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Deserted islands: Pacific resorts struggle to survive a year without tourists

Algae-filled pools and shuttered hotel windows are a reminder that Covid-19 is not just a public health problem

Of the handful of countries in the world that managed to stay completely Covid-free, almost all were islands in the South Pacific.

Most Pacific countries – protected by their remoteness and their governments’ decisions to close their borders – have kept their case numbers very low, with some notable exceptions, including French Polynesia, which restarted international travel early and suffered a devastating outbreak in the second half of 2020 and Papua New Guinea, which is now facing a very serious flare-up.

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