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Dear Editor,

I've heard recently that due to yet another outbreak of a serious disease, this time the Coronavirus, the Independent State of Samoa now requires us to get a medical examinatIon three days before traveling there. At first, this seemed simple enough, but the more I think about it the more questions I have.

My first question is, are we supposed to have this examination ***every time*** we travel to Samoa? Let's say you're a business person who goes over there every month — now do you also have to go to the hospital every month to be examined before Samoa will let you in? As I understand, there are some, if not, many people who travel back and forth on a regular basis. How will this new requirement affect them?

Second, does the examination have to be ***exactly*** three days before you travel? What if it's more days or less days than that? What if it's a week before you travel? I would like to know what the guidelines are, assuming there are any.

Third, how does this requirement apply to travelers who will only be in Samoa in transit, with their final destination being New Zealand, Australia, Fiji or elsewhere? If you're not even going to leave the airport, does the medical examination requirement still apply?

Fourth, is this requirement only temporary, or will it be in place permanently?

Fifth, what exactly is it that the doctor is supposed to check for? Whether we show signs of some disease we can't get shots or pills to become immunized from? My point is, why can't you just show you've become immunized?

I understand Samoa's concern about the spread of disease, but I wonder if they really considered how their new requirement is supposed to work in practical terms. This seems like a questionable burden on both travelers and the local health care system. I used to enjoy visiting Samoa whenever I could, but if from now on going there means I also have to go the hospital every time I want to visit, then maybe I'll be far less likely to visit.

Looking forward to answers to my questions,

Concerned Traveler