Medical exams compulsory for all coming to Samoa
As a third case of coronavirus is confirmed in New Zealand, the Government of Samoa is tightening border security to ensure that all incoming passengers have undergone a medical examination.
A new health advisory outlined fresh requirements effective immediately requiring everyone travelling to Samoa - including returning residents - to provide a medical clearance report at check-in and prior to receiving boarding passes.
"Compulsory screening of [all] arriving [passengers] and [crew] to Samoa is in effect for [all] ports of entry. All are required to comply and produce additional documents when asked," the advisory reads.
Since New Zealand reported its very first coronavirus case last week, the Samoan Government had moved to slash the frequency of flights between the two nations.
The move from the Government has been expected, after last year’s devastating measles epidemic, which was believed to have been brought to Samoa by an incoming local arrival from New Zealand.
The strict requirements are in place for all ports of entry into Samoa.
Samoan passport holders who are permanent residents in American Samoa are now required to also undergo medical examination within three days of entry, with signatures from their physician and by American Samoa’s Director of Public Health, Motusa Tuileama Nua.
Samoan nationals and permanent residents of Samoa who wish to travel to American Samoa also need to undergo medical examination within three days before arriving in American Samoa together with proof of a Measles, Mumps, Rubella vaccination.
"If in the event your travel is less than [three] days; medical examination issued in Samoa will suffice for your return," the advisory reads.
Meanwhile, four more countries have been added to the country's virus black list, destinations from which travelers originating or transiting through must spend at least 14 days of quarantine in a virus-free country and undergo a medical exam before entering Samoa.
Germany, Spain, France and Bahrain are now grouped with China, Hong Kong, Macau, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, South Korea, Italy, Iran, Kuwait and Taiwan.
"In the event you arrive within the 14 day period as noted above, [you] will be [returned] to the country of last Port before arrival in to Samoa," the advisory reads.
Together with a temporary ban on cruise ships intended for Samoa, all chartered flights will not be granted entry into the country until further notice.
All sea port entries are to be screened at the quarantine buoy before the vessel is permitted to dock at wharf; entry is guaranteed to be denied if they do not comply with requirements.
Ships and fishing vessels entering Samoa with crew change at any port or at sea must also comply.