Coronavirus COVID-19 in Bora Bora : is it safe? informations and updates

As of April 16th 2021 there are 0 active cases of coronavirus COVID-19 in Bora Bora. And fewer than 20 new cases a week in all French Polynesia.

The President of French Polynesia gave a press conference on April 15th announcing that the opening of the borders of  French Polynesia will be progressive starting with USA tourism as of May 1st 2021

The High Commissioner affirmed that the United States is to date the only emitting country of tourists which meets the first criterion of reopening established by the authorities of the country: the vaccination of the inhabitants. With more than 125 million vaccinated (38% of the population) being the perfect test market for a gradual reopening so as not to take the risk of seeing the virus and variants.

French Polynesia closed it borders to international tourism on February 3th, after government officials in France suspended all travel to and from non-EU destinations — except in emergencies — and extended that ban on leisure trips to all France’s overseas territories; St. Barts, St. Martin, Martinique, Guadeloupe including French Polynesia.

The new entry requirements will be listed in detail in the coming days, but in the press conference it was already pointed the next points:

⁠⁠For vaccinated travelers:⁠⁠

  • A negative RT-PCR test three days before departure
  • Proof of “complete vaccination schedule
  • Complete the online ETIS forms (Electronic Travel Information System)
  • An antigen test on arrival at Tahiti airport
  • No quarantine⁠
  • A “possible” self-test at D + 4 (the President of the Country indicated that this possibility had not yet been decided)⁠⁠For travelers who have already contracted the Covid:

For travelers who have already contracted the Covid

  • A negative RT-PCR test three days before departure⁠ A serological test of less than a month proving the presence of antibodies⁠
  • Complete the online ETIS forms (Electronic Travel Information System)
  • An antigen test on arrival at Tahiti airport
  • ⁠No quarantine⁠
  • A “possible” self-test at D + 4 (the President of the Country indicated that this possibility had not yet been decided)⁠⁠

For unvaccinated travelers:⁠⁠

  • A negative RT-PCR test three days before departure⁠
  • Complete the online ETIS forms (Electronic Travel Information System)
  • An antigen test on arrival at Tahiti airport⁠
  • A quarantine of 10 days⁠ in a dedicated place in Tahiti at your expense. You will be tested, traced and isolated
  • Two self-tests on D + 4 and D + 8⁠⁠

Covid-19 In French Polynesia latest updates

French Polynesia has more than 118 islands and just under 300,000 residents, since closing its borders to tourism on February 3th 2021, Covid-19 numbers have reduced to fewer than 20 active cases per week.

Vaccine distribution has also ramped up, and is now open to all, free and not compulsory for all populations in French Polynesia over 18 years old (over 16 years old with parental authorization) . More than 39,000 doses of vaccines Ptizer have been delivered. As of April, the number of vaccines will continue to increase with more than 9,000 doses received each week.

French Polynesia have recently obtained the international certification “Safe Travels by WTTC”⁠⁠ , the world’s first global health and safety label for travel and tourism, designed specifically to deal with COVID-19 and other similar health situations. ⁠

CDC, USA Centers of Disease Control and Prevention has changed the Level of French Polynesia to “unknown” but the polynesian authorities expect that is going to be re-classified soon under the analysis of the new numbers.

⁠As of April 13th 2021, there are a total of 18 678 cumulative cases of coronavirus on French Polynesia.

Currently the cases of Coronavirus Covid-19 are located in the urban communes of Tahiti with 23 active cases (Tahiti is 170 miles/ 277 kilometers away from Bora Bora and 51 minutes away from Bora Bora by plane) and Moorea with 1 active case (Moorea is about 145 miles/ 234 kilometers away from Bora Bora and 47 minutes away by plane). Bora Bora remains Covid Free for more than a month and has started a massive vaccination campaign.

Last update for French Polynesia April 13th 2021 at 8 am

  • New cases = 12 (in 24 hours)
  • Cumulative cases = 18 678 (34 active cases) Since March 13th 2020
  • Current hospitalizations = 1, 1 on Intensive Care
  • Deaths = 141 (0 in the last 24 hours)
  • People who received the first dose of vaccine = 30 485 since January 18rh 2021
  • Vaccinated people (having received two doses of vaccine) = 14 861

* Since March 13th 2020

** Positive cases in the last 7 days

Please click here for official updates on the confirmed cases in French Polynesia (website in French).

