New Caledonia will go into a strict two-week lockdown from midnight tonight (8 March 2020) after nine Covid-19 cases were confirmed in the community. The lockdown is coupled with limited international passenger flights to and from Caledonia (essential reasons only), including compulsory quarantine on arrival. New Caledonia is acting fast to stop the spread of the virus.
New Caledonia, who had previously succeeded in stopping community transmission of the novel coronavirus thanks to its effective border management (including compulsory quarantine in selected hotels on arrival), is now facing the reality of the pandemic on its territory.
The outbreak on the French archipelago was detected on March 7, after a school headteacher fell ill on the Islands of Wallis and Futuna – another French territory in the Pacific which was, until now, spared from COVID-19 and therefore part of a travel bubble with New Caledonia – leading authorities to screen for cases. 9 Covid-19 cases have been identified in New Caledonia.
As a result, M. Thierry Santa, President of the New Caledonia Government, announced a two-week lockdown starting from Monday evening (8 March), to « break the transmission of the virus while there is still time ».
This lockdown comes in addition to the vaccination programme which started on January 20, 2021, enabling over 5210 people (front-line health workers and people with medical risks conditions) to receive the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine free of charge, thus reinforcing the strict health protocols already in place.
New Caledonia is taking action to maximise its chances to eradicate the spread of the virus and soon be able to welcome visitors again.
See the official press release from the New Caledonia Government(in French) – Déclaration du 7 mars
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