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“…once bitten twice shy,” says Samoa PM Tuilaepa

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi
Source: Savali Newspaper, Govt of Samoa

Apia, SAMOA — As of now THE Government of Samoa has deep reservations in opening the borders for international travels even if it’s only for repatriation purposes, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi has indicated in an exclusive interview with a TVNZ News representative Friday afternoon.

“…we are still very worried. Why? Because New Zealand does not allow pre-testing all those who will be boarding the plane,” said Tuilaepa referring to the Air New Zealand flight schedule to arrive next week Friday.

At the same time, the Prime Minister revealed that Cabinet is also still debating the issue in light of the outcome of the request for “pre-testing before boarding the plane done in New Zealand.”

Elaborated Prime Minister Tuilaepa;

“I would have like to pre-testing before boarding the plane done in New Zealand.

“That would give us a great assurance, that those who come will be only those who are clear, but for New Zealand Government to refuse our request and to allow them to come here to do it, and we only have 240 test kits, we are thinking very carefully, within the next week if we change our mind and there will be no flight.”

Even without the pre-testing, Government is not taking any risks with all travellers including returning residents mandated to the 14 Day Quarantine Order upon arrival.

“There is a proverbial saying that once bitten twice sharp, we have been hit hard by the measles and we did not want to be bitten again for the second time,” lamented the Prime Minister. “That’s why we took off at the first sign of the COVID 19 and was criticized very heavily because of that part.”