French Polynesia teachers threaten strike action over Covid-19

4:46 pm on 5 September 2020

Teachers' unions in French Polynesia are threatening strike action from Tuesday to secure tougher Covid-19 containment policies.

The threat came as the French territory recorded another 36 Covid-19 cases.

Hands in medical gloves holding COVID-19 swab. Test tube for taking patient sample, PCR DNA testing protocol process. Nasal swab laboratory test in hospital lab.

Photo: 123RF

The official tally since the beginning of August is 632 cases of which almost half are considered recovered.

Most infections were found in urban areas of Tahiti, but there are also some in Bora Bora, Moorea and Raiatea.

The latest outbreak has affected 10 times more people than the one between March and June which was brought under control with a lockdown and border closures.

Covid-19 began to spread again a month ago after the government opened the border to boost tourism and abolished quarantine requirements for arriving travellers.

The planned teacher strike follows earlier plans by five unions to hold a general strike yesterday in order to force the reintroduction of a compulsory quarantine for arriving travellers.

The unions however held off while both the government and the French High Commission ruled out either another general lockdown or quarantine requirements.

Employers also opposed new restrictions, citing costs of paying staff during isolation.

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