This is the boring but hugely important stuff. This section is not about coconut palms and colourful cocktails and lagoon pools … but it is about making sure you stay well and happy and cover all bases.

Before you travel to any foreign country, it’s crucial to stay abreast of the latest health and safety updates. The Australian Federal Government’s Fiji page on the Smartraveller website is essential reading and should be bookmarked.

You should also talk to your GP well before you travel to discuss what vaccinations you or family members may require before holidaying in Fiji.

Health

In March 2018, the Fiji Ministry of Health and Medical Services declared an outbreak of meningococcal disease. Symptoms include high fever, sensitivity to light or nausea. Seek urgent medical advice if symptoms persist.

Outbreaks of endemic mosquito-borne illnesses (including dengue fever) are common. Protect yourself against mosquito bites.

The only hyperbaric (decompression) chamber in Fiji is undergoing long-term maintenance. Dive well within safety limits and ensure your travel insurance covers diving and evacuation costs.

Driving at night can be dangerous because of insufficient street lighting, stray animals and poor quality roads. Exercise caution.

The standard of medical facilities in Fiji is not as high as in Australia. Public hospitals and medical facilities are generally not as well equipped as hospitals in Australia for services, specialist equipment (including neo-natal), diagnostics and pharmaceuticals. Many regional hospitals provide only basic services. Rescue and emergency services are not as comprehensive as they are in Australia.

Hotels and resorts rely on public health facilities during medical emergencies. For serious illness or accident, medical evacuation to Australia is usually necessary. Costs for evacuation are high. Ensure that your travel insurance covers medical evacuation.

Take out comprehensive travel insurance before you depart. If you cannot afford travel insurance, you cannot afford to travel. The Australian Government will not pay for your medical expenses overseas or medical evacuation costs.

Safety

The safety standards you might expect of tour operators are not always met, especially for adventure sports (including diving) or on boats in rivers, coastal waters and between islands.

Sometimes insufficient life jackets are available for boats, rafts and kayaks. If appropriate safety equipment isn't available, use another provider. Always use available safety equipment, such as lifejackets or seatbelts, even if others don't.

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 may not be insured.

*Health and safety updates valid as of September 2018. Check the Smartraveller website for any changes. 

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