Strengthening of measures taken by the government to prevent the entry of coronavirus 2019-nCoV into French Polynesia

February 12, 2020 em Press Releases

Papeete, February 7th, 2020

As an extension of the measures taken on January 28th, 2020 to prevent the entry of the coronavirus into the country, the Government of French Polynesia has decided to reinforce some of the measures and to implement specific methods to apply them.

Since January 28th, 2020, all travelers coming from Asia from Japan and New Zealand to French Polynesia have been required to present a health certificate dated less than 15 days prior to travelling certifying that they are free of signs of viral infection before boarding for French Polynesia.

As of today (February 7th 2020), the Government of French Polynesia has decided that travelers of all nationalities, who have transited or visited since January 1, 2020 the following countries : China, Cambodia, Hong-Kong, India, Japan, Macao, Malaysia, Nepal, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines will have to present a health certificate dated less than 5 days prior to travelling and certifying that they are free of signs of viral infection before boarding for French Polynesia, no matter where their port of embarkation is.

In the absence of a health certificate, the airlines are asked to refuse the boarding of the passengers concerned. However, in order to facilitate the repatriation of Polynesian residents, they will in all cases be authorized to embark and return to French Polynesia.

On board, all passengers will be given a health control survey by the airline, the template of which is given in the annex. The traveler will hand over the completed survey to the medical service present upon arrival in French Polynesia.

If a passenger travelling to French Polynesia is showing an apparent physical weakness or flu-like symptoms, the measures given by the health authorities of French Polynesia will be implemented by the cabin crew, including the wearing of a surgical mask and the use of hydro-alcoholic solution for the passenger concerned, nearby passengers and cabin crew.

Since January 28th, 2020, a thermal scanner at the Tahiti – Faa’a international airport is monitoring and screening all passenger flows entering our territory, this measure was until now carried out on the arrival of flights from Japan and New-Zealand. It was decided to extend it to all international flights arriving in French Polynesia.

Regarding non-scheduled flights arriving in French Polynesia, the High Commission has decided to restrict their landing exclusively at Tahiti – Faa’a international airport, in order to enhance the effectiveness of preventive measures. This decision has been effective since Wednesday February 5th, 2020 following the publication of a pilot instruction (NOTAM) applicable to the Tahiti flight information region. Thus, the precautionary measures for passengers on scheduled flights are also applied to travelers on non-scheduled flights.

For cruise ships, the on-board medical service is responsible for monitoring travelers on the ship. Regarding the overall health conditions of travelers, the health surveillance office of the Health Department will receive all maritime health declarations as per their usual process, 2 days prior arrival in French Polynesia, then every day in the case of possible modification during circulation in French Polynesia waters. the Government of French Polynesia recommends that all sick people be kept on board and in isolation if necessary, under the supervision of the medical service on board.

Regarding sailboats sailing in the Pacific and touching an island in French Polynesia upon arrival, the control services concerned are made aware of the instructions to be applied.

A multidisciplinary unit meets daily at the Ministry of Health and Prevention to consider all measures useful to ensure the control of this viral condition. A 24-hour vigilance guard is in place.

As of today, there is no coronavirus 2019-nCoV cases in French Polynesia.

Jacques RAYNAL
THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND PREVENTION
in charge of general social protection