Coronavirus Information

Published 16/03/2020

Latest Advice On COVID-19

Here you can find Think Pacific’s latest response to the ongoing Coronavirus situation.

Current customer service policy

Please note that due to the current COVID-19 outbreak, our focus is to support and communicate with the volunteers, staff and their next of kin currently within Fiji and due to depart from Fiji within the next 7 days.  If this is relevant to you, please email info@thinkpacific.com in the first instance.

If your query relates to outside of this time period, we will be in touch as soon as we can.

Please note that our UK office is closed and our small staff team are currently working remotely.

We appreciate your patience and empathy during this unprecedented period.

International travel restrictions in place

There are Exceptional Travel Advisory Notices in place as countries around the world respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including putting in place travel and border restrictions.

The British Foreign Office advises British nationals against all but essential international travel.

This advise is in place until 15 April 2020 and all projects are suspended until this date.

For the latest advice from the Fijian Immigration Department please visit their site.

What is the COVID-19 situation in Fiji?

There have been 4 reported cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Fiji, the first case was confirmed on the 19th March.  The Fijian Government have the situation under constant review and we are liaising with our government partners for updates.

Think Pacific Foundation within Fiji

Think Pacific is a local Fijian charity, which works year round to support rural Fijian communities and long term aims in partnership with the Fijian Ministry of Health.

Although we’re operational in Fiji,  with present government travel advisories in place and consequent travel insurance policy restrictions, volunteers are prevented from currently joining our projects on the ground in Fiji.

What does this mean for volunteers?

With current travel bans, if your project is within next 8 weeks, we strongly recommend you to transfer to a later project date.

Transferring project date

We have introduced a policy to waive any amendment fees, so any volunteers wishing to delay their project may do so.

We will be launching projects as soon as travel bans are lifted and we will be adding additional 1 month, 2 month and 16 day dates as required.

We already have over 600 volunteers confirmed for our 2021 projects. Transferring to 2021 is proving the most popular option and we have launched a series of new dates

As a charity in Fiji, we have staff on the ground and are active year round running initiatives. We are keen to maintain status quo for the communities we support and return to projects as soon as possible, whilst following all the latest travel government advice. We feel more than ever that there is a need to pull together, to stay connected with the world and look forward to resuming all programs as soon as possible.

Our charity aims in Fiji would not be achieved without the amazing students who join us and support our Foundation. We thank every single one of you for continuing to fundraise, plan and prepare for your program.

What about flights to Fiji?

Flights are separate to our projects and we advise contacting your flight company or agent for their policy on changing your flights to a later project.  If you have booked flights through STA Travel, here is the STA Travel Flight Page for your reference.

Many airlines are offering free transfers of flights to future dates.

What about travel insurance?

We advise all our volunteers have comprehensive travel insurance.  Once travel bans have been lifted, please inform your travel insurance of your project date to ensure you are fully covered.

What measures are Fiji taking to contain COVID-19?

Fiji is a very popular tourism destination and the government has been really proactive in its measures to protect the country.

All international air passengers are being screened with handheld temperature scanners prior to entering the country.

On the 2nd March, thermal scanners were installed at all the airports and ports in Fiji.

Since February, all cruise ship passengers must undergo medical and travel checks.

Fiji has the ability to test for COVID-19 quickly within the country and the government are being pro-active in giving advice to citizens.

What is Fiji’s health care like?

Fiji has 3 major divisional hospitals, 18 sub-divisional hospitals, more than 80 Health Centres and approximately 99 Nursing Stations located across provinces.

The Ministry of Health have advised that the country is well prepared, with action plans, testing centres and quarantine facilities ready if needed.

In a case of emergency, MIOT Pacific Hospital is a private hospital and the one advised by Think Pacific to use as the premier facility in the country.

Health care in Fiji is not always free at the point of use and payment is often required at the time of treatment. However, with comprehensive travel insurance, you are able to claim costs back after treatment or upon your return home.

Our promise to you, as a small and personal organisation

We take our safety obligations extremely seriously.

Think Pacific has an impeccable safety record. We’re a highly experienced, small and personal team who guide over 1000 student volunteers to Fiji annually. We’re the absolute experts in the region.  Fiji is not only our pride and passion, it’s the only place we guide projects. We know the country better than anyone and this focus means we’re the authority on advising people about Fiji, and supporting you when you arrive with our staff, network and contacts.

We have worked through global health events in the past, such as Zika virus in 2017 as well as natural disasters, such as Tropical storms, all with complete safety, satisfaction and high praise from volunteers for their incredible experiences.

We’ll continue to do all we can to support volunteers, our university partners and Fijian communities at this time.

 

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