Friday 25 February 2022 Apia Samoa. Samoa’s borders have been closed since March 2020 with the only air travel being Cabinet pre-approved special purpose flights to allow for repatriated citizens, travel for seasonal workers, returning students and residents seeking medical treatment abroad.
On Thursday Prime Minister Hon Fiame Naomi Mataafa announced the latest approved flights including two repatriation flights from New Zealand in March and two special outgoing flights to uplift seasonal workers this weekend.
- 26th February 2022 : Air New Zealand flight for Cargo only and uplift RSE workers to New Zealand
- 28th February 2022 : Charter flight to take RSE workers to New Zealand
- 6th March 2022 : Repatriation flight from Auckland New Zealand
- 29th March 2022 : Repatriation flight from Auckland New Zealand
One repatriation flight has been approved for Fiji, that will also bring home a father who had travelled with his wife to seek medical care in India under the Government’s prigramme.
- 18th March 2022: Flight to bring home scholarship students completing their studies and to bring workers in Samoa. This flight is also schedule to bring home; Tafili Fineaso Aimaasu as travelled to India for wife’s medical treatment.
The approved flights for Australia are for outgoing seasonal workers only. The flights will come in to Samoa with no passengers.
- 2 or 16 March 2022 : Qantas Flight to only uplift Seasonal workers to Australia
Cabinet also approved special conditions to enable supoort for a Tokelau undersea cable project currenly underway.
A vessel trip to pull the Submarine Cable for Tokelau has been approved, as well as a charted flight from Hawaii to bring in 4 workers.
The NEOC and Health authorities are tasked with the enforcement of Samoa’s usual protection protocols in relation to this project and ensure all crew and incoming workers are quarantined at their own cost.
“The National Emergency Operation Centre (N.E.O.C.) has been tasked to coordinate
and monitor these flights, while the Ministry of Health continues to lead the COVID-19 border protection, through enforcement of compliance with Samoa’s travel advisory”.
Under an additional border control protocol, all of Samoa’s frontliners dealing with the flights from customs to immigration to quarantine staff and airport security as well as police and drivers – are now all required to quarantine for 72 hours after the flights arrive, released only after testing rounds satisfy no positive passengers.