Samoa’s COVID-19 State of Emergency extended to Feb 14
Apia, SAMOA — At the recommendation by Cabinet the Head of State, le Ao Mamalu ole Malo le Afioga Tuimalealiifano Vaaletoa Sualauvi II has appropriated the extension of the State of Emergency Orders COVID19 to the 14th February 2021.
The Cabinet’s recommendation to the Head of State was approved at a special Cabinet meeting Tuesday this week.
Confirming the SOE’s extension of four weeks, Interim NEOC Chairman Agafili Tomaimanō Shem Leo told a Press Conference this morning that the two contributing factors, which prompted the extension include the accelerating numbers in COVID cases of the new variant spreading overseas, in countries such as the United Kingdom and South Africa.
Secondly, Cabinet also took note that more Samoans will be returning home on repatriation flights approved for the first three month of the year. And this is coupled by the mandate for container vessels bringing in imports needed by the country, under strict regulations during the same period, Agafili explained.
To ensure that the COVID19 virus is detained at bay, Director General of Health Leausa Dr. Take Naseri said that the port security measures have been tightened with contact between crew members from incoming vessels and local support personnel from health to port authority and stevedoring minimized. And for every vessel authorized to dock and off-load its import cargo, all the required safety procedures are enforced.
As for the virus variant spreading overseas, Leausa reiterated that the stop order issued by the Ministry of Health since October to prohibit all visitors and citizenship from the United Kingdom and Africa including people transiting through the two countries is still in force.
Returning Samoan citizens are also not exempted from the ban, he told reporters.
He is calling on Samoans coming home to comply with the upgraded Travel Advisory issued by the Government of Samoa, effective as of Monday this week.
The Advisory for the Public’s information is published below verbatim;
SPECIAL TRAVEL ADVISORY FOR TRAVELS ENTERING SAMOA
Due to the emergence and rapid transmission of COVID19 variant detected and identified in the United Kingdom and South Africa
1. All travelers originating from or transiting through the United Kingdom and South Africa from 1st October 2020 to now onwards are denied entry to Samoa until further review.
2. Travelers and transiting passengers from countries listed below will be assessed on a case by case basis before denied entry:
· South Korean
· New Zealand
· United States of America
3. Similarly to above (2), all countries not listed will also be assessed on a case by case basis as we continue to monitor the current spread of the COVID19 variant as reported in the above noted countries.
4. All Travelers into Samoa are now required to
· Have a Negative rtPCR COVID test within 72 hours before boarding from last port
· Medical Clearance within 72 hours before boarding from last port
· Blood Serology for COVID19 Antibody Test within 5 days before boarding.
· Expect managed quarantine isolation to be extended to 21 days
5. HEALTH REQUIREMENTS AT SEA PORT (WHARF) – Cargo, Tankers and Fishing Vessels
1. ALL New joining crew are required to;
I. provide medical reports,
ii. COVID19 rtPCR test result and
iii. Blood serology for COVID19 Antibody test from last port before arrival into Samoa, within the last 30 days.
2. ALL other Sea vessels crew who have been on the vessel for more than 30 days are required to provide from last port;
i. Medical Clearance report,
ii. COVID19 rtPCR test result
3. All Tankers, Cargo Ships and Fishing vessels Entering Samoa with crew change at any port must complete 14 days out at sea before entering Samoa.
All vessels are assessed on a case by case basis.
6. Any Traveler, Flight and Sea Vessel Crew with a history of a positive COVID 19 rtPCR test is not allowed to enter Samoa:
Ø Unless Six (6) months have passed from date of the first positive test result; > Must provide genome sequencing test of the virus if available;
Ø Must provide proof of 3 consecutive negative test results at least 7 days apart after six months have passed
Ø Must have a blood serology for COVID19 Antibody test done within 5 days before departure and
Ø All COVID 19 PCR test results, genomic sequencing test and Serology tests must be submitted via email to Director General of Health on email firstname.lastname@example.org and Dr. Robert Thomsen email email@example.com
Ø Failure to do so can result in no board or entry denied.
ALL TRAVELLERS AND CREW ENTERING SAMOA MUST COMPLY WITH ALL REQUIREMENTS.
Your compliance with the conditions listed is imperative to ensuring the safety of all travelers and our people in Samoa. We endeavor to keep Samoa COVID-19 Free.
For travel preparations and information regarding rules of quarantine visit the Ministry of Health website www.health.gov.ws
The Ministry of Health appreciates your full compliance and patience on arrival as you may experience long delays.
And Director General of Health Leausa reiterates that travelers and transmitting passengers from countries including Spain, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, France, Singapore, Nigeria, Canada, Australia, South Korean, Japan, Jordan, Lebanon, New Zealand and the United States of America will be assessed on a case by case basis before entry. But the ban on all travelers from the UK and South African is still in effect.
The new variant does not discriminate as it is now likely to affect anyone at a certain age and the Ministry of Health ensured to carefully monitor international travel, plane and ships to guarantee Samoa to stay as COVID free as it is.