French Polynesia shutting borders to tourists

1:09 pm on 1 February 2021

Tourism is set to suffer a sharp decline in French Polynesia as the territory is about to close the border in response to the latest French government decision aimed at slowing the Covid-19 pandemic.

At the weekend, France suspended all travel from and to non-European Union destinations except in urgent cases, with the ban being extended to Tahiti on 3 February.

The French High Commission in Tahiti said in difference to earlier French lockdowns, this time French Polynesia's tourism sector would no longer be granted an exemption.

French Polynesia keen to revive stalled tourism

Bora Bora Photo: FB Tahiti Tourisme

It also said tourists still in Tahiti were allowed to leave as their travel home was being considered as a reason for an exemption.

Last July, French Polynesia re-opened its borders and abolished mandatory quarantine requirements to boost tourism.

As the only accessible international tourist destination in the South Pacific, it attracted visitors from mainly France and the United States.

Since the reopening in July, it registered 18,000 Covid-19 cases, including 132 deaths.

During the preceding lockdown, French Polynesia recorded 62 infections and eliminated the virus.