Australians have been eagerly awaiting a safe travel bubble for months.
While an Australia-New Zealand arrangement was always due to land first, South Pacific nations — especially those that saw a successful and quick response to the pandemic — expressed an early interest in joining a travel bubble arrangement between Australia and New Zealand.
Now, though, after months of waiting for the go-ahead, it seems one Fiji island is making alternative arrangements, with an exclusive travel bubble for cashed-up Americans.
The Island Nation of Fiji has hinted it won’t be accepting large-scale global travel until at least March 2021, but one private island resort had teamed up with national carrier Fiji Airways to bring US travellers to its white sand beaches.
The Laucala Private Island Resort is allowing travellers from the US to charter a private flight from Los Angeles airport to Nadi, Fiji. A private aircraft transfer will take the party to the private island, where guests will have the entire resort to themselves.
Typically, travellers into Fiji are required to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine, but this special arrangement pardons guests from having to isolate. In lieu of isolation, travellers will have to return three negative COVID-19 tests in the lead-up to the trip and upon arrival in Fiji.
Once they’ve arrived, the world is their oyster. Guests will have access to all facilities on the island, including the 25 private villas, five restaurants, pool bar, open-air lounges and wellness spas.
They can also freely explore the islands rainforests, beaches and reefs, and take part in activities on the golf courses, in the pools, and on the 14 yachts belonging to the island.
In the past, the resort has been frequented by celebrities. Miranda Kerr and Evan Spiegel married there, and Oprah was a past guest. And a similar level of wealth is required for guests to visit the island in the pandemic.
According to CNN Travel, the experience will cost an eye-watering US $490,000 (AU $694,526), and this covers the jet, transfers, seven-night stay on the island, plus all food and drinks for 20 passengers.
The deal also includes exclusive use of private luxury airport lounges in both LA and Nadi, which ensures further social distancing takes place.