18 February, 2021 – Fiji, a COVID-Contained country for more than 300 days, will soon welcome back the United States reality show Survivor to begin production in the country. Under Fiji’s strict quarantine protocols, the show’s cast and crew are soon are expected to return to the country this month, marking the first major production approved under the Fijian COVID Safe Economic Framework.
Since the outbreak of the pandemic, the Fijian COVID-19 Risk Mitigation Taskforce (CRMT) has scrupulously managed the risks of resuming various socio-economic activities. Under the Framework, the Film, Television, Cast and Crew category facilitates requests by interested production companies to film in Fiji, creating jobs and generating revenue for Fiji’s film industry.
After careful consideration of the health ramifications and the development of safe entry and filming parametres, US Survivor Seasons 41 and 42 by SEG Holdco, LLC have received the green-light to resume production in Fiji. In strict compliance with Fiji’s standard international arrivals protocols, all arrivals are subject to strict entry conditions that includes COVID-19 pre-departure testing, 14-day mandatory quarantine on arrival in a Government-designated quarantine facility, and border quarantine exit testing. Survivor US has successfully shot eight seasons in Fiji, with two scheduled for 2021.
“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, production houses are shoveling out incredible sums to safely manage production sites, with the risk of an even a single case shutting down multi-million-dollar projects. Fiji is a COVID-Contained country, with no local cases of the virus for more than 300 days we have safely restored freedom of movement and association. We offer the world’s most serene and spectacular natural settings, as well as an established network of telecommunications and infrastructure make us a production paradise, but especially now in light of the coronavirus. We are excited as Survivor fans everywhere to welcome the production back to Fiji, and we look forward to welcoming other productions, in line with our COVID-safe protocols, that put more Fijians back to work,” Said the Minister for Commerce, Trade, and Tourism,” Faiyaz Koya.
Beginning in mid-February, the cast and crew will enter Fiji in three groups, adhering to the 72-hour pre-departure testing on platforms acceptable by the Fijian Ministry of Health and Medical Services. Upon arrival, the cast and crew will enter mandatory 14-day quarantine at a Government designated quarantine facility under 24/7 surveillance from the RFMF and supervision of our Health experts. Protocols for dealing with any possible positive cases have also been established for containment at our borders, ensuring the safety of the Fijian community.
Once the health risks are acceptably minimised and the cast and crew are cleared, Survivor will commence shooting its 2021 Series in Fiji. With an expected international viewership of more than 100 million, the production will explore Fiji’s culture and leisure/adventure activities offered – promoting Fiji as a tourist and filming destination.
The 400 locals part-time and full-time employment opportunities will largely be in the surrounding islands of Yaro Levu Village (Mana Island), Yaro Village (Malolo Island), Solevu Village (Malolo Island), Yanuya Village, (Yanuya Island), Tavua Village (Tavua Island) in addition to key skilled positions from the mainland, generating business for the transport and accommodation sectors. The Western Division which, as Fiji’s tourism hub, has been severely affected by the pandemic, expects to see the highest level of economic activity as a result of the production.
As the key implementing taskforce of the COVID Safe Economic Framework (Framework), the CRMT continues to explore opportunities to support economic recovery. The CRMT has been working closely with SEG Holdco, LLC through a technical working group of experts from the Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS), Republic of Fiji Military Forces’ (RFMF) Surveillance Team, Film Fiji, Fiji Airways, Survivor Series agents and the Ministry of Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport, to mitigate the risks around the show’s production.