Tensions remain high across Réunion as of Thursday, November 22, due to ongoing protests associated with the "yellow vest" movement. Some shops were looted and 16 people arrested overnight November 21-22. At least 27 roadblocks remain in place throughout the island, notably around Roland Garros International Airport (RUN) leading to significant transportation disruptions. Schools, universities, and administrative offices remain closed. A nightly curfew implemented on November 20 - from 21:00 to 06:00 (local time) - was, however, lifted on Thursday morning.
Furthermore, passenger services and flight operations at RUN will again be suspended from 16:00 on Thursday until 06:15 on Friday.
Additional protests are likely over the coming days despite an announcement made on Tuesday night that the proposed fuel tax increase, which sparked the unrest, would be postponed. Additional security forces remain deployed to quell the violence.
Demonstrations denouncing rising fuel prices and a planned fuel tax began on November 17 throughout France, with demonstrators in Réunion setting up roadblocks, setting fire to buildings, and ransacking shops. The government had planned a tax increase on fuel prices, including gasoline and diesel, beginning on January 1, 2019, to promote environmentally friendly practices.
Individuals in Réunion are advised to monitor developments to the situation, adhere to the curfew and any other instructions issued by the local authorities, allow for extra time to reach their destinations, and avoid all protests as a precaution.
Individuals traveling via RUN are advised to confirm the status of their flights prior to departure for the airport and contact their airlines for further information.