17 Apr 2020

New Caledonia eases Covid-19 restrictions from Monday

11:30 am on 17 April 2020

New Caledonia will scale back the restrictions imposed over the Covid-19 outbreak on 24 March.

After 12 days without any positive tests, the French High Commission and the New Caledonian government will allow for free movement and the opening of businesses from Monday.

The president Thierry Santa, who on Wednesday emerged from two weeks of self-isolation, said with every day that passes it can be assumed that the virus is not in circulation.

Of the 18 people to test positive so far none contracted the virus in New Caledonia.

Mr Santa said while social distancing should be observed, people are again allowed to go to the beach, go hunting and fishing.

Kuendu Bay, New Caledonia

Kuendu Bay, New Caledonia Photo: RNZ Walter Zweifel

It will no longer be mandatory to carry an attestation when in public.

Restaurants will be allowed to reopen, but cinemas, discos, nakamals and bars must stay closed.

Public gatherings of fewer than 50 people can go ahead on condition that attendees leave their phone numbers.

Church and sport events are still on hold.

Schools will reopen gradually, starting first in the Southern Province next week while other areas will have to wait for up to another week.

Internal flights can resume but the borders remain closed except for flights repatriating New Caledonian residents stranded abroad.

The situation will be reviewed on 4 May, with the French High Commissioner warning that the restrictions could be reintroduced.

Advisory over Covid-19 issued in Kanak languages

Advisory over Covid-19 issued in Kanak languages Photo: supplied

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