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COVID-19 rules make some Jan. 27 travelers testy

Entrance to the Tradewinds Hotel quarantine site
Source: RNZ Pacific

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Radio New Zealand is reporting the situation at the American Samoa Covid-19 quarantine sites housing travellers from Honolulu is getting testy after they were told they won't be released until Friday, regardless of their COVID test results.

Those who tested negative were expecting to be released Monday morning as announced earlier.

Dozens of the arrivals have tested positive for COVID-19, though a number of these infections have subsequently been found to be historical.

The extension of quarantine time has been met with anger and frustration from some travellers, all of whom arrived on a flight on January 27.

A recording of a Zoom session on social media shows one passenger swearing, others questioning why a doctor is moving between quarantine sites and not wearing a mask, and the lack of transparency and straight talk from those in charge.

But the Department of Health is standing firm, saying a more cautious approach is warranted, given the numbers involved.