A British family were detained and then deported from Tahiti after a mix-up over France’s Omicron travel ban while on their £15,000 dream Pacific holiday.

Steve Goode (31), and Charlotte (30) said that their trip with their 6-month-old daughter was a disaster. They landed in France on 20 December and received a notification saying they would be being deported from French Polynesia immediately.

Officials told them British travellers were not welcome in French colonies under France’s travel ban announced on December 16.

However, Goode claimed that he didn’t receive any information from the airline or French authorities. This despite the fact that his family were issued with travel visas. He was allowed to board the flight from Los Angeles to Tahiti.

Steve Goode, 31 (right), and his partner Charlotte, 29 (left), said their holiday with their six-month old daughter transformed into a nightmare when they landed in Tahiti on December 20 and were informed they were to be deported immediately from the island in French Polynesia

Steve Goode, 31, and Charlotte Goode, 29, said that their vacation with their six month old daughter became a nightmare after they arrived in Tahiti. On December 20, they received a message from French Polynesia that they would have to be immediately deported.

Following their incident, Mr Goode told MailOnline that his family is involved in a political row with France. Relations between France and Britain have been deteriorating for the last few months.

‘It was a complete and utter surprise when we landed,’ he said. ‘We made all reasonable steps. The French issued us an ETIS (Visa), we received a negative PCR Covid-19, and we had all the documents we needed to fly.

‘It’s the French-English situation – the French and British argument. We got stuck in the middle of this whole political (travel) ban that they’ve done,’ he said.

After passing through passport control Mr Goode stated that they were kept in a tiny room with no air conditioning for nearly six hours and refused food.

Their six-month old daughter Penelope was with them. However, Mr Goode stated that the border guards who held Penelope were not willing to make any concessions.

‘They were just horrendous,’ he said. ‘Awful. Especially as we’ve got a child as well, we thought there would be some form of concession.

‘We asked for food, they said no. A couple of other British nationals were with us and they asked as well – “no”. We asked for water, and were given a tiny cup with dirt in the bottom. It was tragic.’

To reach Tahiti, a Pacific island in French Polynesia and one of France’s overseas territory, the family traveled a lot. It is 9,500 miles away from London.

On December 17th, they flew for 11 hours between London and Los Angeles. They stayed there three days. They flew nine more hours from Los Angeles on December 17 to Tahiti the next day.

Pictured: An image taken by Mr Goode as he, his partner and baby daughter were escorted through the airport by police officers

Pictured: An image taken by Mr Goode as he, his partner and baby daughter were escorted through the airport by police officers

Pictured are images taken by Mr Goode while he and his partner, along with their baby girl were led through the airport via police officers

They were meant to stay in French Polynesia until January 12, on a dream holiday that had already been postponed twice before and cost £15,000.

But upon their arrival in Tahiti, they were detained in the airport’s holding area and told that they would be deported immediately, Mr Goode said.

‘It wasn’t a case of:“We’ve detained you because you’re considered a public health risk,”‘ Mr Goode said.

“It was this constant message that British travelers aren’t welcome in France. “You’re not welcome, you’re not welcome.” I don’t know whether that was the language barrier, but it was just constant. “You’re not welcome.”‘  

Their little girl, who had health problems, began experiencing sickness while being held.

M. Goode stated that the UK Foreign Office made arrangements for Penelope’s family to meet with a doctor. He then informed the French officials that Penelope would not be allowed to fly again.

The officials of Tahiti would not have allowed Mr Goode to tell his family that they had to return at 8pm, on December 21.

The family was not deported immediately. Instead, they were transferred to a hotel where police had them under guard. Mister Goode captured his daughter and partner in video, as they drove through the resort of an island resort in a police car with caged windows.

The family had undergone a long journey to get to Tahiti. They flew 11 hours from London to Los Angeles on December 17, where they stayed for three days. A few days later, they then flew a further nine hours from Los Angeles to Tahiti, where they landed on December 20

They had traveled a long distance to reach Tahiti. On December 17, they flew eleven hours from London to Los Angeles. They stayed there for three days. The couple flew another nine hours to Los Angeles from December 17, where they stayed for three days.