French Polynesia new entry conditions and travel ban

The new entry requirements for USA tourists coming by plane will be listed in detail in the coming days, but in the press conference it was already pointed the next points:

⁠⁠For USA tourist vaccinated travelers:⁠⁠

  • A negative RT-PCR test three days before departure
  • Proof of “complete vaccination schedule
  • Complete the online ETIS forms (Electronic Travel Information System)
  • An antigen test on arrival at Tahiti airport
  • No quarantine⁠
  • A “possible” self-test at D + 4 (the President of the Country indicated that this possibility had not yet been decided)⁠⁠For travelers who have already contracted the Covid:

For USA tourist travelers who have already contracted the Covid

  • A negative RT-PCR test three days before departure⁠ A serological test of less than a month proving the presence of antibodies⁠
  • Complete the online ETIS forms (Electronic Travel Information System)
  • An antigen test on arrival at Tahiti airport
  • ⁠No quarantine⁠
  • A “possible” self-test at D + 4 (the President of the Country indicated that this possibility had not yet been decided)⁠⁠

For USA tourist unvaccinated travelers:⁠⁠

  • A negative RT-PCR test three days before departure⁠
  • Complete the online ETIS forms (Electronic Travel Information System)
  • An antigen test on arrival at Tahiti airport⁠
  • A quarantine of 10 days⁠ in a dedicated place in Tahiti at your expense. You will be tested, traced and isolated
  • Two self-tests on D + 4 and D + 8⁠⁠

Right now and until May 1st 2021, travel is authorized only for travelers who can justify one of the compelling reasons (health, professional, family, return home) as described on the website of the High Commission. 

Entry requirements prior departure

Only for compelling reasons health, professional, family, return home) and applicable to all travelers from 11 years old (resident and non-resident) arriving by air.

  • A SARS-CoV-2 virus genome test (list of approved and non approved tests) has to be carried out by all travelers from 11 years old in a health authority center (hospital, clinic, medical centre, Covid-19 testing Center, or medical analysis laboratory) within three days before the flight to Tahiti (at the passenger’s expense).

Ex: If the flight departs on a Monday at 11pm, the passenger needs to take the test the preceding Friday.

Please note for example, that Antigen, Antibody, Self Testing or Rapid Tests of any kind, including rapid RT-PCR tests such as the Abbott ID are not accepted by the Health Authorities of French Polynesia and aircraft boarding will be denied. Consult the list of approved and non approved tests.

The results of this test must be negative and will need to be presented to airline staff upon check-in prior to boarding the flight to French Polynesia.

No boarding will be allowed if the test is positive.

  • Sanitary entry form online (Etis.pf)

After obtaining the negative test results, each adult must fill out a digital Sanitary entry form online on the dedicated platform (Etis.pf) mainly agreeing to:

  • Respect the prevention measures and all health safety instructions issued by the authorities of French Polynesia for the pre-boarding phase, during the flight,  disembarkation and throughout the stay;
  • Call the emergency health line at 40 455 000 in case of cough, fever or respiratory difficulty. If the traveler feels any sign of distress, they should dial “15” (emergency services);
  • Submit to the health surveillance system established by the government of French Polynesia which, among other health protocols, mandates a self-test for the SARS-CoV-2 virus 4 days after arrival French Polynesia;
  • Have travel insurance or personally assume all expenses related to cost of care including hospitalization, confinement, or repatriation, should the visitor fall ill during their stay;
  • Provide information about the stay in French Polynesia (except for residents) : itinerary, inter-island transport, accommodation (e-mail contacts / telephone / dates of stay).

The Sanitary entry form is to be completed online on the dedicated digital platform ETIS.pf [Electronic Travel Information System].

Once completed a receipt with an ETIS number will be issued by email;

A printout of this receipt must be presented upon check-in together with the test results in order to be able to board the flight to French Polynesia and  both documents will need to be presented upon arrival at Tahiti’s Faa’a international airport.

The  printout receipt of the health engagement form is to be kept with the traveler at all times and in all places during their stay in French Polynesia.

  • Present the certificate of derogatory traveHERE and the declaration on honour HERE completed and signed.

In order to find a certified Covid19 testing facility, you may want to check the following web sites :

For the United States :

coronavirus COVID-19 in Bora Bora

Safety requirements during the flight

Safety requirements during the stay

  • Wearing a mask is mandatory (from the age of 11 years old):
    • in all enclosed places and ERPs,
    • in certain open-air public spaces (parks, markets, garage sales, etc.),
    • in the vicinity of certain places (schools, airports, ferry terminals, places of worship, sports facilities, etc.),
    • on public transport,
    • during authorized gatherings (funeral ceremonies, protest events, professional gatherings, guided tours, etc.).
  • Respecting prevention measures at all times and in all places;
  • In case of a change of itinerary, travelers should update the “itinerary” part of their file on the Etis.pf website;
  • Every traveler is subjected to a 14-day quarantine in strict isolation in Tahiti, in a dedicated site at passengers’ own expense or at home. The request for home quarantine must be completed 72 hours before the departure flight to French Polynesia by the passenger. Download the home quarantine request form HERE to be sent to the following address: [email protected].
  • Carry out an RT-PCR test on the 12th day of the quarantine. If the test is negative, the person will be able to leave the isolation after fourteen days.
  • Self-diagnosis of visitors: in case of doubt on the traveler’s state of health (fever and/or flu symptoms), they are required to contact the reception of their accommodations and/or call directly to (+689) 40 455 000. If they feel any sign of distress, they should dial “15” (emergency services);
  • Depending on the diagnosis made by the Health Authorities, follow their instructions which may include isolation measures and / or carrying out an additional RT-PCR test.

