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“Without registration, we cannot help you,” Task Force says to residents wanting to come home

 Some members of the American Samoa COVID-19 Task Force appeared before the House Health Committee recently
Source: Task Force media release

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — At a meeting of the COVID-19 Task Force on Monday, February 22, 2021 to plan for the March 10 repatriation flight, Chairman Lt. Gov. Talauega Eleasalo Va’alele Ale reiterated that the foremost goal of the repatriation flights is to bring eligible stranded residents home while ensuring American Samoa remains COVID free.

Fulfilling this goal requires continuous coordination and planning between government, health, and private sector partners while adhering to medical clearances and recommended quarantine requirements. The COVID-19 Taskforce and GAR asks for cooperation by our community as we proceed to execute our repatriation program.  While our current focus is repatriation of residents from the U.S., we also have an obligation to repatriate our stranded residents in Samoa and other parts of the world.  Every resident who wishes to return home from any part of the world must first register on the DOH site [] . This is the most important first step.  Without registration, we cannot help you.

The Taskforce also advises members of our community who have registered on the DOH site [] to be vigilant and flexible with your travel plans.  Given the nature of this process, our DOH medical team in Honolulu may not be able to contact every confirmed traveler until a few days before the start of quarantine.  We will continue to improve this process to give sufficient lead time for our travelers. 

March 10th Repat Flight. It is expected that a total of 200 passengers will be traveling on the next scheduled flight. We have started the process of contacting passengers who will be arriving for intake at the quarantine center in Honolulu, Hawaii at the Waikiki Ohana East Hotel by Outrigger no later than Thursday, February 25. Each passenger will be allowed two check-in luggage and a carry-on.  There will be no extra luggage or cargo permitted on this flight, unless approved by the Taskforce.  The outbound flight to Hawaii has been confirmed as fully booked. Travelers with general questions may reach out to (808) 852-0425 or (808) 840-3209 or via email at (emails regarding repatriation must include Flight 2 in the subject heading).

Visa Flight to Apia. The Taskforce also discussed the Visa Flights to Apia, which allowed 26 residents to attend appointments with the US Consulate Office in Apia to renew visas for long overdue medical travel to the US.  The flights departed Monday, February 22nd and returned Wednesday, February 24th.  Upon return to American Samoa, these residents will be subjected to quarantine under DOH rules. They will depart American Samoa on the outbound flight to Honolulu on March 10th to attend medical appointments in the US.  The Taskforce expressed gratitude to the Honorable Prime Minister Tuilaepa and the Samoa Government, and the Office of Congresswoman Uifa’atali Amata Radewagen as well as all other agencies involved in the planning to make this flight possible.

Repat Flight from Samoa. The Taskforce is planning a repat flight for residents stranded in Apia, Samoa.  This flight(s) is tentatively set for Tuesday March 2nd.  Further details on this flight will be made available shortly.