COVID-19 Test Requirement for Samoa “On Hold”

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The COVID-19 test requirement imposed by the Samoa Ministry of Health last Saturday night originally effective Sunday morning, then later postponed to Thursday 19th March, has now been put on hold.

Due to lack of adequate resources, CIVID-19 testing is being limited to only those who are symptomatic. This has forced the Ministry of Health to revise the travel notice for the third time within 4 days.

On Saturday the 14th of March a travel advisory was issued advising all travellers from 33 listed countries MUST PROVIDE proof of test results done within 5 days for the Coronavirus (COVID-2019).  

Travellers who had quarantined themselves for 14 days, holding the required maximum 3-day old medical certificate were in dissarray with the Covid-19 testing coming into effect immediately.

Many Samoans quarantined in Fiji and New Zealand, booked to come back home after the 14 day isolation requirement were uncertain as to where and how Covid-19 testing could be done.

Two days later a revision to the Covid-19 testing was issued by the Ministry of Health advising that Covid-19 testing was still a requirement, but pushed back to come into effect on March 19th.

⚠️⚠️The provision of the test results within 5 days for the Coronavirus (COVID-2019) will come into effect on the 19th March 2020.⚠️⚠️

Today, the requirement has been put on hold completely.

NOTED CHANGES FROM MOH: The COVID-19 test previously noted as a requirement has been put on hold for now.

The latest travel advice the Ministry is discouraging people traveling to Samoa for family occasions and other activities. Clarity has also been made and specific requirements listed for Australia, Hawaii and American Samoa.

LATEST TRAVEL ADVISORY IN FULL BELOW:

***EFFECTIVE 18 March 2020***

UPDATED TRAVEL ADVISORY NOVEL CORONAVIRUS (COVID-2019)

Due to the ongoing spread of COVID-19 globally and the Declaration as a Global Pandemic by WHO on 11 March 2020; the risk for Samoa has now progressed to VERY HIGH.

Border requirements and restrictions will be more strengthened now at ALL international ports of entry.

⚠️EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY⚠️

ALL TRAVELERS ENTERING SAMOA MUST NOTE THE FOLLOWING REQUIREMENTS:

1. A Special Health Declaration Card is required to be filled out by all travelling passengers in-flight or on arrival in to Samoa.

2. ALL Travelers including returning residents entering Samoa are now required to undergo medical examination by a Registered Medical Practitioner within (3) days before ARRIVAL. Medical clearance report is required for check-in prior to issuing of boarding passes.

3. ALL airline crew and sea vessels crew are required to renew medical reports after 14 days of last medical check. Airline Crew may require COVID-19 test as part of medical clearance in the future.

4. Compulsory screening of ALL arriving passengers and crew to Samoa is in effect at ALL ports of entry. ALL are required to comply and produce additional documents when asked.

5. All Travelers originating FROM or TRANSITING through;

1) CHINA
2) HONG KONG
3) MACAU
4) JAPAN
5) SINGAPORE
6) THAILAND
7) SOUTH KOREA
8) ITALY
9) IRAN
10) KUWAIT
11) TAIWAN
12) GERMANY
13) SPAIN
14) FRANCE
15) BAHRAIN
16) AUSTRIA
17) BELGIUM
18) CANADA
19) MALAYSIA
20) DENMARK
21) CZECHIA REP.
22) GREECE
23) ICELAND
24) LUXEMBOURG
25) NETHERLANDS
26) NORWAY
27) QATAR
28) SWEDEN
29) SWITZERLAND
30) UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
31) UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
32) UNITED KINGDOM
33) AUSTRALIA

SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS FOR COUNTRIES LISTED ABOVE:
I. ALL Travelers Must spend at least 14 days self-quarantine at country of last port and MUST have a Medical Clearance within (3) days prior to final route to Samoa. This must be their final stop before travelling to Samoa.
II. In the event you arrive and have NOT satisfied the ALL requirements. YOU WILL BE RETURNED to the country of last Port, before arrival in to Samoa.

III. ALL travelers from Mainland USA and Hawaii to Samoa, travelling to Samoa direct flight, MUST now spend at least 14 days self-quarantine in Fiji before onward travel to Samoa and MUST have a Medical Clearance within (3) days before arrival.

