French Polynesia, which includes Tahiti, opened its borders to American tourists earlier this month, and now airlines are responding by adding flights to actually get you to the South Pacific paradise.
Tahiti, Bora Bora, and the other islands that comprise French Polynesia opened to American tourists on May 1 with a number of restrictions in place. The first step is to apply for entry through the islands’ Electronic Travel Information System between 6 and 30 days before travel to obtain authorization to travel.
Travelers who have proof of vaccination will be exempt from quarantine upon arrival, but everyone must show proof of a negative COVID test taken within three days of departure. Those who haven’t been vaccinated must quarantine for 10 days after arrival. Visitors are also subject to testing upon arrival.
Despite opening the borders, French Polynesia has declared a state of health emergency through June 1.
“Despite the low number of new positive cases, COVID-19 is still circulating in French Polynesia and that vigilance must be maintained,” a release from State Services states. “We must continue to respect all barrier gestures to fight against the spread of the coronavirus in all of our islands and all of our archipelagos. We must not let our guard down.”
As part of the declaration, a curfew is in effect between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m., bars and open markets are closed, and masks and social distancing are mandated.
French Polynesia is anticipating a surge in visitors because of the growing number of vaccinated Americans, and airlines are recognizing that fact. All international flights arrive at Faa’a International Airport in Papeete, Tahiti, with local carriers taking visitors to other islands. Here are more details on airline operations:
- Air Tahiti Nui had suspended flights for more than three months, but it has resumed flights between Papeete and Los Angeles four times a week.
- Air France will resume Los Angeles-Papeete service on May 16 for the first time in 14 months.
- The first week of June, French Bee and United will each offer Papeete-San Francisco flights several days per week.
- And starting July 3, Hawaiian Airlines will resume Papeete-Honolulu flights.
“As countries around the world begin the process of reopening, leisure travelers are eager to take a long-awaited getaway to new international destinations,” said Patrick Quayle, vice president of international network and alliances for United.
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