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Published on Wednesday, February 3, 2021

France closes Caribbean, French Polynesian islands






The French government abruptly closed borders of many of its overseas territories across the Caribbean and the South Pacific.


In a bid to cut off the spread of Covid, France announced several islands will close down to all but essential travel.


In the Caribbean it includes St. Barts, St. Martin, Martinique and Guadeloupe.


The indefinite border closures take effect on 3 February.


It has not gone down well with the St Barts tourism industry.


"Independently of the will of our local authorities to keep St. Barts open, the French government has just decided to put in place new preventive measures against Covid-19 variants," said Nils Dufau, President of St. Barts Tourism Board.


"We are right now negotiating to ease the entry restriction and find an alternative solution. Our aim is to reopen the island's borders as soon as possible."


It also impacts Fench territories in the South Pacific.


It includes more than 100 islands including Tahiti and Bora Bora.


"Faced with the resurgence of Covid-19 cases around the world and in order to preserve French Polynesia which has for its part, shown significant improvement for several consecutive weeks, the authorities have decided to temporarily suspend travel to the Islands of Tahiti including for tourists from all origins," Tourisme Tahiti said in a website message.


French Polynesia was one of the first destinations to open and was one of the few places around the world offering cruises.


Tourists currently in French Polynesia with return flights this week will be able to complete their vacation.


 


Written by Ray Montgomery, US Editor

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