inter Samoa guidelines confuse some — Admin attempts to clarify
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The Governor’s Office released this week new guidelines for inter Samoa travel while complaints surface from local residents, who told Samoa News about the confusion on requirements for entering the Independent State and where in American Samoa do travelers actually apply?
For travelers to Apia, the new guidance says that the prospective traveler registers with the Samoa Consulate Office in Fagatogo, contact 633-5919. And only the Consulate approves passengers allowed entry into Samoa. “There are no exceptions to this requirement,” the guidelines said.
For COVID testing, a negative PCR test is required to be taken within 48 hours of departure. The lab result must be presented in hard copy on arrival in Samoa. After taking the COVID test, the traveler is to proceed to a confirmed flight with Samoa Airways.
However, if the test result is positive and a ticket was already issued, the traveler is advised to immediately contact Samoa Airways to rebook the flight reservation.
At check-in at the airport, a hard copy of the vaccination card, lab result, and medical clearance must be presented at check-in and on arrival in Apia. Electronic documents on phones or other electronic devices — including email “is not acceptable”, the guidelines said.
It also says that all passengers entering Samoa will go into quarantine for at least 10-days or as determined by the Ministry of Health.
TRAVELING FROM SAMOA
According to the guidelines, all reservations are booked directly with Samoa Airways, as the Governor’s Office no longer maintains control of the flight manifest. Additionally, all travelers must register on the ASG’s TalofaPass websystem and upload their travel documents 5-days prior to departure.
Also updated to TalofaPass is the vaccination card issued by the Samoa Ministry of Health, and travelers are advised to ensure that names and dates of birth match travel documents. Travelers 5 years and older must be fully vaccinated — which mean 14 days or more have passed after the second dose.
On COVID tests, a negative PCR test is required 72 hours prior to departure and must be uploaded on TalofaPass and must be an official laboratory report with the Ministry of Health stamp.
Upon arrival in Pago Pago, a COVID test is conducted, and those testing positive are placed in 5-days supervised isolation at a DoH facility followed by 5 days home isolation.
If the test is negative, the traveler is directed to go home for self-monitoring and check in for 5 days on the TalofaPass websystem.
Lt. Gov. Talauega Eleasalo Ale emphasized during Monday’s virtual news conference that current requirements include that the traveler must first obtain an entry permit and OK board from the local Attorney General’s Office before travel registration on ASG’s TalofaPass websystem.
These needed documents are then uploaded when the traveler starts the registration process on TalofaPass. Talauega said some travelers have gone on to TalofaPass to register without first obtaining the OK board and permit.
Apply for an Entry Permit and OK Board (at www.legalaffairs.as.gov).
It was also announced at the news conference that flights on the inter Samoa route are on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.