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COVID-19 – Global travel advisory
Effective date: March 13, 2020
Avoid non-essential travel outside Canada until further notice.
This advisory overrides other risk levels on this page, with the exception of any risk levels for countries or regions where we advise to avoid all travel.
Réunion - Take normal security precautions
Take normal security precautions in Réunion.
Safety and security
COVID-19 - Preventative measures and restrictions
Preventative measures and restrictions are in place and may vary depending on the department or city. You must wear a mask in closed public spaces.
If you violate these restrictions, you could be fined for endangering public health.
- Follow the instructions of local authorities, including those related to physical distancing
- Avoid crowded areas
Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and bag snatching, occurs. Ensure that your personal belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times.
Vehicle break-ins occur. Leave nothing in view in the vehicle and above all do not leave valuable objects, passports and other travel documents, money or credit cards in a vehicle.
Strikes and demonstrations may cause disruptions to services. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.
- Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
- Follow the instructions of local authorities
- Monitor local media for the latest information
More about mass gatherings (large-scale events)
To reduce the risk of deadly shark attacks, the Prefecture of Réunion:
- supervises some of the most exposed water activities (such as swimming and surfing)
- installed appropriate signage and designated supervised spaces
Swimmers must respect existing regulations and safety and monitoring systems in place (including green, yellow or red safety flags) related to swimming and shark risks.
It is forbidden to practice aquatic activities in a prohibited or dangerous area.
Stonefish stings are rare but can, in some cases, be fatal. You should get immediate medical attention if stung. Many hotels carry anti-venom serum.
Ensure that your travel insurance covers accidents related to recreational activities.
Also ensure that rescue services are consistent with international standards.
- Existing regulations - Les services de l’État à La Réunion (Réunion state services, in French only)
- Water safety abroad
- Information about decompression chambers
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
General information about foreign domestic airlines
COVID-19 - Entry to the European Union countries
On October 21, 2020, the Council of the European Union recommended to the Member States to reimpose entry restrictions on passengers arriving from Canada. As this is only a recommendation, Member States make their own individual determination of who they allow to enter and under what conditions.
Should you decide to travel to the European Union despite these new restrictions and despite our global advisory, know that local authorities may deny you entry or impose additional entry requirements. Your travel plans could be severely disrupted. You should not depend on the Government of Canada for assistance related to changes to your travel plans.
Special entry requirements could include:
- entry bans, particularly for non-residents
- quarantines of 14 days or more upon arrival, some in designated facilities, at your own cost
- health screenings and certificates as well as proof of adequate travel health insurance
- travel authorization documents to be obtained before you travel
Consider even your transit points, as many destinations have implemented strict transit rules which could disrupt your travel. Check with the diplomatic mission of the countries you plan on visiting and transiting through to know who they allow to enter and under what conditions.
Airlines can also suspend or reduce flights without notice, making it difficult for you to return home.
- Contact your airline or tour operator to confirm your travel plans
- Contact the nearest foreign diplomatic office for information on destination-specific restrictions
Travel advice: mandatory administrative formalities - Prefecture of La Réunion (in French)
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.
We have obtained the information on this page from French authorities. It can, however, change at any time.
Verify this information with foreign diplomatic missions and consulates in Canada.
Réunion is an overseas French department but not part of the Schengen area.
Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.
Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.
Regular Canadian passport
Your passport must be valid for at least 3 months beyond the date you expect to leave Réunion.
Passport for official travel
Different entry rules may apply.
Other travel documents
Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest diplomatic mission for your destination.
Visa requirements are the same as those of France.
Entry/exit requirements for France
Other entry requirements
On entry, you must show officials proof of:
- return or onward ticket
- sufficient funds to cover your stay
- lodging for the duration of your stay
Children and travel
Learn about travel with children.
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
- Pandemic COVID-19 all countries: avoid non-essential travel outside Canada - January 16, 2021
- Global Measles Notice - July 23, 2019
Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Some of these vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.
Vaccines to Consider
You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health professional about which ones are right for you.
Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.
Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.
Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.
Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
- There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- Proof of vaccination is not required to enter this country.
- Vaccination is not recommended.
About Yellow Fever
Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Food and Water-borne Diseases
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
In some areas in East Africa, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in East Africa. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
- Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
- Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
- The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.
Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.
Travellers visiting regions with a risk typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.
Insects and Illness
In some areas in East Africa, certain insects carry and spread diseases like African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), chikungunya, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, dengue fever, leishmaniasis, lymphatic filariasis, malaria, onchocerciasis (river blindness), Rift Valley fever, West Nile virus and yellow fever.
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
There is currently a risk of chikungunya in this country. Chikungunya is a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Chikungunya can cause a viral disease that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. In some cases, the joint pain can be severe and last for months or years.
Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.
- In this country, dengue fever may occur sporadically. It is a viral disease spread to humans by mosquito bites.
- Dengue fever can cause severe flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it can lead to dengue haemorrhagic fever, which can be fatal.
- The level of risk of dengue fever changes seasonally, and varies from year to year. After a decline in reported dengue cases worldwide in 2017 and 2018, numbers have been steeply rising again.
- Mosquitoes carrying dengue typically bite during the daytime, particularly around sunrise and sunset.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue fever.
- There is a risk of malaria throughout the year in the whole country.
- Malaria is a serious and occasionally fatal disease that is spread by mosquitoes. There is no vaccine against malaria.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. This includes covering up, using insect repellent and staying in well-screened air-conditioned accommodations. You may also consider sleeping under an insecticide-treated bednet or pre-treating travel gear with insecticides.
- See a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic, preferably six weeks before you travel to discuss the benefits of taking antimalarial medication and to determine which one to take.
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, and bats. Certain infections found in some areas in East Africa, like avian influenza, Ebola, and rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
Crowded conditions can increase your risk of certain illnesses. Remember to wash your hands often and practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette to avoid colds, the flu and other illnesses.
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV are spread through blood and bodily fluids; practise safer sex.
Medical services and facilities
COVID-19 - Testing facilities
Consult the following links to find out where you can get a COVID-19 test:
Local COVID-19 testing facilities - Government of France (in French only)
Healthcare is good. Evacuation may be necessary, however, in case of serious illness or injury.
There is one decompression chamber, with 6 spaces, in Réunion. The chamber is located at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Sud Réunion (South-Réunion University Hospital) in Saint-Pierre. The hospital also houses a hyperbaric care unit.
Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.
Travel health and safety
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
For information outlining safety and security considerations, visit Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada's country travel advice and warnings.
Laws and culture
You must abide by local laws.
Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.
Dual citizenship is legally recognized in France.
If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of France, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're in Réunion. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements.
General information for travellers with dual citizenship
The currency in Réunion is the euro.
Credit cards are accepted at most hotels, restaurants and shops.
ATMs are widely available.
Natural disasters and climate
The Peak of the Furnace (Piton de la Fournaise) volcano in Réunion is active. The local government has strict regulations in place regarding access to the volcano.
Information about Piton de la Fournaise - Piton de La Fournaise observatory (in French only)
The cyclone season occurs from November to April.
Severe storms can put you at risk and can hamper the provision of essential services.
If you decide to travel to Réunion during this time:
- know that you expose yourself to serious safety risks
- be prepared to change your travel plans on short notice, including cutting short or cancelling your trip
- stay informed of the latest regional weather forecasts
- carry emergency contact information for your airline or tour operator
- follow the advice and instructions of local authorities
- Hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones and monsoons
- Large-scale emergencies abroad
- Latest emergency news - Services of the State in Réunion (in French only)
Dial 112 for emergency assistance.
There is no Canadian government office in Réunion. You can obtain consular assistance from the Embassy of Canada in Paris, France.
Paris - Embassy of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the Embassy of Canada in Paris and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. The Government of Canada takes the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provides credible and timely information in its Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad. In the event of a large-scale emergency, every effort will be made to provide assistance. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
See Large-scale emergencies abroad for more information.
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