World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Pitcairn Island’s Christmas Present: Two-year Covid-19 Lockdown Lifted

Pitcairn Island, December 23, 2021 ------- The 50 inhabitants of remote Pitcairn Island, a tiny one-by-two-mile volcanic outcropping in the far reaches of the South Pacific Ocean, have just received the best Christmas present they could hope for:

The island, home to descendants of the ill-famed Mutiny on the Bounty sailors, has just received word that their island will re-open to visitors, commerce, and face-to-face contact with the outside world following nearly two years of total COVID-19 lockdown of the island.

“It gives us great joy to announce that Pitcairn Island’s borders will re-open from March 31st, 2022,” says a news release from the Pitcairn Island Tourism office, received at the Pitcairn Islands Study Center in California.

“COVID-19 free, Pitcairn Island will resume welcoming cruise ships, yachts and other international visitors from 31 March 2022,” says the release.

“With the majority of its community fully vaccinated, remote Pitcairn Island is now preparing to safely receive visitors back to its shores after a near two-year closure to protect its vulnerable population,” notes the release.

The lockdown has been economically devastating to the Pitcairn people since practically all their income has come from cruise ship visits, individual visitors who stay in island homes for a fee, and the on-island sale of a wide variety of home-made crafts and curios. Practically all such income stopped when the island was locked down.

Lockdown also brought complications to the medical treatment of Pitcairners needing off-island care, the closest hospital to Pitcairn being 900 miles way in Tahiti; the hospital being under French control, while Pitcairn is a British overseas territory.

The tourism news release notes that Pitcairn’s supply ship, MV Silver Supporter, will operate three direct services between Tauranga, New Zealand, and Pitcairn Island from April 2022 through to August 2022. In addition to carrying essential supplies to and from Pitcairn,

the ship will carry Pitcairn islanders, contracted workers, and a limited number of visitors.

In 1789, while near the island of Tofua in the Pacific, sailors aboard the British ship H.M.S. Bounty mutinied against their captain William Bligh. Putting Bligh and sailors loyal to him adrift, the mutineers sailed the ship in search of a hiding place, finally settling on Pitcairn Island.

The story of the mutiny has appeared in hundreds of books, and been made into scores of movies and television productions.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Tigray: Eritrean Refugees ‘scared And Struggling To Eat’ Amid Aid Obstacles
For the first time in weeks, aid teams have reached refugee camps in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, only to find that some Eritrean nationals living there have likely died of preventable diseases, while others are “scared and struggling to get enough to eat”, the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, said on Friday...
More>>

UN News: Rare Coral Reef Discovered Near Tahiti Is ‘Like A Work Of Art’, Says Diver
One of the largest coral reefs in the world has been discovered by a UN-supported scientific mission off the coast of Tahiti. Announcing the stunning find on Thursday, UNESCO said that divers had explored large rose-shaped corals spanning some three kilometres, at depths of between 30 and 65 metres... More>>


Tonga Eruption: At Least 3 Dead, Amid Severe Destruction
At least three people have died in Tonga following the massive volcanic eruption and subsequent tsunami wave that hit over the weekend. Homes and other buildings across the archipelago have suffered major damage... More>>

Ethiopia: UN Chief Lauds ‘Demonstrable Effort To Make Peace’

The UN Secretary-General on Wednesday said he was “delighted” to learn that “a demonstrable effort to make peace” in Ethiopia is finally underway, according to information relayed to him by the African Union High Representative for the Horn of Africa... More>>


Tigray: Agencies Suspend Aid As ‘Scores’ Are Killed Due To Airstrikes
Recent airstrikes on camps for internally displaced persons and refugees in Tigray, northern Ethiopia, have reportedly killed scores of civilians, including children, and left many more injured... More>>


UN News: For 25th Year In A Row, Greenland Ice Sheet Shrinks

2021 marked the 25th year in a row in which the key Greenland ice sheet lost more mass during the melting season, than it gained during the winter, according to a new UN-endorsed report issued on Friday... More>>