imposition of new mandatory quarantine arrangements and new restrictions affecting the admission of Irish people travelling to and within the Asia Pacific region.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade strongly advises against any non–essential travel to the region until further notice.
For more information, please see the latest update on our webpage.
Fiji confirmed its first case of the Novel Coronavirus on 19 March. From March 20, the existing restrictions on travellers to Fiji from the People’s Republic of China, Italy, Iran, Spain and South Korea is extended to foreign nationals who have been present in the United States of America and all of Europe, within 14 days of their intended travel to Fiji. Additionally any person entering Fiji from any overseas destination will require to self-quarantine for 14 days. For the most up to date information, please see the Department of Immigration website http://www.immigration.gov.fj/
Tropical Cyclone Tino is approaching Fiji. It is forecast to pass the Northern, Central and Eastern Divisions on 17 to 18 January 2020. You should follow the advice and direction of local authorities and monitor local media. Weather updates are available on the Fiji Meteorological website.
There is currently a Measles outbreak in Fiji. The World Health Organisation recommends that travellers get vaccinated against measles at least 15 days prior to travel.
WHO advice for international travel in relation to measles can be found here.
There is currently an outbreak of Zika Virus (a dengue-like mosquito-borne disease) locations including Fiji. Infection with Zika virus has been increasingly linked with a serious birth condition called microcephaly where the baby is born with an abnormally small head and/or brain damage.
If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, and plan to travel to areas affected by the Zika Virus, you are advised to discuss your travel plans with your healthcare provider and to consider postponing your travel to affected areas. Irish Citizens are advised to follow the advice of the Health Protection Surveillance Centre.
Because there is no Irish Embassy or Consulate in Fiji, we’re limited in the help we can offer you in an emergency. However, if you need assistance, you can contact the Irish Embassy in Canberra.
We suggest you learn as much as you can about Fiji before your trip from travel agents, tour operators and guide books. The best help is often close at hand so if you have problems when you’re in Fiji, try talking to your local contacts, tour operator representative or hotel management.
EU Directive on Consular Protection
Under the EU Consular Protection Directive, Irish nationals may seek assistance from the Embassy or Consulate of any other EU member state in a country where there is no Irish Embassy or permanent representation.
Our tips for safe travels
- Purchase comprehensive travel insurance which covers all your intended activities
- Add an alert for your destination within the Travelwise App.
- Register your details with us so that we can contact you quickly in an emergency, such as a natural disaster or a family emergency
- Follow us on twitter @dfatravelwise for the latest travel updates
- Read our Topical ‘Know Before You Go’ guide
- Follow the Embassy of Ireland twitter page, @irlembaustralia, and the Embassy of Ireland Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/IrishEmbassyAustralia/
- Irish citizens travelling abroad are encouraged to register their contact details with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade https://www.dfa.ie/travel/citizens-registration/
Safety and Security
Safety and Security
Safety and security
The political situation in Fiji is relatively stable but you should be aware that Fiji is currently ruled by decree, which give the police and military extensive powers.
There is potential for civil unrest and you should avoid all political rallies and avoid openly discussing political issues. You should also avoid military installations, military activity and concentrations of military personnel, especially around Suva.
Local media in Fiji faces censorship so if you want to monitor the political situation during your visit, check the Internet for news from international media.
Most Irish visitors to Fiji stay in resorts and these are generally very safe. If you intend to move outside resort areas, be aware of your surroundings and take additional precautions:
- Don’t carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together - leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place.
- Don’t carry your passport unless absolutely necessary and leave a copy of your passport (and travel and insurance documents) with family or friends at home.
- Lock your luggage as a sensible precaution against luggage tampering, including theft.
- Significant numbers of foreign tourists are victims of violent robbery, particularly after dark in Suva and other towns. When you’re travelling, especially alone, take extra care, particularly if you’re visiting isolated locations.
Lost or stolen passports
Given that the nearest Irish Embassy is a huge distance away in Canberra, Australia, dealing with a lost or stolen passport can be extremely inconvenient and can take time to resolve. In emergencies, you can get limited consular assistance from EU partners with Embassies in Suva.
