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20 Mar 2020 | 01:24 PM UTC

Réunion: Authorities ban non-essential travel as of March 20

Réunion News Alert

Authorities ban non-essential travel as of March 20 due to COVID-19; confirm itineraries

TIMEFRAME expected from 3/20/2020, 12:00 AM until 4/30/2020, 11:59 PM (Indian/Reunion). COUNTRY/REGION Reunion


Authorities announced in a statement on Wednesday, March 18, that non-essential travel to and from the Reunion will be banned as of Friday, March 20, in an effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak on the island. As such, airlines may request proof of boarding (family record book, death certificate, proof of residence less than three months old, etc.) and refuse boarding to passengers not able to demonstrate a valid reason for travel.

It remains unknown how long the ban will be in effect for.

Additionally, authorities announced that all public gatherings of more than 100 people will be banned, schools will be closed, and travelers returning from France will have to undergo a 14-day self-quarantine upon arrival.

As of Friday, March 20, there are 28 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Reunion. Further spread of the virus expected.


The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.


Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, seek medical care urgently and share your previous travel history with your health care provider.


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