Oceania is comprised of wish-list, dreamy destinations such as Australia, the Cook Islands, Tonga, Fiji, and New Zealand. Unfortunately, now is not the time to check them off your must-see list as most of the borders of Oceania are closed to all external visitors and most nations only permit inward travel for residents returning home. Currently, only French Polynesia, which includes the beautiful islands of Tahiti and Bora Bora, is welcoming US tourists. Here’s what you need to know about visiting the islands.
French Polynesia encompasses over 1,243 miles in the South Pacific and is home to more than 100 islands and atolls, including the idyllic islands of Tahiti, Bora Bora, and Moorea.
Tahiti is the most densely populated and is considered the heart of the territory. Its many white-sand beaches, mountains, waterfalls, and high-end overwater resorts makes this a destination often weighed against the likes of Fiji as a once-in-a-lifetime vacation spot. As the borders of Fiji — and many other islands in Oceania — are currently closed to US tourists, French Polynesia is an attractive option for those looking for an island paradise vacation outside of the Caribbean.
Currently, flights to the region are not very frequent and are limited to Faa’a Airport in Papeete on Tahiti. All travelers are required to undertake a COVID-19 test (and test negative), three days prior to departure. Evidence of the test needs to be issued to check-in staff at the airport and only RT-PCR molecular tests are accepted. If you are staying for longer than four days, you will again need to be tested and the details regarding when and where will be organised on arrival in Papeete. Masks wearing for passengers over the age of 11 is required on flights in and out of the region.
French Polynesia isn’t currently under a curfew and you can travel between the islands. You also do not need to quarantine on arrival. You do, however, need to be organised. Prior to leaving you will need to register where you plan to stay and what you plan to do on the French Polynesian registration website. This needs to be completed three days before you leave and you must print this off and have it as proof for the ground staff at check-in.