Quarantine Extended to 10 Days as Four Passengers from Auckland Repatriation Flight Test Positive


02 April 2022 Apia Samoa  The Ministry of Health has confirmed four passengers who travelled to Samoa on the most recent repatriation flight from New Zealand have tested positive for covi-19. The Air New Zealand flight that arrived on Tuesday 29th of March from Auckland carrying 219 passengers was set to start Samoa’s new protocol of 7-day isolations for incoming travelers.

The decision to ease the duration of managed isolation for passengers came as Samoa is moving to re-open its borders and start to ‘live with the virus’. However, the discovery of the 4 positive covid cases, has prompted the decision to extend the quarantine days to 10.

“The earlier decision to commence the 7 day quarantine for the flight of the 29th of March has been revoked”, confirms the government press release.

According to the media release, all passengers were swabbed upon arrival at the airport prior to quarantine, which returned 4 positive tests. Passengers are expected to undertake their second tests today, Saturday, 2 April.

Leader of the opposition and former Prime Minister, Hon Tuilaepa Dr Sailele Malielegaoi and Samoa’s Minister of Commerce, Industry and Labour and Minister for Public Enterprises,  Leatinuu Wayne Sooialo, had both returned to Samoa on the 29th March flight.

Samoa is currently on Alert Level 3 lockdown since the first community case was detected just over two weeks ago on March 17th. There has been one registered covid-related death, an elderly man in his late 60s who died while seeking treatment at Lalomanu District Hospital.  There have been over 2000 registered community cases since the outbreak, 245 in the past 24 hours.

Samoa is currently rolling out a mass vaccination campaign to ensure all eligible adults over 18 receive their Pfizer boosters, and complete the second dose for children aged 12-17, and first doses for children aged 5-11.