Is Bora Bora free of coronavirus?

Yes, we have 0 active cases in Bora Bora and vaccination has already started.

I was supposed to visit Bora Bora soon…

You’ve waited for your dream vacation to Bora Bora for a long time. After carefully making all the arrangements for your flight, booking a resort – you started to breathe easy and let yourself get excited visiting Bora Bora.

…then the unexpected coronavirus and the travel ban. What should I do?

Contact your vendors

If the coronavirus has affected your travel plans, contact your vendors, resorts, travel agencies and airlines. They are waiving change fees to offer you flexibility with your bookings.

Try to reschedule if possible to help the island, rescheduling your trip you will be the reason we will be here in the years to come, THANK YOU 🙂 Click here to find out the best time of the year to visit Bora Bora.

Remember that if you american coming by plane from May 1st 2021 you are going to need travel insurance and a A A SARS-CoV-2 virus genome test (list of approved and non approved tests) negative test 3 days before boarding and to fill out the online sanitary entry form. Vaccination is recommended if you don’t want to do a 10 days quarantine in a dedicated place at Tahiti at your expense.

What is the current situation of coronavirus Covid-19 in Bora Bora?

Being a secluded island in the middle of the Pacific ocean, Bora Bora has remained in a little bubble. Currently as per April 16th 2021 we happily report to be Covid Free with 0 local active cases of residents with Coronavirus Covid-19 in Bora Bora.

If you want to follow the evolution day to day of Bora Bora town, you can check the next link https://www.facebook.com/CommuneBoraBora, is the official Facebook Page of the island, information in french.

However Coronavirus is causing major problems for Bora Bora’s economy, bringing setbacks that could take years to recover from. 

Due to the second travel ban, the island has been on lockdown to any international flights, cruise ships or boats since February 3th and until May 1st 2021.

All resorts, hotels are temporarily closed because they can’t afford to open without international clients. We don’t have official numbers about the job count fall in the service and tourist industry. But because Bora Bora is a 100 % driven by tourism, from February 10th almost all the island is unemployed.

The hotels are giving forced paid vacations to their employees and the fallout will be softened by a series of relief bills coming from the Government.

Three hotels have decided to use this off time to renovate. Le Méridien and Sofitel Marara and Sofitel Private Island have temporaryly closed, leaving hundreds unemployed.

Currently all the islands have reinforced health and safety standards, everyone practices social distance, all activities and restaurants are outside, all residents wear masks, and the schools are open and welcoming kids.

Massive vaccination campaign started a month ago and is open to all, free and not compulsory in Bora Bora, for all populations in French Polynesia over 18 years old (over 16 years old with parental authorization).

The residents stay positive and are using this slow time to fish, garden, finish house projects, exercise and look forward to welcoming USA guests again from May 1st 2021!

Current Covid-19 Sanytary Mesures in Bora Bora

Regulatory Measures implemented as part of the fight against Covid-19 for the Leeward Islands: Bora Bora, Maupiti, Raiatea, Taha’a and Huahine, from April 8th to 30th inclusive

  • Ban of gatherings of more than 15 people on public spaces
  • In private spheres, limit festive gatherings
  • Mask compulsory in city center, transport and establishments open to public

Closed Establishments : Discos, Marquees, Party Halls and Multipurpose Rooms *Exceptions: Supervised children, schools, student, professional a ctivities, supervised sport practive

Prohibited activities: Party boats, flea markets, garage sales, bingo and cockfighting

Open Establishments: but festive activities prohibited: In hotels and outside

Regulated Activities

  • Bars: in compliance with the measures applicable to restaurants.
  • Fairs, and Trade Shows: 1 exhibitor for 10 square meters, 4 square meters per visitor. Food and drink areas prohibited
  • Some playrooms : in compliance with health protocols adapted to the sector of activity
  • Performance and Conference Rooms: 50% of the battery capacity and within the limit of 500 people. Food and drink areas prohibited
  • Religious services: Distance 1 meter between 2 people, except for people belonging to the shame household. Recommendation of 50% of reception capacity
  • Museums: 4 meters square per visitor
  • Gyms: 4 meter squares or 16 meters square per person
  • Restaurants: 6 people maximum per table
  • Sports competitions with seated audience: 50% of capacity
  • Funeral vigis: groups of 15 people
  • Burials in cemeteries: limited to 30 people

When is Bora Bora going to open to international tourism again?

