Any COVID updates for French Polynesia/Tahiti?

Old Aug 8, 21, 11:02 pm
  #211  
 
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Originally Posted by FrontOfTheCurtain View Post
IMHO I found the whole testing verification process too “loosely goosey”. Having followed all the rules, I initially was going to write a post on my observations and concerns on how one could circumvent what has been put into place however I decided to not devolve this thread & give folks ideas on how to do this. Suffice it to say I think the process could be improved.
I think the early days when fake vaccine passports were quickly available in Israel showed how very easily this entire system is circumvented. Not only that, Canada's India ban pretty much resulted from abuse of these loopholes where Indians would board flights with negative reports and then test positive after landing in Canada--in droves. My wife told me it was something ridiculous like 46 people on a single flight that was the final straw for Canada. They reacted so strongly and swiftly that my brother-in-law who is a Canadian citizen was stuck in India 2 months and the only way he got back was via Mexico. Crazy times we live in if you're trying to travel international...
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Old Aug 10, 21, 5:38 pm
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Any experience or advice on whether the RT-PCR test needs to be performed 3-days or 72 hours exactly? CDC guidelines for return state 3-days and their website even goes as far as to say this gives you a "buffer" to be able to test 3-days prior to return to USA without worrying about the time of day. The Tahiti Tourisme website is a little ambiguous.

The wording says "A negative laboratory RT-PCR test performed less than 72h before departure", but the info graph on the page shows between "D-3 and D-1".

My dilemma is I am leaving U.S. East Coast to SFO on a Friday, overnighting at SFO, and taking UA115 on Saturday to PPT. So I want to be able to test and get results prior to flying to SFO. This means D-3 would be the prior Wednesday. But can I do it (for example) Wednesday at 2:00p EDT, which would be 11:00a PDT, and therefore exactly 74 hours and 20 minutes before UA115's departure time of 1:20p PDT?
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Old Aug 10, 21, 6:46 pm
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Originally Posted by FLLUAFlyer View Post
Any experience or advice on whether the RT-PCR test needs to be performed 3-days or 72 hours exactly? CDC guidelines for return state 3-days and their website even goes as far as to say this gives you a "buffer" to be able to test 3-days prior to return to USA without worrying about the time of day. The Tahiti Tourisme website is a little ambiguous.

The wording says "A negative laboratory RT-PCR test performed less than 72h before departure", but the info graph on the page shows between "D-3 and D-1".

My dilemma is I am leaving U.S. East Coast to SFO on a Friday, overnighting at SFO, and taking UA115 on Saturday to PPT. So I want to be able to test and get results prior to flying to SFO. This means D-3 would be the prior Wednesday. But can I do it (for example) Wednesday at 2:00p EDT, which would be 11:00a PDT, and therefore exactly 74 hours and 20 minutes before UA115's departure time of 1:20p PDT?
Depending on how much it's going to cost you for an RT-PCR on the east coast, you may just want to get a fast-turnaround RT-PCR in SFO on Saturday depending on the time of your flight.
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Old Aug 10, 21, 10:31 pm
  #214  
 
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Originally Posted by SamirD View Post
Depending on how much it's going to cost you for an RT-PCR on the east coast, you may just want to get a fast-turnaround RT-PCR in SFO on Saturday depending on the time of your flight.
I do not fly United so I pose the question to others that fly United regularly.

If this is one ticket, would United allow the passengers to board the flight to SFO if they do not have their required COVID test documentation for their connecting flight the next day out of SFO?
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Old Aug 10, 21, 10:46 pm
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Originally Posted by FLLUAFlyer View Post
Any experience or advice on whether the RT-PCR test needs to be performed 3-days or 72 hours exactly? CDC guidelines for return state 3-days and their website even goes as far as to say this gives you a "buffer" to be able to test 3-days prior to return to USA without worrying about the time of day. The Tahiti Tourisme website is a little ambiguous.

The wording says "A negative laboratory RT-PCR test performed less than 72h before departure", but the info graph on the page shows between "D-3 and D-1".

My dilemma is I am leaving U.S. East Coast to SFO on a Friday, overnighting at SFO, and taking UA115 on Saturday to PPT. So I want to be able to test and get results prior to flying to SFO. This means D-3 would be the prior Wednesday. But can I do it (for example) Wednesday at 2:00p EDT, which would be 11:00a PDT, and therefore exactly 74 hours and 20 minutes before UA115's departure time of 1:20p PDT?
As you pointed out Tahiti Tourism states less than 72 hours. As I mentioned upthread Timitac states less than 72 hours. ETIS FAQ states “Time to perform the test: Three full days before the flight (for example, if your flight is on Tuesday evening, the test cannot be performed prior to the previous Saturday).”

