The Covid-19 dilemma for France’s overseas territories

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While mainland France went into lockdown last Friday in an attempt to stem a new surge of the coronavirus epidemic, its overseas territories, with the exception of the Caribbean island of La Martinique, were exempted. The dire structural economic and social problems many have long been struggling with were exacerbated by the first total lockdown introduced earlier this year. But as the virus rapidly spreads, the overseas territories, with a total population of close to three million, face a dilemma that for many could end in a hammer blow. Julien Sartre reports.

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For the nearly three million people who make up the populations of France’s overseas territories, and notably for those in the islands scattered around Indian and Pacific oceans and the Caribbean, the measures to restrict public movement in response to the Covid-19 crisis have a very particular importance, especially concerning the economically and socially crucial sector of air travel.