Richard Butler | Exclusive By RNZ News | July 17th, 2020
The first flight carrying tourists to French Polynesia has arrived from the United States – four months after Covid‐19 shut down commercial air travel.
The Air Tahiti Nui airline from Los Angeles landed as quarantine requirements were lifted in order to boost the tourism sector.
French Polynesia is allowed to receive travellers from the US while France, like most countries, bans their entry because of the spread of the coronavirus.
Commercial flights from France which resumed at the start of July are still being routed via Canada instead of California.
All arriving passengers have to prove that they are Covid-19 free three days before departure and self-test for the virus four days after landing in Tahiti.
Coinciding with the opening of the border, French Polynesia has made it compulsory to wear a mask on public transport and venues where social distancing is difficult.
An estimated 10000 people are expected to arrive in French Polynesia in the weeks to the end of August.
French Polynesia has no active Covid-19 case while California to date recorded more than 350000 infections.