Tahiti and Bora Bora Will Welcome Tourists Again Starting May 1
That Tahitian vacation you've been dreaming about can now become a reality as the Islands of Tahiti — including Bora Bora, Moorea, and Tahiti itself — will reopen to tourists starting May 1.
The announcement was made by Edouard Fritch, the president of French Polynesia, following a Paris meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron last week, the French paper Le Figaro reported. The group of 118 islands in the Pacific Ocean had its first month without any COVID-19-related deaths, as the case numbers have been falling since January, Fritch stated.
French Polynesia suspended travel from all origins on Feb. 3, allowing only those with "compelling reasons" in the categories of health, professional, family, and return trips home to travel. This measure was planned to be in place for three months, according to the Tahiti Tourisme site. But Fritch's April 7 announcement cut the timeline short by a few days, though the curfew still remains from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. through April 30.
While the border opening date has been announced, specific regulations and restrictions are still being worked out. It's also uncertain whether the opening date will apply to all international travelers, or only those from certain countries. "We are going to put in place a protocol at the entry of our borders using virological testing, serological testing, vaccine, and ETIS (Electronic Travel Information System)," Fritch said, according to one of the local airlines, Air Tahiti Nui. "We will explain this protocol in detail with the High Commissioner in the coming days."
While Reuters' data shows that there have been 18,666 cases and 141 deaths related to COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic, the CDC doesn't offer an official recommendation, since it considers the level of spread "unknown." However, according to Travel Weekly, the islands were recently certified as a Safe Travels destination by World Travel & Tourism Council.