Protests and disruptions associated with the "yellow vest" movement continued across Réunion on Friday, November 30, with some protesters forcing Overseas Minister Annick Girardin to end a meeting with them early. Roadblocks remained in place across much of the island and are expected to continue to obstruct traffic over the coming days as additional protests are anticipated. Passenger services and flight operations at Roland Garros International Airport (RUN) remain suspended from 16:00 (local time) on Friday until 05:00 on Saturday, December 1; similar disruptions are expected over the near term. Many residents are reportedly staying indoors and not going to work; abbreviated business hours are commonplace on the island due to the demonstrations. Shortages of basic supplies have been reported and the main port remains blocked.
Continued unrest is likely over the coming days despite an announcement made last week that a proposed fuel tax increase, which sparked the movement, would be postponed. Additional security forces remain deployed on the island.
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 any instructions issued by the local authorities, allow for extra time to reach their destinations, and avoid all protests.
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