Residents of Wallis and Futuna struggle to return home due to strict Covid restrictions

Covid-19 protocols for entering Wallis and Futuna have been frustrating for locals and people wishing to return home.

Seven days of isolation in a Caledonian hotel and three additional days in a Valais hotel are necessary before entering the territory.

People from the territory, who had to travel for medical reasons, are stranded in New Caledonia and France due to restrictions linked to Covid-19 and are asking for their relaxation.

Wallis and Futuna await returnees from Noumea
Photo: provided FB

A medical division chief in Wallis and Futuna, who wishes to remain anonymous, said it will be a long time before restrictions are lifted.

“Their total percentage of fully vaccinated is 58%, the authorities have decided not to change the health restriction related to travel until 75% of the population is fully vaccinated.

“Which they’ll never get. There’s such resistance in the islands, they’ve basically done everything they could, they can’t do it anymore.

“Therefore, I really don’t know when they will ease the restrictions for Wallis and Futuna.

“There have been no current positive cases since April 26, 2021, they are currently Covid-free.”

The territory has a total of 454 cases and seven deaths recorded since the start of the pandemic.

However, only 58% of the population received two doses and 43% had their third injection, which puts great pressure on the limited hospital space in the territory.

“This wave of Covid-19 is however completely different from the previous wave. We had a lot more transmissions in New Caledonia than the wave of Covid-19 last year. If Omicron were to spread to Wallis and Futuna now, they will probably have the same number as us in Caledonia.” said the anonymous doctor.