Tensions have eased somewhat across Réunion as of Friday, November 23, following nearly a week of protests associated with the "yellow vest" movement. Public services are slowly resuming, including post office services, blood drives, and waste collection. However, at least 21 roadblocks remain in place throughout the island, notably around Roland Garros International Airport (RUN), leading to significant transportation disruptions; the entrance to the East Port also remains blocked. Non-food shops, schools, universities, and administrative offices remain closed. A nightly curfew implemented on November 20 - from 21:00 to 06:00 (local time) - will remain in place until Sunday morning in the communities of Saint-Denis, Le Port, Saint-Pierre, Saint-Joseph, Saint-Leu, Saint-Louis, Saint-Paul, La Possession, Sainte-Marie, Sainte-Suzanne, Saint-Benoît, Le Tampon, Bras-Panon, and Saint-André.
Furthermore, passenger services and flight operations at RUN will again be suspended from 16:00 on Friday until 06:15 on Saturday; similar disruptions are likely over the weekend.
Additional protests are likely over the coming days despite an announcement made on Tuesday night that the proposed fuel tax increase, which sparked the unrest, would be postponed. Additional security forces remain deployed to quell the violence.
Demonstrations denouncing rising fuel prices and a planned fuel tax began on November 17 throughout France, with demonstrators in Réunion setting up roadblocks, setting fire to buildings, and ransacking shops. The government had planned a tax increase on fuel prices, including gasoline and diesel, beginning on January 1, 2019, to promote environmentally friendly practices.
Individuals in Réunion are advised to monitor developments to the situation, adhere to the curfew and any other instructions issued by the local authorities, allow for extra time to reach their destinations, and avoid all protests as a precaution.
Individuals traveling via RUN are advised to confirm the status of their flights prior to departure for the airport and contact their airlines for further information.
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