As the coronavirus pandemic edges into its second year, Pacific island nations and territories have managed, so far, to avoid large numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths. Due to their remote locations across the Pacific Ocean, most were able to quickly shut their borders, effectively sealing themselves off from the rest of the world.
Yet, while many vulnerable, isolated populations and health systems were spared, the move has come with a great economic cost to many small island nations solely dependent on tourism and key commodity exports.
In French Polynesia, tourism is the No. 1 economic driver and last year, officials estimated