30 Apr 2020

New Caledonia to lift most Covid-19 restrictions but keep borders shut

7:49 am on 30 April 2020

New Caledonia will on Monday lift just about all restrictions imposed over the Covid-19 outbreak but keep the borders closed.

The president Thierry Santa said there had been no new cases recorded for 25 days and if the situation remained unchanged on Sunday, experts believe that it's 99.3 certain that the virus no longer circulates in New Caledonia.

Advisory over Covid-19 issued in Kanak languages

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

A total of 18 people contracted the virus and 17 have recovered.

At the beginning of last week, the French High Commission and the New Caledonian government already allowed for free movement and the opening of businesses, schools and restaurants.

From Monday and for a period of six weeks, events and meetings will be allowed if participants can be identified.

People wearing masks will be able to go to cinemas, theatres and gambling outfits and they may use buses, ships and planes without requiring to keep distance.

What will remain banned are sport competitions and cultural festivals while night clubs and nakamals will have to stay shut.

Flights repatriating stranded residents are expected from Sydney and Auckland on 8 and 9 May while flights from France will have to wait until probably 14 May.