Fiji

876 k
Population
Dollar
Currency
Safety and security

Crime

The level of serious crime is generally low, but petty theft is fairly common. Be particularly careful with personal possessions and travel documents in cities and other popular tourist destinations. Use a hotel safe where possible and avoid carrying everything in one bag. Don’t leave your belongings unattended. Be alert when you are withdrawing money from cash machines. There have been reports of thefts from motor vehicles in Suva. Windows should be kept up and doors locked when driving.

Before you travel, make copies of your passport, travel documents and travellers cheques. Keep one copy with you in a separate place to the original and leave another copy with someone at home.

Take particular care when walking at night in cities and towns and when visiting isolated areas. Women travelling alone should take extra care. There have been cases of serious sexual assaults against foreign nationals in Fiji, including against British women.

Water-based activities

There are dangerous rip tides along reefs and river estuaries. Always comply with warning signs, especially red flags, and only swim from approved beaches. If you plan to go out to the reefs or engage in any water activities, you should satisfy yourself that the company you are using has the most up-to-date equipment, including all of the necessary safety features and that they - and you - are fully licensed and insured.

There’s only one hyperbaric (decompression) chamber in Fiji, located at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital in Suva, and it’s only available intermittently. If you’re diving in Fiji, do so conservatively and make sure you have travel and health insurance that includes coverage for diving and evacuation costs.

Follow local advice if jellyfish are present.

Road travel

Take extra care when driving at night particularly in rural areas as roads are mainly in a poor condition and can be dangerous due to a lack of street lighting, the presence of pedestrians and stray animals on roads. When driving, you must keep your driving licence with you at all times. Vehicle safety regulations are rarely enforced and traffic violations can occur. Severe weather can lead to roads becoming damaged, blocked or washed away. Seek local advice before you set out.

Taxis are of variable quality. Only use licensed taxis; they have a yellow registration plate.

Not all minibuses are licensed by the Land Transport Authority (LTA). As with taxis, those with yellow number plates have been approved by the LTA. Unlicensed minibuses will probably not be insured.

Political situation

The first general election since 2006 took place on 17 September 2014. A peaceful election process gave rise to Fiji’s first democratically elected government in 8 years. You should monitor local developments and avoid political rallies and public gatherings.

Mobile phones

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. You can use your UK mobile phone in Fiji if global roaming has been activated, but making and receiving calls can be expensive. Many UK mobile phones will not work in Fiji as your mobile phone provider may not have an international roaming agreement with Fiji’s mobile phone providers, Vodafone and Digicel. Many visitors prefer to buy a Fiji SIM card on arrival. These are relatively cheap to buy and calls, both local and international are cheaper than using a UK SIM card. Fijian SIM cards are available at Nadi International Airport and at convenience stores and supermarkets. Registration of a SIM card purchased locally is mandatory.

Terrorism

There is a low threat from terrorism in Fiji. But you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be in public areas, including those frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers.

There is considered to be a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time.

Find out more about the global threat from terrorism, how to minimise your risk and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack.

Local laws and customs

Avoid recreational drugs of any kind in Fiji. Possession of even small quantities can lead to imprisonment and a hefty fine. Possession of any amount of marijuana carries a mandatory 3 month prison sentence.

If you are invited to take part in a kava drinking ceremony, you should be aware of the associated risk of liver toxicity.

Topless bathing and nudity in public is forbidden. Cover shoulders and knees during kava ceremonies and when in rural villages.

Homosexuality was decriminalised in February 2010, but gay and lesbian travellers should be aware of local sensitivities, particularly when visiting rural communities.

Health

Visit your health professional at least 4 to 6 weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or other preventive measures. Country specific information and advice is published by the National Travel Health Network and Centre on the TravelHealthPro website and by NHS (Scotland) on the fitfortravel website. Useful information and advice about healthcare abroad is also available on the NHS Choices website.

Health care facilities are adequate for routine medical treatment, but are limited in range and availability. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services. In the event of a medical emergency, evacuation is a likely option for treatment. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any treatment abroad, medical evacuation and repatriation.

For information and advice about the risks associated with Zika virus, visit the National Travel Health Network and Centre website.

A number of dengue fever cases have been reported. Some have been the potentially fatal haemorrhagic fever strain, which have led to a number of deaths. You should take precautions against being bitten by mosquitoes, including using insect repellent, wearing long, light coloured loose-fitting clothing and ensuring your accommodation is mosquito proof.

If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 911 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.

Entry requirements

The information on this page covers the most common types of travel and reflects the UK government’s understanding of the rules currently in place. Unless otherwise stated, this information is for travellers using a full ‘British Citizen’ passport.

The authorities in the country or territory you’re travelling to are responsible for setting and enforcing the rules for entry. If you’re unclear about any aspect of the entry requirements, or you need further reassurance, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.

You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.

Visas

Visas are not required for visits of up to 4 months. You must have an onward or return ticket and a valid visa for the next country you are travelling to. If you are visiting Fiji on business you will be granted a stay for 14 days on arrival.

If you plan to stay for longer than 4 months, you will need to apply for a visa from the Fiji High Commission in London.

Yachts can only enter Fiji through Suva, Lautoka, Savusavu and Levuka For other ports, such as Nadi/Denarau, prior arrangement with the Fijian Authorities is required.

Passport validity

Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Fiji.

UK Emergency Travel Documents

UK Emergency Travel Documents are valid for entry, airside transit and exit from Fiji.

Yellow fever certificate requirements

Check whether you need a yellow fever certificate by visiting the National Travel Health Network and Centre’s TravelHealthPro website.

Importing meat or dairy products

Fiji customs enforce strict quarantine regulations and x-ray all in-bound luggage at Nadi airport. Most perishable foodstuffs will be confiscated on arrival, unless arriving from a country with quarantine agreements with Fiji.

Importing or exporting currency

You must declare currency amounts in excess of FJ$10,000.

Travelling with children

Some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country or, in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country.

In the case of Fiji, no such documentation is required for visitors. But it is required for those applying for work and/or residency permits. For further information contact the Fiji High Commission in London.

Natural disasters

Earthquakes

Fiji is in an earthquake zone and suffers from tremors from time to time. These can trigger tsunami alerts. Make sure you understand local safety procedures in the event of an earthquake or tsunami. To learn more about what to do before, during and after an earthquake, visit the website of the US Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Tropical cyclones

The tropical cyclone season in Fiji normally runs from November to April, but cyclones can occur throughout the year. During this period there is a greater risk of strong winds, heavy rains, flooding, landslides and road closures.

Monitor weather updates from the Fiji Meteorological Service, in local newspapers and on Radio Fiji 2 on 105 FM, and follow the advice of the local authorities including any evacuation orders. See our Tropical Cyclones page for further advice about what to do if you’re caught up in a storm.

Money

There has been an increase in credit card fraud. This may include credit card skimming devices or other types of data theft. Take extra care when paying with credit cards or withdrawing money from ATMs.

Most tourist hotels and many restaurants accept credit cards. But not all ATMs accept the full range of cards issued overseas. The Australian and New Zealand Bank (ANZ) and Westpac ATMs accept cards with the Visa, Mastercard, Maestro and Cirrus symbols.