Bora Bora is going to re-open to USA tourism arriving by plane on May 1st 2021 on the first stage of the progressive opening

Re- Opening dates for the resorts in Bora Bora

The estimated date remains subject to change, depending on the evolution of the borders regulations and policies.

  • Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora shall reopen on May 3rd, 2021.
  • St Regis Resort Bora Bora shall reopen on May 1st, 2021.
  • InterContinental Bora Bora Le Moana Resort shall reopen on May 1st, 2021.
  • InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa shall reopen on May 1st, 2021.
  •  Conrad Bora Bora Nui shall reopen on May 1st, 2021.
  • Le Bora Bora Relais & Châteaux by Pearl Resorts shall reopen on May 19th 2021

Chronology of the coronavirus in French Polynesia

Upon the March 9th mandate, all travellers were required, regardless of nationality, to provide a medical certificate of clean health before entering the country. The certificate must be dated within five days of the last port of departure.

On 11 March, the first case of Coronavirus COVID-19 in French Polynesia was confirmed in Tahiti. The first patient was Maina Sage, a member of the French National Assembly coming back to Tahiti from France.

The number of cases reported rose to three on 13 March. Three new cases were confirmed on 18 March, and five on 19 March. On March 11th the Polynesian Government announced mandatory 14 day quarantine to all people arriving by plane on international flights.

Faced with the number of increasing cases (6 cases total) in French Polynesia, the authorities decided to take fast and drastic measures to protect the population and suspended access to the territory for all non-residents. The first French Polynesia travel ban was effective from March 18th.

On March 18th started the repatriation for all non-resident travelers.

On March 20th, a mandatory lock-down was announced for all the population in French Polynesia. Any flights or boats inter-Island were also suspended to protect all the little islands, including Bora Bora.

Starting on 24 March, alcoholic beverages were forbidden from being sold. This measure was very unpopular and highly criticized.

On March 27th , curfew was imposed, lasting from 8pm to 5am.

After 40 days of strict lockdown, president Edouard Fritch and the French High Commissioner Dominique Sorain said isolation had worked, the pandemic was under control, the curve of Covid-19 was flattened at 58 cases and 0 deaths and the authorities decided to lighten the lockdown from April 29th.

The country’s authorities announced June 5th that the borders will be reopening to international tourism from all countries. in French Polynesia starting on July 15th, 2020

The French Polynesia government has always insisted that tourism is not the cause of our Covid numbers, but the gatherings of residents without respect for barrier gestures and basic health recommendations. French Popynesia President believes that the isolation of Polynesia in itself is not a viable solution in the long term. There is a need to resume an economic life open to the outside, saving thousands of jobs and more generally the stability of the economic and social life of the territory. It is essential to avoid a major economic and social crisis. The decision to open our borders was therefore taken to allow the lives of Polynesians to resume their course, to protect jobs and to face the economic consequences of the health crisis.

However, on January 31st French Prime Minister Mr Castex announced the closure of all French borders, as a response to the increased threat of the new strains of Covid-19 in metropolitan and overseas French territories, French Polynesia faces the second travel ban starting February 3th, 2021, for an initial period of two months, and postponed later to three (until May 1st, 2021). The decision came unilaterally from government officials in France that suspended all travel to and from non-EU destinations — except in emergencies — and extended that ban on leisure trips to all France’s overseas territories; St. Barts, St. Martin, Martinique, Guadeloupe including French Polynesia. We had to comply, even if our Covid numbers were stable and even if French Polynesia opposed.

The only exception to this mandate travel ban requires a strict compelling reason (health, professional, family, return home).

On April 7th, The President of French Polynesia made the official announcement during a press conference that French Polynesia will reopen to tourism as of May 1st 2021.

The President of French Polynesia gave a press conference on April 15th announcing that the opening of the borders of  French Polynesia will be progressive starting with USA tourism as of May 1st 2021.

Entry requirements details will be announced in the coming days.

The coronavirus COVID-19 in Bora Bora: Final Thoughts

We recognise that traveling to Bora Bora requires planning ahead, coordinating schedules, and saving up those hard-earned dollars to have your dream vacation. We hope that this article has armed you with the facts and the current update on coronavirus disease COVID-19 status on Bora Bora. We recommend that you follow the State’s guidance and come see us this summer!

Disclaimer: This article was written on April 16th , 2021. Sources for this article include French Polynesia Health Department, the French Polynesia High Commissioner and the World Health Organization and is believed to be accurate at the time of posting.

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