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New travel advisory for entering Samoa from American Samoa

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Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The Samoa government has issued a “special travel advisory” specifically for travelers from American Samoa entering the independent state, which has called for working “together to minimize the potential for COVID-19 being introduced in Samoa.”

Issued by Samoa Ministry of Health and signed by Leausa Dr. Take Naseri, Director General of Health, the advisory dated Aug. 13th (Samoa time), was distributed Friday in American Samoa by the local Attorney General’s Office and the Health Department.

Samoa health officials also provided to Samoa News a copy of the advisory, which states that all passengers entering Samoa must take precautions while in Samoa for the next 14 days from date of arrival.

According to the requirements, all passengers must have been in American Samoa for 28 consecutive days or more with no history of travel outside of the territory.  Furthermore, documented evidence is required for check in and boarding.

Travelers are also required to undergo a medical examination by a Registered Medical Practitioner within 3-days before departure from Pago Pago and a medical report is required for check-in and boarding.

These documents must be presented to Samoa Health Authorities on arrival, and travelers are required to complete the Samoa Health Declaration Card in flight or on arrival in Apia.

A “COVID-19 Test is essential but NOT required for boarding,” the advisory said, noting, “Non-Compliant to any of the above requirements may result non-boarding or return back to last port.”

The advisory also addressed travelers entering Samoa, through American Samoa — from Hawaii, US mainland and Asia. It says that these travelers must reside in American Samoa for 28-days or more before onward travel to Samoa.

All these requirements are subject to change without notice, the advisory points out.

“We endeavor to keep Samoa COVID-19-Free. Your compliance with the conditions listed herein are imperative to ensuring the safety of all who are traveling and our people in Samoa,” it says.

Samoa News points out that the borders of the two-Samoas remains closed except when there are special flights requested by American Samoa, such as those to repatriate local residents from Apia, and these flights are able to take back to Apia residents of Samoa stranded here.

Meanwhile, the United Kingdom last week imposed traveling restrictions on countries and territories around the world, putting them on the “travel quarantine list” where residents from these countries are required 14-day quarantine upon arrival in England.

The updated list released Friday, shows that American Samoa and Samoa are on the travel quarantine list — although the two-Samoas both have no confirmed cases of coronavirus.

The United Kingdom’s new travel restrictions come amid a resurgence of COVID-19 cases across Europe.