The Borneo Post (Sabah)

Vanuatu looks to reopen borders with virus-free countries

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PORT VILA, Vanuatu: Coronaviru­s-free Vanuatu has announced plans to cautiously reopen its borders, starting with a safe travel bubble with its Southwest Pacific neighbour New Caledonia.

From April, the so-called "Tamtam Bubble" will allow access to Efate Island, Vanuatu's largest island and home to the capital Port Vila.

A government spokesman said Saturday that leaders would meet next week "to formalise the Tamtam Travel Bubble between Port Vila and Noumea", the capital of New Caledonia.

Vanuatu Prime Minister Bob Loughman told community leaders that priority would initially be given to people travelling on compassion­ate grounds for healthcare, education, employment, technical assistance and visiting family and friends.

New Caledonia was chosen because it is "a low-risk country with no active community cases for more than 28 days".

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