If you’re a victim of a crime while in Fiji, report it to the local police immediately. And you can contact us at the Irish Embassy in Canberra if you need help.
If you’re planning to drive in Fiji, you should be extremely careful. Traffic discipline can be poor, roads are often badly lit and of poor quality and animals on the road are a hazard. In particular, it’s dangerous to drive at night between Nadi and Suva. If you want to drive, bring your full Irish driver’s licence and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance
When using taxis or mini buses, we advise you to use ones with yellow registration plates. This show that the vehicle recently complied with Land Transport Authority (LTA) regulations. Not all minibuses currently operating in Fiji are licensed by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and unlicensed minibuses will probably not be insured.
Hiring a vehicle
If you’re hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you’re allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.
Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).
Safety standards of tour operators in Fiji may not compare to Irish standards, especially for adventure sports (including diving) or on boats in coastal waters and between islands. There may not be enough life jackets for boats, rafts and kayaks. Check the operator’s credentials and safety equipment beforehand and make sure your travel insurance policy covers your planned activities.
Be aware that there are dangerous rip tides along many of Fiji’s reefs and river estuaries, so you should know what you’re dealing with before you get in the water. Always wear the appropriate safety equipment before going out to the reefs or engaging in water sports and take local advice on safety.
Local Laws and Customs
Local Laws and Customs
Local laws and customs
Remember, the local laws apply to you as a visitor and it is your responsibility to follow them. Be sensitive to local customs, traditions and practices as your behaviour may be seen as improper, hostile or may even be illegal.
Illegal drug use (no matter what the drug) carries stiff penalties, including fines and long prison terms. Possession of any amount of marijuana carries a mandatory three-month prison sentence.
It’s illegal to be under the influence of alcohol while at an airport. Airline travellers who are intoxicated may be detained by police.
You may be invited to take part in the local ceremony of drinking kava. Be aware that in rare cases, there are indications that this could have adverse effects on the liver.
Topless bathing and nudity in public is forbidden.
Homosexuality in Fiji is legal. Nonetheless, discretion, and awareness of local sensitivities, is advised particularly when visiting rural communities.
Natural Disasters and Climate
Natural Disasters and Climate
Natural disasters and climate
Tropical Cyclone Winston (February 2016)
Tropical Cyclone Winston hit Fiji on 20/21 February, causing widespread coastal and flash flooding, damaging property, and disrupting power supplies and communications. Flights into and out of Fiji were temporarily suspended, but services resumed on 22 February. There are no reports of significant structural damage to the majority of hotels in Viti Levu, except in some localised areas. Irish Citizens should follow the advice of local authorities and monitor weather reports closely. Our very strong advice is that you should check with your airline or travel agent for the latest travel information before attempting to travel.
Tropical cyclones are common in Fiji from the beginning of November until the end of April. There is a warning system in operation, though it may not always be adequate.
The direction and strength of tropical cyclones can change with little warning. The Fiji Meteorological Service provides up to date information about the weather conditions in Fiji and you can also get information from the Asia-Pacific Centre for Emergency and Disaster, the World Meteorological Organisation Severe Weather Information Centre or the Humanitarian Early Warning Service
In the event of an approaching cyclone, you should identify your local shelter. Follow the instructions of local authorities and monitor the media for the latest developments. Carry your travel documents (ie passport, photo identification) or secure them in a safe, waterproof location. If possible, contact friends and family in Ireland with updates to let them know you’re safe.
Flights in and out of affected areas could be delayed or suspended and you should be aware that available flights may fill quickly. In some areas, adequate shelter from a severe cyclone may not be available to everyone who chooses to stay.
Fiji is in an earthquake zone and suffers from tremors from time to time. These can trigger tsunami alerts. Familiarise yourself with safety procedures in the event of an earthquake, and take note of earthquake and tsunami-related instructions from your hotel or the local authorities.