The luggage of both the passengers and the police officer can be clearly seen inside the car. A guard holds onto the back of the cart.

The police placed them in quarantine at the hotel and ordered that they couldn’t leave their rooms. According to Mr Goode, if they refused, they might have been sent to jail.

‘They took us to a quarantine hotel with the others – in a police car, with police guard – to a room. We were asked to sign a 10-page document in French, which they would not translate into English. It was all very dictatorial,’ he told MailOnline.

‘What we were most surprised at were the conditions that we were held. We weren’t allowed to leave the room, there were police guards walking up and down the street.

‘Police were banging on the door a 1am to check we were there. You really had to keep your cool – there were some quite near-the-mark moments when I felt really angry about it,’ he recalled.

According to Mr Goode, there are other British citizens in similar situations. He said that one family had traveled from Los Angeles to be with an American family and had to wait outside while their friends were kept inside.

‘All their family were crying outside because they were so upset, they didn’t want to stay,’ he said.

Two Finnish citizens were present, said Mr Goode. On their journey to Los Angeles and Tahiti, the pair flew through London. Due to their London stop-over they were also detained.

According to Mr Goode, however, the Finnish citizens were better treated by officials than the British.

‘There was a marked difference in the way we were treated to the people from Finland. The feeling was that they were anti-us. It was 100 percent to do with the fact that we were Brits,’ he said.

Mr Goode said after going through passport control, they were held in a small room for almost six hours with no air conditioning, and were allegedly refused food

Despite having their six-month-old daughter Penelope with them, Mr Goode said there were no concessions given by the border guards that held them

After passing through passport control, Mr Goode claimed that they were kept in a cramped room with no air conditioning for nearly six hours and refused food. Their six month old daughter Penelope was with them. However, Mr Goode stated that the border guards did not make any concessions.

‘If there were other nationals there that had travelled through the UK and there were no British nationals, I wouldn’t have been surprised if they had juts said to them – do 10 days [in quarantine] and then stay.’

However, that was not an option afforded to Mr Goode’s family. According to him, although Tahitian officials had offered them a hotel room in isolation for ten days, that offer was rejected.

The order, he said, came from Paris and France’s high commissioner, who told officials in Tahiti that they must be deported right away.

‘We spoke to a couple of nice immigration officers – and they said, being honest with you, it’s because Britain and France’s relationship is not good,’ Mr Goode said. ‘The high commissioner kept saying – no – send them home.’

The tragedy for the French family came when Emmanuel Macron’s government ban Britons from traveling to France. This was done to reduce the spread Omicron Covid-19.

But Mr Goode said he was assured by the airline – Air Tahiti – that the trip could still go ahead.

Tahiti issued a press release on December 15th, stating that, in line with France’s measures, Britons will not be allowed to enter the island without compelling reasons.

French travellers should be aware that the release did not appear prominently on their website. Instead, they will have to click on a few links in order to get the appropriate guidance.

A seemingly outdated guideline, referenced by Mr Goode and stating that travellers from the United Kingdom are allowed, is also available online.

Furthermore, in a screen-recording taken on Mr Goode’s mobile phone of the same page on December 20 after he had landed in Tahiti, the press release can not be seen. The screen-recording suggests Mr Goode that the press release might have been added later on and backdated.

‘They pre-dated it, and it was never there,’ he said. ‘And we even showed immigration and we said to them: “we appreciate that you don’t want us here, but we would never have come here.”

Pictured: A police van shown in an image taken by Mr Goode that was used to escort them on the island

Pictured: A police officer escorts Mr Goode and his family in Tahiti

Left: The police van used to transport them onto the island is shown in this image by Mr Goode. Right: A police officer escorts Mr Goode and his family in Tahiti

‘The fact that the airline boarded us, US border control let us go, the hotel were there waiting for us, that gives you an indication that it wasn’t just us. Everybody was surprised by this sudden rule.’