Personally I would not want to risk the interpretation left to a non-SFO United check-in counter agent that would be less familiar with the requirements than someone at SFO so to be safe I would get the test collection done with the 72 hours threshold.
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Old Aug 11, 21, 12:23 am
  #216  
 
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Originally Posted by FrontOfTheCurtain View Post
I do not fly United so I pose the question to others that fly United regularly.

If this is one ticket, would United allow the passengers to board the flight to SFO if they do not have their required COVID test documentation for their connecting flight the next day out of SFO?
I flew this exact route less than a month ago. They will absolutely deny boarding without an RT-PCR. At least the ticketing agents I talked to two days before the flight.
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Old Aug 11, 21, 1:05 am
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Originally Posted by SamirD View Post
Which area are you in? In North California, it's just a NAAT test, which is a type of PCR, but doesn't literally say 'RT-PCR' so would not have been valid according to the United agents I checked with 2 days before the departing flight.

If you're talking about your test to come back to the US, the binaxnow self-test was awesome to have and worked fine. Just be sure to print your results at your hotel before going to the airport--takes 2 seconds this way versus fumbling with phones like we saw most people doing.
Northern California, yes. I believe this is just a point of confusion regarding test type and it seems frustrating. RT-PCR falls under NAAT, and based on my understanding from my partner and others who have visited Kaiser for tests, they are RT-PCR tests--the same kinds of swab and tests that other facilities use.

Reading your posts, you say that you went to SFO and checked with the United counter if the Kaiser NAAT tests are acceptable and got denied? Here's my plan:
  • D-3: Kaiser test scheduled
  • D-3: Submit Quest Diagnostics self test kit (regular testing I get from my employer), generally turnaround within 24-48 hours.
  • D-2: Schedule Walgreens test
3 tests. Low confidence in the self test kit given that it doesn't certify your identity, but it's a regular test I do, so I might as well time it with my trip. If you're saying Kaiser won't work then it really comes down to my Walgreens test or whatever I can schedule locally. I may reconsider the Kaiser test and try to schedule somewhere else then.
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Last edited by mileagehighclub; Aug 11, 21 at 1:25 am
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Old Aug 11, 21, 2:31 am
  #218  
 
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Originally Posted by mileagehighclub View Post
Northern California, yes. I believe this is just a point of confusion regarding test type and it seems frustrating. RT-PCR falls under NAAT, and based on my understanding from my partner and others who have visited Kaiser for tests, they are RT-PCR tests--the same kinds of swab and tests that other facilities use.

Reading your posts, you say that you went to SFO and checked with the United counter if the Kaiser NAAT tests are acceptable and got denied? Here's my plan:
  • D-3: Kaiser test scheduled
  • D-3: Submit Quest Diagnostics self test kit (regular testing I get from my employer), generally turnaround within 24-48 hours.
  • D-2: Schedule Walgreens test
3 tests. Low confidence in the self test kit given that it doesn't certify your identity, but it's a regular test I do, so I might as well time it with my trip. If you're saying Kaiser won't work then it really comes down to my Walgreens test or whatever I can schedule locally. I may reconsider the Kaiser test and try to schedule somewhere else then.
Yep, point of confusion for sure--but ticketing agents don't have a medical background nor do they want to sway from their policies.

Yes, went to counter D-2 and talked to 4 different agents and their supervisor who looked at the report and said 'NAAT isn't RT-PCR. I have to see RT-PCR here where it says NAAT'.

In the end, we all went to a local test site for RT-PCRs at $100/ea. I forgot the name but can look it up if you want. They were near the airport, but you had to book it online.
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Old Aug 11, 21, 7:27 am
  #219  
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Really worrying trend in French Polynesia over the past week -- COVID cases have exploded, and the territory recorded their highest single day total on August 9th. The US State Department upgraded French Polynesia to Level 4: Do Not Travel yesterday as a result.

For comparison, Martinique has essentially (and abruptly) shut down tourism to the island amid their own similar COVID surge. French Polynesia may be considering the same and an announcement could come out of the blue in the next week or two.

