Quarantined passengers to pay for dinner

Incoming passengers on future repatriation flights from Auckland-Apia will now pay for their own dinner while they undergo a mandatory 14-days quarantine after arriving in the country.

Following Cabinet convening on Wednesday, Cabinet Directive FK(20)22 outlined that the costs of accommodation, breakfast and lunch incurred by those in quarantine will continue to be covered by the Government. 

However, dinner at designated quarantine locations will be the financial responsibility of the passengers. 

These conditions were publicly released as part of amended state of emergency orders released on 3 June.

Last week, the Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi, suggested that it may be time for passengers to start footing costs associated with quarantine.

Originally, all quarantine costs were fully covered by the Government.

More than 10 designated locations have been cleared for the purposes of hosting incoming passengers in quarantine conditions upon arrival.

The Orator Hotel, Travellers Point, Le Aura Inn and Samoa Traditional Hotel are amongst the designated locations.

Other passengers have been allowed to undergo the mandatory 14-day period quarantine in their own homes, as approved by the Director-General of Health according to prescribed conditions.

Some 1000 Samoans are expected to arrive in Samoa in coming weeks on repatriation flights running on a fortnightly basis pre-approved by the Government of Samoa and operated by Air New Zealand. The flights include general returning residents.

But other criteria which passengers must meet include being returning residents with returning tickets; returning resident students; nationals in New Zealand with expired travel permits or visas for New Zealand; those providing essential services for Samoa; returning resident patients who travelled overseas for medical purposes; families with children and persons over the age of 60 years; returning resident sports teams and seasonal employees with expired employment contracts.

The next repatriation flight will arrive on 12 June. 

Those intending to fly into the country for fa'alavelave (family business) are strictly prohibited.

The amended orders also advise those who have purchased their ticket with Samoa Airways to purchase a new ticket with Air New Zealand while liaising with the national carrier on what to do with their already-purchased ticket. 

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