Due to COVID-19, be careful in French Polynesia

Travel to or from French Polynesia requires special precautions. This relies on your past and future. You’ll need COVID-19 vaccination evidence. If your previous COVID-19 shot was more than 9 months ago, you need a booster. If you’re over 12 and unvaccinated, you must provide a negative COVID-19 (RAT) test or RT-PCR test within 48 or 72 hours of aircraft departure. When leaving the EU, you require a COVID-19 recovery certificate.

As we learn more about COVID-19 and uncover additional mutations, health advice changes. Rapidly changing epidemic rules and limits. Check the restrictions of the countries you’re visiting and transiting through, as well as the Australian border procedures. State and territorial laws vary.

Safety

Strikes and industrial disputes may cause unrest and hinder transportation. Violent protests happen. Avoid crowds.

Crime is rare. But theft and drink-spiking happen. In crowds, keep your stuff near. Leave food and drink alone.

Cyclones, earthquakes, and tsunamis strike French Polynesia. Consult the French Polynesia High Commission for updates. They have an emergency hotline. Your travel operator or hotel may also provide guidance.

November-April is cyclone season. Tropical storms and cyclones may happen anytime. Follow French Polynesia’s cyclone warnings.

A tsunami may follow an earthquake in minutes. Learn the warning signals and take cover.

Health

French Polynesia still faces COVID-19. Implemented health measures (see Travel).

French Polynesia often experiences dengue outbreaks. Chikungunya and filariasis are insect-borne illnesses. Insect-proof your lodging. Bug spray.

There’s Zika virus. Before travelling while pregnant, consult your doctor.

French Polynesia has leptospirosis. Walking in rivers or muddy water should be avoided. Containerize food.

Scabies, influenza, and conjunctivitis are other infections. Treat fever, itching, and wounds. Papeete’s tap water is drinkable. Eat only prepared meals. Boil or bottle water outside Papeete.

Papeete’s medical facilities are excellent, although others are inadequate. Ensure your travel insurance covers medical evacuation. 

Always carry picture ID. 

Dress and behaviour are modest outside tourist areas. Avoid offence.

Travel

French Polynesia travel requirements are on the French High Commission and Tahiti Tourism websites. Pre-departure controls are strict.

Adults who got their last dosage more than 9 months before arriving must provide a booster dose while boarding an aircraft.

If you’re over 12 and unvaccinated, you must submit a negative COVID-19 (RAT) test result done no more than 48 hours before departure or an RT-PCR test result taken no more than 72 hours before departure.

If you’re from an Orange Zone nation, you must declare no symptoms.

Check your travel insurance.

Demand minimal safety standards

Always wear life jackets and seatbelts.

Use another provider if safety equipment is lacking.

French Polynesia’s High Commission has catastrophe protocols.

Check the French Polynesia High Commission for news and weather.

The French High Commission will activate an emergency hotline (French). Information: (689) 40 44 42 10.  

Your insurance must cover medical expenditures abroad, including medical evacuation and pre-existing conditions. The Australian government won’t pay.

Travel is unaffordable without insurance. This applies to everyone, healthy or not.

Without insurance, you may have to pay thousands for medical services upfront.

If you have a medical issue, consider your physical and emotional wellbeing before travelling. Consider your COVID-19 risk. 

Medication

Not all Australian medications are accessible in other countries. Even if recommended by an Australian doctor, some may be unlawful or regulated.

Check whether your medicine is allowed in French Polynesia. Bring enough legal meds.

Diseases

French Polynesia still faces COVID-19.

French Polynesia’s Health Department has information about COVID19 vaccinations (in French). Consult a local health expert for immunisation alternatives and local help. The Australian Government cannot advise on the safety, quality, or effectiveness of vaccines licenced outside Australia’s regulatory procedure.

Papeete has high-quality amenities. Remote locations and islands have minimal amenities.

High-quality emergency services are available. Papeete’s distance from the outer islands may delay emergency responses.

If you’re extremely sick or wounded, you may require evacuation. Expensive medical evacuation.

Papeete’s Central Hospital has a decompression chamber. Popular diving locations on neighbouring islands are hours away.