Everything you need to know about French Polynesia reopening on July 15
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If you’ve been dreaming about stunning lagoons and overwater bungalows, you’re in luck because French Polynesia will officially reopen on July 15, 2020. The island nation implemented a 14-day quarantine period for international travelers back in March, a measure that appears to have been successful. No active COVID-19 cases have been reported since May 29, clearing the way for the island nation to reopen.
But before you book your ticket and arrange for a pet sitter, there are a few restrictions you need to be aware of.
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What’s required for travel to French Polynesia
If you plan on traveling to French Polynesia in July, you need to submit to a COVID-19 (RT-PCR) test 72 hours before departure. This is pretty much par for the course nowadays. In fact, even Alaska has implemented a negative test requirement for all travelers from the lower 48 states.
If you’ve tested positive for COVID-19 three weeks prior to departure but have an immunity certificate, you can bypass testing.
Additionally, all incoming travelers (residents excluded) must provide proof of international travel insurance. Luckily, credit card travel insurance satisfies this requirement. Use a card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card to pay for your airfare and hotel, then provide a copy of the card’s Guide to Benefits as proof of coverage.
Travelers are also required to have a medical certificate, with the specifics to be communicated by the tourism board.
What to expect during the flight
Passengers traveling to French Polynesia will be required to abide by IATA sanitary measures, including wearing a mask. You’ll also need to sign a statement of commitment, agreeing to follow sanitary measures and self-report symptoms.
As is the norm with most customs forms, you’ll also need to fill out a form containing your hotel and personal contact information.
What to expect on arrival
Four days after arrival, you may be subject to another COVID-19 test. The Ministry of Health and Prevention will be conducting these tests on a random basis, so keep that in mind. In addition to that, guests may also get visits from medical staff, authorized by the Department of Health to supervise.
All travelers are advised to wear a mask throughout their stay and abide by specific sanitary measures. If you do exhibit symptoms during your stay, you must self-report and self-isolate in your room until further instruction from local emergency operators.
What about cruises?
At the moment, there have been no updates from the tourism board about cruises. We will update this story once information has been released.
How to get there
If you’re itching to travel to French Polynesia when the border reopens on July 15, there are lots of options for getting there. Be sure to check out our guide on the best way to get to Tahiti using points and miles. The following airlines will be resuming flights:
- Air France
- Air New Zealand
- Air Tahiti
- Air Tahiti Nui
- French Bee
- Hawaiian Airlines
Some of you may be wondering whether it’s safe to travel internationally in the midst of a pandemic. That’s a personal choice that only you can make. The government of French Polynesia has implemented quite a few regulations to ensure the safety of visitors and locals alike. However, nothing is guaranteed and there are still risks associated with travel.
Featured photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy
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