News Alerts

30 Apr 2020 | 01:53 AM UTC

New Caledonia: Most COVID-19 restrictions to be lifted May 4 /update 4

New Caledonia News Alert

New Caledonia will lift most COVID-19 restrictions on May 4 after recording no new cases in 25 days; follow all government directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 4/30/2020, 12:00 AM until 5/15/2020, 11:59 PM (Pacific/Noumea). COUNTRY/REGION New Caledonia

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Event

The New Caledonian government announced on Thursday, April 30, that most coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions will be lifted on Monday, May 4, after no new cases of the virus were recorded for 25 days. According to President Thierry Santa, the restrictions will be lifted if the situation remains unchanged on Sunday, May 3. Events and meetings will be allowed if participants provide contact information. Cinemas, theaters, and gambling facilities can reopen, but people must wear masks. Travelers on buses, ships, and planes will also no longer be required to maintain social distancing. However, sport competitions and cultural festivals remain banned. Night clubs and nakamals must also remained closed until further notice.

Some COVID-19 restrictions were eased earlier in the week, including allowing public gatherings of fewer than 50 people as long as attendees provide their phone numbers so that they can be contacted if further cases potentially linked to these events are detected. Schools, businesses, and restaurants have reopened and outdoor activities such as going to the beach, fishing, and hunting are permitted. 

Internal flights will also resume; however, the border will remain closed. Repatriation flights from Sydney (Australia) and Auckland (New Zealand) are expected to start from Friday, May 8, and Saturday, May 9. However, flights from France will not begin until at least Thursday, May 14.

As of April 30, 18 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the country along with 17 recoveries. Further international spread of the virus is expected over the near term.

Context

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 trouble 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.

Advice

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 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, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.

 

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