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French Polynesia reopens flights from the US

French Polynesia’s President Edouard Fritch. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

French Polynesia has had the highest number of COVID cases in the Pacific with past positive cases now over the 19,000 mark, yet the nation is predicting a surge of international tourists as it opens to the world.

Patrick Quayle, vice president of international network and alliances for United Airlines has told ‘Travel Awaits’, “as countries around the world begin the process of reopening, leisure travellers are eager to take a long-awaited getaway to new international destinations.”

Air Tahiti Niu will also be resuming flights between the capital city of Tahiti, Papeete, and Los Angeles, citing the growing number of US tourists wanting to fly into Tahiti as the reason.

According to the report, several other airlines including Air France, French Bee and United Airlines, have all resumed their regular flights out of the US while Hawaiian Airlines are due to resume flights early next month.

Following a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, French Polynesia’s President Edouard Fritch assured citizens that the Government had measures in place to protect the country against the virus.

“We are going to put in place a protocol at the entry of our borders using virological testing, serological testing, vaccine and an ETIS (Electronic Travel Information System),” he explained.

Earlier last month, the Government eased their border restrictions allowing only vaccinated travellers to enter Tahiti.

Vaccinated travellers are required to show a valid negative laboratory RT-PCR test that should be performed less than 72 hours before departing for Tahiti.

It is also required that an antigen test that allows for the detection of the “N” protein of the SARS-CoV-2 is performed less than 48 hours before travelling.

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