Authorities in New Caledonia have announced that travel restrictions introduced due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic will be extended until July 31 2021. The measures limit flights to those between the territory and France via Japan, evacuation flights to Sydney (Australia), and flights to Wallis and Futuna. Currently, only those undertaking essential economic activities are permitted to enter New Caledonia and are required to undertake a 14-day quarantine at a government-approved hotel. The government has announced that they will be expanding capacity to allow those with an overriding reason to enter the territory whilst undergoing quarantine.
All COVID-19 lockdown restrictions have been lifted in New Caledonia. However, the New Caledonian government recommends people continue to practice social distancing and maintain a heightened sense of hygiene.
As of Tuesday, November 10, health authorities have confirmed a total of 29 COVID-19 cases with no associated deaths in the country. Further spread of the virus is expected in the near term.
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). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.
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, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
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