Nearly two and a half years after closing borders, Kiribati is the latest Pacific destination to announce its comeback and will resume international travel from August 1.
Alongside a lowered Covid-19 alert level, the Kiribati government has also reduced the mandatory quarantine period to three days from the previous seven, and this applies to both domestic and international travels.
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“Despite the relaxation of some of the SOP guidelines, the Government appeals to the general public to continue practicing health safety measures such as wearing masks in public and the continuation of handwashing to help stop the spread of the virus,” the President’s office urged.
In March 2020, Kiribati joined New Zealand, Fiji and Vanuatu in shutting country borders to keep Covid-19 infections at bay.
The small island state’s border closure came just a year after establishing its inaugural destination marketing arm. In May, the Tourism Authority of Kiribati (TAK) began the second round of Covid-19 tourism protocol training to prepare industry operators for border reopening.
“TAK will continue to deliver COVID-19 protocol training for tourism sector partners across the destination with the goal of achieving a 100 per cent compliance to the protocols. This is part of the Authority’s preparation for a safe, smart, and sustainable restart to tourism in Kiribati.”
These safety protocols apply to transport, accommodation, restaurants, bars, employees’ safety and waste disposal.
Though Kiribati lacks the conventional tourism infrastructure of larger Pacific neighbours, unique activities on offer include tours of war relics from the Pacific campaign of WW2.
Ahead of receiving international arrivals, a series of new flights have also been scheduled from the capital Tarawa to Brisbane, Australia later this month and in July by Solomon Airlines.
Samoa will also reopen on August 1, while the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu reopen from July 1.