Lockdown to be eased in French Polynesia's outer islands

3:20 pm on 18 April 2020

Restrictions imposed over the Covid-19 outbreak in French Polynesia a month ago will be eased from Monday except on Tahiti and Moorea.

French Polynesia President Edouard Fritch updating response to Covid-19 outbreak

French Polynesia President Edouard Fritch updating response to Covid-19 outbreak Photo: Supplied

The president Edouard Fritch and the French High Commissioner Dominique Sorain said isolation had worked and in the outer islands, there wouldn't be a requirement any more to have an attestation to move about.

All 55 Covid-19 carriers identified since mid-March were in Tahiti and Moorea, apart from the Swiss tourist who flew back to Europe after being released from hospital.

All travel between the islands remained suspended and nightly curfews continued to be applied.

Public meetings would still be banned but up to 20 people may gather for funerals and depending on the size of a church, up to 50 people may congregate.

Water sports, fishing and hunting would also be allowed.

Restaurants won't be allowed to have seated guests but could offer take-away food.

Some schools would be able to reopen but boarders won't be allowed to leave the island where they were now.

Local administrations would be allowed to have more workers in their offices and the construction sector was allowed to resume work, provided there was protection.

Amid a clamour to repatriate stranded French Polynesians from Paris, Mr Fritch said to protect the local population they would have to wait.

He said the weekly link between Paris and Papeete was for freight and for medical evacuees whose treatment in France had finished.

However, he said this would exclude those who had since contracted Covid-19.