Curfew from tonight across all of French Polynesia

4:06 pm on 28 March 2020

A curfew will come into force in French Polynesia tonight in the latest measure to stem the spread of Covid-19.

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Photo: supplied

The French High Commissioner Dominique Sorain and the French Polynesian president jointly announced that it would come into force at 8pm and last until 5am.

The curfew applies to all islands and will be in place until 15 April.

Anyone breaching the curfew will be fined at least $US150 ($NZ248) and risks one year in prison.

The curfew was foreshadowed last weekend when movements were restricted and the public was warned of a possible complete lockdown.

Partying in defiance of the meeting ban prompted the authorities three days ago to ban the sale of alcohol until 5 April.

Today's announcement also tightens travel restrictions already in force between Tahiti and Moorea, which are the two islands sharing the confirmed 30 Covid-19 cases.

Travel between the southern and northern part of Tahiti will also be subject to tighter controls to curb the risk of further transmission.

There will be also closer scrutiny of those in self-isolation after returning from overseas.

Flights have been gradually cut and before the complete suspension, one last plane will leave Tahiti tomorrow.

About 3400 people have been flown out in the past week, but according to local television, 50 travellers are stuck.

Plans are being drawn up to secure a skeleton air service for freight and possible medical evacuation to France.

Tahiti parliamentarians appeal to France for help to fight Covid-19

Maina Sage

Maina Sage Photo: Tahoeraa Huiraatira party

Two French Polynesian members of the French legislature have appealed to Paris for help in the face of the crisis triggered by the Covid-19 outbreak.

Lana Tetuanui and Maina Sage have written a letter to the French prime minister Edouard Philippe saying the French state is absent in efforts to try to salvage French Polynesia's economy, which depends on tourism.

The two, who belong to the ruling Tapura Huiraatira Party, said there had been no message or declaration that France would help as part of its national solidarity.

They aid French Polynesia was ill-equipped to deal with the threatening pandemic.

Two weeks ago after returning from France, Sage was diagnosed as French Polynesia's first Covid-19 carrier.

220414. Photo RNZ. French Polynesia. Flags at territorial assembly in French Polynesia

220414. Photo RNZ. French Polynesia. Flags at territorial assembly in French Polynesia Photo: RNZ Pacific / Walter Zweifel

In a special session, the territorial assembly approved the relief package drawn up over the past week to help bridge the loss of income of those now out of work.

A pro-independence member Moetai Brotherson abstained, telling Tahiti Nui TV that he did so in part as a gesture over the assembly's failure to suggest its members' salaries be cut and the money given to a solidarity fund.

The president Edouard Fritch said help had been promised by China which he said would send a plane next week with test kits and four million masks.

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