French Polynesia

300 people confined on cruise ship in Polynesia after Covid-19 case confirmed

Paul-Gauguin cruise ship seen at Papeete, Tahiti, 2 August 2020
Paul-Gauguin cruise ship seen at Papeete, Tahiti, 2 August 2020 © Polynesie La 1er

340 people aboard the Paul-Gauguin, a cruise ship in Polynesian waters, have been asked to isolate themselves in their cabins, following the confirmation of one Covid-19 case. Testing is underway for the passengers and crew who are waiting to find out if a quarantine will be enforced.


The cruise ship Paul-Gauguin, belonging to the company Ponant has returned to Papeete in Tahiti, after a female passenger tested positive to coronavirus on Saturday evening.

The boat had been in Bora Bora just prior to the weekend, where the 148 passangers and 192 crew members were able to disembark and mingle with the local population for two days.

It turned back from Rangiroa, its next port of call, when the crew were alerted to the suspected coronavirus case, and all passengers were asked to stay in their cabins where food was brought to them.

So far, French Polynesia has not been severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic reporting only 62 cases and no deaths so far.

As of 15 July, flights to French Polynesia were made available again, along with other French overseas departments, to European and American tourists to help boost the economy.

Visitors are no longer subjected to quarantine, as was the case prior to 15 July, but they are required to show a negative test result three days before their departure for Polynesia.

Visitors then have to carry out a self-test after their arrival.

It was during a follow-up test that the female passenger from the Paul-Gauguin was identified, according to local news.

Most of the passengers are reportedly locals, but it is believed the positive case is a tourist from elsewhere.

The police in Bora Bora were informed of the situation and said that the person concerned is now in isolation, along with another passenger who shared her cabin.

A decision will be announced in the coming days as to whether a full quarantine will be put in place for the other passengers on board.

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