French Polynesia is ‘temporarily’ closed for tourism

Feb 2, 2021

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Outside of lockdown, French Polynesia has been a popular destination for travellers seeking a mid-pandemic getaway. But as COVID-19 continues to surge around the world, the collectivity of France, which includes the sought-after islands of Tahiti, Bora Bora and Moorea, is shutting down for now.

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A rep for Tahiti Tourisme North America confirmed to TPG that French Polynesia would “temporarily” shut down to “nonessential travel” for non-EU residents. It’s unclear, at the time, how long the shutdown would last.

A bulletin from the French site Franceinfo stated that starting 3 February, travellers to or from French Polynesia would “have to justify that his situation falls under one of the three imperative reasons: personal/family, health [or] professional.” Family reasons include situations like the death of a relative, health reasons include a “vital medical emergency” and professional reasons include healthcare workers combatting the COVID-19 pandemic. All acceptable reasons require documented proof.

Travellers currently in French Polynesia will be allowed to continue their trips.

If you have a trip planned, you’re likely wondering what this means for you. We’ve reached out to Air Tahiti Nui on what travellers with trips booked in the coming weeks should know about their reservations.

French Polynesia officially reopened to tourism on 15 July 2020. The island nation implemented a 14-day quarantine period for international travellers back in March, a measure that appears to have been successful. According to Johns Hopkins University, French Polynesia has recorded over 18,000 cases of the novel coronavirus and 131 deaths.

Travellers to French Polynesia have had strict entry requirements, including proof of a negative RT-PCR test taken within three days before departure and completing a health registration form. Once in French Polynesia, travellers must complete a self-test four days after arrival. There is currently a curfew between 9 p.m. and 4 a.m. on the islands of Tahiti and Moorea. The curfew is scheduled through 15 February 2021.

Featured photo courtesy of Paul Gauguin Cruises

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