17 May 2020

New Caledonia upholds quarantine terms, dismisses concerns

11:30 am on 17 May 2020

The French High Commission and the New Caledonian government say quarantine conditions during the Covid-19 epidemic remain unchanged.

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Photo: RNZ Pacific / Walter Zweifel

They issued a statement after days of objections by some political parties to France last week loosening its health emergency whose rules were also made to apply to New Caledonia.

The statement also came just hours before a repatriation flight was due from Japan with travellers transiting there after flying in from Paris.

All arriving passengers must spend two weeks in government-managed hotels in Noumea before adding a third week in self-isolation.

The French constitutional court, however, had ruled last week that travellers could choose the terms of quarantine.

Both the anti-independence Caledonian Union and the anti-independence Caledonia Together party rejected the new French policy, saying it violated the Noumea Accord, which passed sanitary controls to New Caledonia.

However, the dominant anti-independence alliance, which includes President Thierry Santa, dismissed the two parties' stance, describing it as politicking and a sign of deep dishonesty.

While France had more than 27000 Covid-19 related deaths New Caledonia had none.

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