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Samoa Reopens Borders & Schools to Resume

By Lagi Keresoma

APIA, SAMOA – 17 May 2022: Samoa is moving to reopen its national borders to everyone in August and travel bookings will be handed back to travel agents and airlines as of next Monday.

This is one of the major changes announced by Prime Minister Fiamē Naomi Mataafa to the State of Emergency Orders under Alert Level 2 for another two weeks. The changes include:

  1. Removal of curfew hours which now allow people greater mobility throughout the whole day.
  2. The referral of airline bookings and all other related airline arrangements to airline companies and travel agents for all travels to and from Samoa beginning on the 22nd May, 2022
  3. Opening of our national borders to everyone on the 1st of August 2022.
  4. The resumption of Colleges, Post-Secondary Education Training on 18th May, 2022, primary schools on the 30th May, and pre-schools on the 4th July, 2022.

Re-opening of borders
The first step for reopening of borders began with entry allowed for all Samoans, resident in Samoa and travel on Samoan passports, Samoans that travel on foreign passports but with exemption stamps for entry as well as foreign contracted workers with the relevant work and temporary resident permits.

Reservations on airlines and arrangements for incoming and outgoing flights that was handled by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) will be reverted back to airline companies and travel agents as per normal procedure before COVID-19.

Commencing from 01 June 2022, there will be a weekly flight from Australia and New Zealand with a fortnightly flight from Fiji.

Then on 1 August 2022, a full re-opening of Samoa’s national border will be initiated.

Resumption of schools
The National University of Samoa (NUS) resumed classes last week.

The Government, Private and Mission schools and continuing education will be reopened on Wednesday 18 May 2022.

All primary schools will start on 30 May with pre-schools to start on 4 July 2022.

New quarantine measures for travellers implemented
As of last week, the new quarantine requirements for travellers were implemented with passengers being isolated at home under strict conditions for 7 days.

One of the conditions is to do a self-test and report the results to the Ministry of Health.

Breaching their home isolation will incur a fine of ST$2000.

Vaccination & COVID-19 cases status
The reopening of Samoa’s borders to international travellers was based on the important consideration given to the current rates of vaccinations and sector planning especially the private and business sector, as well as the experiences of the neighbouring countries.

As of 10 May, 358 new cases were reported which brings the number of community and border cases to 11, 671 with 6 currently isolated at the Tupua Tamasese Meaole Hospital.

The vaccination roll-out which was conducted as a district to district campaign was completed last week and a total of 88, 483 have completed two doses

  • Of the 18 years and above, 92.9% have completed second doses.
  • Of the 12 to 17 years, 88.3% have completed two doses.
  • Of the 5 to 11 age group 83.5% have completed two doses and
  • 74,218 have had their boosters.

“The vaccination campaign continues and remains the best defence against COVID-19,” said Prime Minister Fiamē.

The Prime Minister also conveyed condolences to the families and loved ones of those persons who have passed away due to complications of the virus. The death toll now stands at twenty four with the youngest at 36 years and the oldest at 94.

“We continue to keep you in our prayers,” said Fiamē.