Samoa Observer

Repatriation flight lands with more than 100 passengers

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Repatriation flight lands with more than 100 passengers

By Soli Wilson 29 May 2020, 5:42PM

A repatriation flight carrying more than 100 Samoans from New Zealand arrived on Friday. 

The Auckland-Apia Air New Zealand flight was on time, arriving at 1.40 pm.

According to Government officials, not all 150 passengers who intended to take the repatriation flight were able to board.

Requirements to board the flight included a negative COVID-19 test and proof of 14 days' self-isolation prior to boarding.

The passengers exited the aircraft through the aero-bridge directly into mandatory health screening by the Ministry of Health.

Following the health screenings, passengers were made to exit via side doors and into reserved vans for transportation.

The Chairman of the National Emergency Operation Center (N.E.O.C), Ulu Bismarck Crawley, revealed that 15 designated sites have been allocated for isolating the passengers who arrived Friday.

The locations were not disclosed. 

Senior Police Officials told the Samoa Observer that 15 separate vans were used to transport passengers. 

This is the second repatriation flight approved by the Government of Samoa after the arrival last Friday of a plane carrying just four passengers including the incoming Chief Justice. Future flights will be operated on a fortnightly basis. 

The Air New Zealand flight was scheduled to depart for Auckland with more than 50 passengers on board. 

Despite a notice signed by Ulu the previous night, forbidding relatives from greeting loved ones, the public were still seen at the airport, to see off their relatives leaving or get a glimpse of those who had just arrived just prior to their entering mandatory quarantine for the next 14 days.

Amongst the passengers arriving is the Member of Parliament, Lealailepule Rimoni Aiafi's youngest son and members of the Manuma Rugby team.

The Manuma team had been stuck overseas since the Rapid Rugby Tournament was cancelled mid way through the season due to virus concerns. 

By Soli Wilson 29 May 2020, 5:42PM

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