Officials in French Polynesia continue to enforce social distancing restrictions through at least Nov. 16 amid rising coronavirus disease (COVID-19) activity. Authorities are imposing a 2100-0400 overnight curfew in Tahiti and Moorea. Essential trips, including hospital visits and work commutes, can occur during curfew hours with a permit.
Gatherings are limited to six people in most places, including beaches, public parks, and restaurants, throughout the territory. Most social events, including weddings, are banned in public areas, including party venues. Funerals can take place with up to 10 people at a time. People must wear facemasks in public spaces, including restaurants and shops, public transport, airports, and ferry terminals; violators may face fines. Although authorities plan for the measures to end Nov. 16, the government previously announced it could extend restrictions through Nov. 25.
Schools and business employees remain exempt from gathering restrictions. Restaurants and bars must ensure all guests are seated and that tables are at least one meter (three feet) apart. The government requires some public events, such as trade fairs and sporting events, to seek approval from authorities and ensure that capacity is limited to one person per four square meters (43 square feet). Sporting events can occur without spectators, but venues must reduce the number of participants to 50-percent capacity and adhere to other capacity limits. Nightclubs remain closed. Officials could introduce additional restrictions on businesses and gatherings in the coming weeks.
The government permits international arrivals without quarantine. Passengers must prove that they have tested negative for COVID-19 in the 72 hours prior to boarding. Travelers must also present a receipt of health registration of the Electronic Travel Information System and test for COVID-19 four days after arrival using government-provided testing kits. If a passenger tests positive, they will have to report to a health center.
Follow all official orders. Obtain permission before traveling during curfew hours. Consider delaying travel if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays.
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.