IV. ALL Travelers entering Samoa including Samoan passport holders who are permanent residents of American Samoa, are now required to have medical examination within 3 days before entering; this requirement SHOULD BE SIGNED by the attending physician and COUNTER-SIGNED by Motusa Tuileama Nua, Director of Public Health, American Samoa.

V. Travelers from Hawaii transiting through American Samoa are now required to spend 14 days self-quarantine in American Samoa before travelling to Samoa. They will also require medical clearance within 3 days, prior to arrival into Samoa.

VI. ALL Australian residents originating travel from Australia, MUST have a Medical Clearance within (3) days before arrival, and MUST register with the Ministry of Health for self-quarantine in Samoa. ALL Australian residents that have traveled outside of Australia in the last 30 days MUST spend 14 days self-quarantine in Australia plus medical clearance before coming to Samoa. Travelers who fail to register and comply with self-quarantine requirement in Samoa will be dealt with accordingly.

VII. The Ministry strongly advises ALL those intending to travel to Samoa to attend birthdays, weddings, reunions, funerals, conferences, sports etc. TO CANCEL their travel plans and make other arrangements.

⚠️ALL medical clearance for ALL Passengers entering Samoa must include proof of test results done within 5 days for the Coronavirus (COVID-2019). This will come into effect at any time, as we continue to monitor the situation⚠️

6. ALL Chartered Flights, Yachts and Cruise Ships intended for Samoa WILL NOT be granted entry into Samoa, until further notice.

7. ALL sea port entries will be screened at the quarantine buoy before the vessel docks at the wharf.

8. ALL Cargo Ships and Fishing vessels Entering Samoa with crew change at any port or out at sea, must comply with ALL requirements stated above. Entry will be denied unless they comply with ALL requirements.

9. ALL Garbage from air craft and sea vessels landing ashore is now prohibited

ALL Airlines and Travel Agencies are urged to comply with ALL requirements.

REQUIREMENTS FOR ALL AIRLINES:
With ongoing efforts to prevent COVID-19 entering Samoa and to control the number of travellers entering the following amendment must be adhered to:

Total number of flights as stated below remains the same,
➡️Flights between New Zealand and Samoa; FIVE (5) flights for both Samoa Airways and Air New Zealand per week, Both Carriers SHOULD NOT exceed five flight and 830 passengers per week.
➡️Flights between Australia and Samoa; THREE (3) flights for both Samoa Airways and Virgin Australia per week,
➡️Fiji Airways Flights to Samoa; THREE (3) flights per week. The direct flight from Hawaii to Samoa, will now fly directly from Hawaii to Fiji and ALL passengers must spend 14 days self-quarantine in Fiji before travel to Samoa with 3 days medical report.
➡️Flights between American Samoa and Samoa; FOUR (4) flights for both Talofa Airways and Samoa Airways per day. ALL passengers from Hawaii transiting through American Samoa MUST spent 14 days self-quarantine in American Samoa before travel to Samoa with medical report within 3 days.

Airlines are advised to make appropriate Changes for flights into Samoa.

ALL TRAVELERS OUT OF SAMOA:

1. ALL Samoan Nationals and Permanent Residents travelling to American Samoa are required to have medical examination within 3 days before entering with proof of MMR/MR vaccination. If in the event your travel is less than 3 days; medical examination issued in Samoa will suffice for your return.

2. It is strongly recommended that ALL persons intending to travel to any country affected by the 2019 Novel Coronavirus postpone their travel arrangements, unless necessary.

3. Be aware of the signs and symptoms of 2019 Novel Coronavirus which include: fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.

4. Preventive measures should be adhered to at all times in the event that travel cannot be postponed.

5. The Ministry advises ALL Groups and Sporting bodies intending to travel overseas to cancel ALL travel arrangements.

For more information contact Tagaloa Dr. Robert Thomsen on Phone: (685) 66503 / 7676015 or Email: robertt@health.gov.ws or Dr Sarah Brown email: sarahb@health.gov.ws

Public Health, Ministry of Health Samoa

For more information contact Tagaloa Dr. Robert Thomsen on Phone: (685) 66503 / 7676015 or Email: robertt@health.gov.ws or Dr Sarah Brown email: sarahb@health.gov.ws