I am very, very discouraged about my upcoming trip at the end of the month and already looking for last minute alternatives.
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Old Aug 11, 21, 8:38 am
  #220  
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Originally Posted by FrontOfTheCurtain View Post
I do not fly United so I pose the question to others that fly United regularly.

If this is one ticket, would United allow the passengers to board the flight to SFO if they do not have their required COVID test documentation for their connecting flight the next day out of SFO?
For a next day flight SFO-PPT they may not look for a COVID test the day before. I flew EWR-SFO and the next day SFO-PPT. Nobody asked at EWR. But for those who flew that the same day they were definitely asked at EWR. Your experience may vary.

If you're asking because your results may not come back soon enough, I'd suggest allowing enough time for the argument at the departure point. I'd point out that the prior day UA flight has no testing requirement, that you are waiting for your results, and that you will need to check in again for SFO-PPT. That shuld get you on-board to SFO.
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Old Aug 11, 21, 10:47 am
  #221  
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Originally Posted by OhDoctor View Post
Really worrying trend in French Polynesia over the past week -- COVID cases have exploded, and the territory recorded their highest single day total on August 9th. The US State Department upgraded French Polynesia to Level 4: Do Not Travel yesterday as a result.

For comparison, Martinique has essentially (and abruptly) shut down tourism to the island amid their own similar COVID surge. French Polynesia may be considering the same and an announcement could come out of the blue in the next week or two.

I am very, very discouraged about my upcoming trip at the end of the month and already looking for last minute alternatives.
Following up, there now appears to be a 9pm curfew in place, with more shutdowns looming.
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Old Aug 11, 21, 10:51 am
  #222  
 
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Originally Posted by FrontOfTheCurtain View Post
As you pointed out Tahiti Tourism states less than 72 hours. As I mentioned upthread Timitac states less than 72 hours. ETIS FAQ states “Time to perform the test: Three full days before the flight (for example, if your flight is on Tuesday evening, the test cannot be performed prior to the previous Saturday).”

Personally I would not want to risk the interpretation left to a non-SFO United check-in counter agent that would be less familiar with the requirements than someone at SFO so to be safe I would get the test collection done with the 72 hours threshold.
We're kinda doing the same thing. Wed to SFO, overnight, Thu afternoon UA 115 dep SFO 1:20 PM. I presume we can do the test Tuesday which is the day before we leave for SFO?

Oh and the 72 h is from the Departure of the flight, not the landing correct? Which would be in a totally different time zone. What a nightmare. Even so, since we are also in Eastern, 72 h prior to 1:20 PM PT Thursday departure would mean no earlier than 4:20 PM ET Monday?
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Last edited by gq_dq; Aug 11, 21 at 11:38 pm
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Old Aug 11, 21, 6:43 pm
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Any experience with when you have to pay the ETIS 5000 F CFP fee prior to traveling? I am holding off on paying it in case things shutdown, or (God forbid) I test positive D-3 before my flights.
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Old Aug 11, 21, 8:23 pm
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Originally Posted by FLLUAFlyer View Post
Any experience with when you have to pay the ETIS 5000 F CFP fee prior to traveling? I am holding off on paying it in case things shutdown, or (God forbid) I test positive D-3 before my flights.
You have to pay to get your ETIS receipt. That generally happens any time between D-14 and D-3.
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Old Aug 11, 21, 9:25 pm
  #225  
 
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Originally Posted by OhDoctor View Post
Really worrying trend in French Polynesia over the past week -- COVID cases have exploded, and the territory recorded their highest single day total on August 9th. The US State Department upgraded French Polynesia to Level 4: Do Not Travel yesterday as a result.

For comparison, Martinique has essentially (and abruptly) shut down tourism to the island amid their own similar COVID surge. French Polynesia may be considering the same and an announcement could come out of the blue in the next week or two.

I am very, very discouraged about my upcoming trip at the end of the month and already looking for last minute alternatives.
This is really sad because most of the population is not vaccinated and this will results in a lot of deaths, and even more if they don't lock down. It's a really delicate balance there between tourism and locking down because so much of the economy is based on tourism. I feel for the everyday people like our taxi driver that was answering my questions about how life has changed there in the 50+ years that he's lived there. And this outbreak doesn't surprise me considering the almost non-existent mask usage outside of the airport--anything that ever got there would spread like a california wildfire--which seems to have happened. Time for covid 2.0 and another year of this pandemic, now with even more deaths!
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