French Polynesia is set to reopen for international tourism next month

Jun 10 2020, 2:42 pm

After having no active cases of COVID-19 since May 29, authorities in French Polynesia have decided to reopen the country’s borders to international tourism starting July 15, 2020.

In a press conference held on June 5 by President Édouard Fritch and the High Commissioner, it was outlined in French that this decision comes as the “health situation is now completely under control,” with transmissions of coronavirus ceasing, no new cases, and “above all,” no deaths.

These advancements allow for the lifting of restrictions, reopening of internal services, and the resumption of economic activity within the country.

However, there will still be regulations and protocols before and after travellers arrive.

Individuals travelling to the islands will be required to participate in a compulsory coronavirus test 72 hours before their departure to French Polynesia and will be required to obtain mandatory international travel insurance for all non-resident visitors.

They also must be able to present a medical certificate that proves that they have tested negative to be permitted to enter the country. Those who have tested positive for coronavirus more than three weeks before their departure who possess an “immunity certificate” that proves that they have recovered are exempt from these requirements, according to the Islands of Tahiti website.

The site continues that travellers are expected to adhere to IATA sanitary measures, which includes wearing a face mask for the duration of their flight. They also must sign a statement of commitment agreeing that they will follow the various health and safety measures implemented by authorities and that they will also self-report should they present with any symptoms.

Four days following their arrival in French Polynesia, visitors may have to take an additional coronavirus test. The country’s Ministry of Health and Prevention will “randomly test a panel of travellers during their stay,” the site explains.

As well, hotels and other accommodation establishments will host regular drop-ins from medical workers coordinated by the Department of Health.

Guests are urged to wear a mask at all times where and when it is possible and follow any other health measures and protocols. If they do experience coronavirus-related symptoms while visiting, travellers are required to self-report and quarantine in their accommodations until they receive supplemental instruction from health authorities.

The tourism board will explain more comprehensive details regarding travel guidelines and procedures for visitors to adhere to soon.  The quickest way to receive the latest information is to subscribe to the newsletter issued by The Islands of Tahiti.

Note: As border closures and travel restrictions begin to lift, health authorities are reminding individuals to monitor themselves for any signs of COVID-19. If you are feeling unwell, it is recommended you stay at home. If you do decide to travel, follow the health and safety precautions and protocols outlined by the departure and arrival locations you will be travelling to/from.

Emily RumballEmily Rumball

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