8 Jun 2021

New Caledonia in bubble talks with NZ and Australia

6:37 pm on 8 June 2021

New Caledonia says New Zealand and Australia have expressed interest in setting up a travel bubble with New Caledonia.

Noumea airport at La Tontouta New Caledonia

Noumea airport at La Tontouta New Caledonia Photo: RNZ Walter Zweifel

Its government spokesperson Christopher Gyges said that considering the Covid-19 regimes of New Zealand and Australia, it will take at least six months to set up a bubble.

New Caledonia closed its borders last year and instituted a mandatory, government-run quarantine system for the returning residents.

International flights won't be admitted in the French territory until at least October.

New Caledonia recorded its first community case in March and imposed a one-month lockdown to eliminate the virus.

To date New Caledonia has recorded 128 Covid-19 cases, but no fatality.

About 15 percent of adults have been vaccinated and from tomorrow, inoculations will be open for those aged 12 and older.

Beach in Noumea, New Caledonia

Beach in Noumea, New Caledonia Photo: AFP

Lecornu deplores slow vaccination in French overseas territories

The French overseas minister Sebastien Lecornu has the slow Covid-19 vaccine uptake in overseas territories has no link to France's vaccine supply, which has been plentiful.

In France, more than half the adult population has been inoculated while in some territories only about 10 percent has had a vaccination.

He says some people maintain a climate of mistrust beyond any scientific logic, with fear spreading on social media based on untruthful arguments.

In French Polynesia, about a third of the population has been vaccinated.

In Wallis and Futuna, the vaccine uptake has slowed to the point that vaccine stocks are to be returned in order to prevent them from expiring.