27 Feb 2020

Cruise ship ban continues in New Caledonia's outer islands

8:52 am on 27 February 2020

New Caledonia's Isle of Pines has extended its ban on cruise ships until the end of March as a measure to fend off the coronavirus.

New Caledonia's Isle of Pines

New Caledonia's Isle of Pines Photo: 123rf

The island of Mare was the first to object to cruise ship visits a month ago and Lifou followed suit.

The economic impact is not known but Lifou alone usually has 200,000 cruise ship tourists a year.

Local television says in the north of the main island, locals were concerned about the arrival of a nickel ore ship from Japan.

The report says the vessel was hundreds of metres off the shore and that a doctor went onboard to check the temperature of the 30-strong crew.

At the international airport in Noumea, more than 26,000 arriving passengers have been questioned since late January.

So far there has been no coronavirus case and nobody is held in quarantine.

The risk zone, which initially centred on China, now also includes northern Italian regions from where one person arrived and was medically checked.