There’s been a spate of freshly eased travel restrictions this week, with Tahiti opening to Aussies via New Zealand, France dropping testing requirements and Vietnam setting its reopening date.
While The Islands of Tahiti have technically been open for Australians since mid-2021, the usual route via Auckland has remained closed and travellers have had to travel a much longer route via Hawaii or Los Angeles.
New Zealand plans to open its border to Australia in July meaning a shorter route will soon be available to Aussies.
The national flag carrier Air Tahiti Nui has announced that flights will restart on 3 July 2022 and Air New Zealand has announced they are restarting flights to Papeete on 6 July 2022.
This comes as France dropped its COVID-19 test requirements for vaccinated travellers.
Prior to this update, only members of the European Union could enter France without a test, due to the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, but this is no longer the case.
“Proof of vaccination will be sufficient to come to France whatever country you are coming from, just as it was before the spread of the Omicron variant,” the government said.
Alongside the new border entry updates for France and Tahiti, Vietnam announced it will open its borders as it looks to accelerate its economic recovery and revive a battered tourism sector.
“The approval is in accordance with the government’s new responses to the pandemic, which are adapting safely and flexibly and controlling the virus effectively,” the Vietnamese government said in a statement.
Starting on 15 March, it is expected that visitors to Vietnam will still have to undergo a one-day quarantine and test negative for COVID-19 before departure and upon arrival.
Managing director at Asia specialist Wendy Wu Tours, Paul Dymond, said, “This is great news for Australian travellers.”
“Vietnam is a destination that was growing in popularity pre-Covid-19 for and in the two years that borders have been closed Vietnam has continued to expand and enhance what is on offer for tourists.”
Vietnams reopening follows similar reopening steps taken by other Southeast Asian countries like Thailand and the Philippines, where the Omicron COVID-19 variant has caused a recent spike in new infections, but fewer hospitalisations and deaths than previous variants.