Severity: Warning Alert

Exit/Entry: Reunion maintains COVID-19-related restrictions as of Sept. 10. Territory classified as "active transmission zone" by French government.

Alert Begins 10 Sep 2020 07:01 PM UTC
Alert Expires 24 Sep 2020 11:59 PM UTC

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Reunion (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Lingering travel and business disruptions

Summary
As of Sept. 10, authorities in Reunion are maintaining a number of restrictions implemented as part of efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The French government has categorized the island territory as an Active Transmission Zone, or "red zone," effective Sept. 6 following a recent spike in COVID-19 activity. This designation is assigned to specific areas within Metropolitan France, as well as the nation's Overseas Territories, where new COVID-19 infections exceed 50 cases per 100,000 inhabitants over a seven-day period, or where conditions indicate this threshold could soon be met. While being classed as a "red zone" does not immediately prompt additional measures, it does give local authorities powers to impose new restrictions on movement, gatherings, and businesses should they see fit. Such changes could be implemented at short notice.

Previous travel restrictions to mainland France have been lifted; however, individuals traveling to Reunion must provide proof of having tested negative for COVID-19 using a test taken within 72 hours prior to departure for the island. Non-French nationals remain barred from entry, though some exceptions are allowed for certain types of travelers, such as health workers, freight and transport workers, diplomats, students, and those traveling for urgent family reasons. All arriving passengers must fill out an affidavit prior to travel and will be required to self-isolate for seven days on arrival. Persons traveling between Reunion and other locations with active COVID-19 transmission, including Mayotte and other countries in the Indian Ocean, must provide proof that the travel in question is essential. All travelers entering Reunion from such destinations are required to self-isolate for seven days on arrival.

Public gatherings of more than 10 people remain prohibited, and face coverings are mandatory on public transport and many additional public spaces. Authorities continue to advise working from home where possible.

Authorities could reimpose, extend, further ease, or otherwise amend any restrictions with little-to-no notice depending on disease activity over the coming weeks.

Advice
Individuals affected by the restrictions should consider postponing planned travel. Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Reconsider and reconfirm non-emergency health appointments. Plan for queues and delays at available shopping centers.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.


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