Did I tell you yet that although the pandemic has certainly affected Vanuatu economically, there are no actual cases of the virus in the country?

So the borders were closed back in March 2020 or so. Since then only citizens and holders of permanent residency visas have been allowed in. Returnees undergo a two week quarantine In a resort paid for by the government.

 One man coming back from America had a positive test in quarantine, but all later tests were negative so it was probably a false positive. And the body of one Filipino sailor who was found washed up on a beach was found to be infected. How he ended up off his ship and in the water is unknown.

Aside from these two incidents, as far as we know there have been no cases here in Vanuatu. Certainly no community to community infections.

There has been a State of Emergency declared, which means all businesses have hand washing stations outside. Early on people were told to wash their hands before entering. Although the washing stations are still in place, most people now ignore them.

Also early on, schools were closed for a short time, but once it was clear that there is no Covid here, everything is going on as usual.

Although you occasionally see someone wearing a mask, it's quite rare, and usually means the wearer has a cold. Most people shake hands, and greet each other with a hug and kiss as before. 

People are encouraged to be vaccinated in preparation for a time when the borders will be reopened. But there is a fair amount of caution to this idea shown by the population, and the uptake is relatively low.

So daily life in paradise Vanuatu goes on largely as before.

Tomorrow I'll tell you about the negatives of living here

Lance in (covid-free) Vanuatu