Flash floods resulting in landslides and road blockages can happen throughout the year in the Fiji Islands. In periods of heavy rain, check with your tour operator or resort before travelling, particularly by road.
Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Be alert to common signs of infection: respiratory problems, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. Seek medical advice if you experience these symptoms.
HSE medical advice to protect yourself from getting COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is below.
• wash your hands properly and regularly with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub
• cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough and sneeze
• put used tissues into a bin and wash your hands
• touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
Check with your doctor well in advance of travelling to see if you need any vaccinations for Fiji.
Additional information on COVID-19 can be found via the following links:
If you are unsure of the entry requirements for Fiji, including visa and other immigration information, ask your travel agent or contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Fiji.
You can also check with them how long your passport must be valid for.
It’s advisable to take a number of photocopies of your passport with you. During your stay you should carry a photocopy of your passport at all times
On 21 March 2018, the Fiji Ministry of Health and Medical Services declared an outbreak of meningococcal disease. According to the World Health Organisation, meningococcal can be highly fatal. Symptoms include high fever, sensitivity to light or nausea. Seek urgent medical advice if symptoms persist.
Health care facilities in Fiji are adequate for routine medical treatment, but they are limited in range and may not be available in some regions. In the event of a medical emergency, evacuation could be a likely option for treatment, and you should make sure that your insurance policy covers this. Be aware that doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services.
There is currently an outbreak of Zika Virus (a dengue-like mosquito-borne disease) in Central and South America, the Caribbean and other locations including Fiji. Infection with Zika virus has been increasingly linked with a serious birth condition called microcephaly where the baby is born with an abnormally small head and/or brain damage. An increase in cases of a neurological illness (called Guillan Barre Syndrome) have also been reported in areas where Zika virus outbreaks have occurred. Irish Citizens are advised to follow guidance available on the website of the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) at http://www.hpsc.ie/A-Z/Vectorborne/Zika/.
If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, and plan to travel to areas affected by the Zika Virus, you are advised to discuss your travel plans with your healthcare provider and to consider postponing your travel to affected areas.
As the Zika virus can be passed in a man’s semen, men returning from a Zika-affected area who do not have any symptoms of Zika are advised to practice safe sex (by wearing a condom) for one month after return. Men who have developed symptoms that could be due to Zika virus infection (fever, headache, aches, pains, rash, itchy eyes) are advised to practice safe sex (by wearing a condom) for 6 months after return. This is precautionary advice that may be revised as more information becomes available.
Outbreaks of mosquito-borne illnesses (including dengue fever and filariasis) are common, with more serious outbreaks occurring from time to time. Before travelling, get up-to-date medical advice as to whether you will need anti-malarial medication. When you arrive, avoid being bitten by mosquitoes by using bed nets and repellents, and wearing closed shoes, long sleeves and trousers.
Water-borne, food-borne and other infectious diseases (including typhoid, hepatitis, leptospirosis, tuberculosis, measles and mumps) are common, with more serious outbreaks occurring from time to time. Fijian authorities have reported cases of typhoid in Suva and throughout the country.
We recommend that you boil all drinking water or drink bottled water, and avoid ice cubes, raw and undercooked food.
Before you go, organise a variety of ways to access your money overseas, such as credit cards, travellers' cheques, cash, debit cards or cash cards. Consult with your bank to find the most appropriate currency to carry and whether your ATM card will work.
Mobile phone coverage
The mobile phone network generally works well in cities and large towns but coverage in some rural areas and outlying islands can be limited or non-existent. This may result in you being out of contact with home for periods of time.
If you require emergency assistance from the Embassy, please contact us on +61 2 62140000.
If you call outside normal working hours, you will be given instructions to call another number to speak to a Duty Officer.
Embassy of Ireland
20 Arkana Street
Monday to Friday 9:30am – 12:30pm and 2pm – 4pm
Get travel and medical insurance
Before travelling, the Department strongly recommends that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical repatriation/evacuation, repatriation of remains and legal costs. You should check any exclusions and, in particular, that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.