Just as things are beginning to open up in Panama they are beginning to shut down in French Polynesia. Panama has been locked down since March. Stores and restaurants have been closed. Men and women hare been assigned gender specific days to shop, and specific two hour windows within those days. French Polynesia opened their borders for air travel on July 15th and since then has had a resurgence of Covid-19 and is beginning to add more restrictions.
So, while it doesn't look like we will be getting a long term visa for French Polynesia any time soon, at least we can start to enjoy a tad bit more freedom in Panama.
Playgrounds which have been cordoned off with yellow tape are now open for children to play.
Bicycles, bike carts and scooters are now available to rent, but since the gender days are still in effect the market for the rentals is greatly diminished. You can't have your family go rent a cart, or go out with a sweetheart of the opposite sex.
In normal times the causeway is filled with these vehicles, scooters, tandem bikes and skaters. Now it has only had bike riders, runners and walkers.
The bus seats have removed the large red taped X's that adorned every other seat to keep social distancing.
The biggest change for us will be starting this Monday. The gender days are going away! Bob and I can actually go for a walk together! These rules have been in effect since March and will be a welcome change, although I do have to say, it has been nice to go out for a walk and see that all the walkers, runners and bikers were women. No offence to men, but as a woman it is a very different feeling to be out on the street with only women. When men are present there is always a self protection awareness that women live with. It has been a pleasant change to have that lifted, if only for a little while.
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The part about French Polynesia adding more restrictions since the opening of the airport is not quite correct. The only change here in FP is the requirement to wear a mask inside public places and the re-closure of bars and nightclubs. Else, it is business as usual.
The FP government seems to understand the mortality rate from the virus was vastly overstated at the onset. Of course, nobody knew for certain. However, a great deal has been learned since. They have taken time to educate the people in high-risk groups to take preventive measures and for others to respect boundaries.
Ok, so not shutting down, but still adding more restrictions ( masks, bars, restaurants) just as Panama is opening up. However, I would not been at all surprised if there is a spike in cases in Panama now, and the restrictions come right back.
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