After the new rules had been updated, Mr Goode blasted the airline and said they shouldn’t have allowed them to fly to Tahiti. They boarded them with their family, though they are British, he claimed.

‘They boarded us, that’s why I know that we followed the rules. Airline pilots have a responsibility to check that passengers have all the necessary paperwork to allow them to travel.

‘The next day – the same thing happened. More people arrived. The couple was from the UK and had two children. They arrived, and they weren’t even allowed to leave the airport – they weren’t even allowed to brush their teeth or go and wash,’ he said.

MailOnline received a statement from Mr Goode stating that he was in communication with the airline since the ordeal and following their initial refusal to pay the invoice for the quarantine hospital.

The hotel happened to be the same hotel Mr Goode had booked for his family, and as they were leaving he was lumped with a bill for over £5,000 for the three-day quarantine stay – despite not being allowed to leave the room.

He refused to pay, furious. ‘Eventually after about 45 minutes the police had phoned the airline and told the airline to pay the hotel bill,’ he said.

On the response he’s received from Air Tahiti about why they were allowed to fly, Mr Goode said: ‘They’ve given me a preliminary response saying that it’s not down to them to approve passengers for flights,’ adding that the airline said it was his responsibility to know the rules.

‘I’m going to fight to get my money back from them. I’m confident the travel insurance will help, but failing that, we will take a lawsuit out against Air Tahiti because they have a responsibility over people in their care,’ he said.

Mr. Goode also criticized Tahiti’s border officers.

He said that they were not allowed to eat at the airport and they were also told to sign documents in English.

The man asked for some time to review the document and translate it with his mobile phone. He was denied.

‘They said we had two choices –either we signed the document, or – and they showed us the inside of the holding cells inside the immigration facility. “Or you’re going in here,”’ he claims he was told.

Taking to Twitter on Friday – on Christmas Eve (pictured) - Mr Goode said that the family had arrived safely back in the United States after being turned around

Taking to Twitter on Friday – on Christmas Eve (pictured) – Mr Goode said that the family had arrived safely back in the United States after being turned around

‘Considering that France is a European Country and an apparent upholder of democracy, it really was a questionable human rights incident.’

Taking to Twitter on Friday – on Christmas Eve – Mr Goode said that the family had arrived safely back in the United States after being turned around.

“We are safe back in the US, and settling down to Christmas,” he stated, recounting the tale of the nightmare his family had in Tahiti.

“We refuse to be treated this way as people and we are not willing to accept it.” [our]French Authorities are kicked in the backside by this story in hopes that other families will not be treated the same.

MailOnline spoke to Mr Goode, who said that the family was currently in America making decisions about whether or not to travel to other countries to finish their vacation.

The Foreign Office informed The Sun Online they are ‘assisting a British Family in French Polynesia’ and that they have been in touch with Polynesian authorities.

According to the Tahitian authorities’ December 15, 2021 statement, travel between France and the United Kingdom (including oversea territories) requires compelling reasons.

Pictured: A screenshot of a breaking news statement put out by Tahitian authorities announcing that French Polynesia would not allow Brits into the territory without a compelling reason. However, Mr Goode has said the statement was not on the page when he and his family landed in Tahiti on December 20, and has suggested it could have been back-dated

Image: Below is an image of the Tahitian government’s breaking news announcement announcing French Polynesia wouldn’t allow Brits in to its territory without compelling cause. The statement, however, was not printed on Mr Goode’s page upon his arrival in Tahiti.

The same applies to adult companions. This is why it’s not possible to travel for professional or tourist reasons.

“All tourists from the United Kingdom that have made plans to travel to Tahiti and Her Islands are requested to delay their departure until a later time.”

UK’s government warned holidaymakers about the possibility of Covid restrictions being lifted in countries other than their own.

Meanwhile, Anglo-French relations have deteriorated over a number of sticking points, including the on-going row over fishing licenses, and France’s decision to ban British travellers from entry despite reporting similar, if not higher cases of Covid-19.

They also disagree over migration across the English Channel, post-Brexit trade deals and subsea sales to Australia. 

MailOnline reached out to Air Tahiti for comments.