French Polynesia opens for tourism in mid-July

9:55 am on 9 June 2020

French Polynesia will open its borders for international travellers in mid-July.

French Polynesia keen to revive stalled tourism

French Polynesia keen to revive stalled tourism Photo: FB Tahiti Tourisme

This was announced by the president Edouard Fritch, the tourism minister Nicole Bouteau and the French High Commissioner Dominique Sorain who jointly outlined the timeline and conditions of the new Covid-19 regime.

Mr Fritch said the moves were aimed at preserving jobs and Ms Bouteau said she hoped that part of the tourism high season would be saved this way.

This follows calls by the tourism sector to ease controls in order to avoid mass unemployment.

Air Tahiti Nui and Air France are set to resume commercial flights at the beginning of July and, for two weeks only, carry French Polynesian residents stranded in France and rotate French public servants.

They will need to pass a Covid-19 test 72 hours before their trip and go into isolation in arrival for seven days.

For the remainder of June, however, there will be a weekly French government-sponsored flight between Paris and Papeete for freight and prioritised residents.

From 15 July, travellers from Europe, the United States and New Caledonia will be allowed in but they must also undergo a test 72 hours before departure and have travel insurance.

Four days after arriving, they will again be tested.

Mr Sorain said in North America the pandemic was stabilised and that economic activity needed to resume to avoid creating social problems.

Re-opening air links to Japan and New Zealand was not being considered before September.

Mr Sorain also said that within 10 days a French Polynesian woman and the body of her baby would be repatriated from New Zealand.

A French military had rushed them to Auckland for an urgent operation last month but the baby died, leaving the mother to plead to be able to return home.

France recorded more than 29,000 Covid-19 related deaths and French Polynesia none.

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