Kiwis, Australians return home

Forty-two Kiwis and Australians returned home last Friday on an Air New Zealand cargo flight.

The Air New Zealand flight landed at the Faleolo International Airport at 1:39pm and took off an hour later for Auckland.

Last month over five flights repatriated Australian and New Zealand citizens who were in Samoa when the international borders closed, after the coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic led to the grounding of all international flights.

The 42 Kiwis and Australians citizens who were stranded in Samoa met New Zealand’s immigration and entry requirements, while Australians in Samoa who can meet the transit window requirements for a connecting flight to Australia.

For managed isolation requirements, the passengers will undergo a strict 14-day managed isolation/quarantine requirement for all international arrivals into New Zealand, effective from midnight April 9. All travellers will be taken directly to either a managed isolation facility (hotel) or a quarantine facility (a separate hotel) for at least 14 days.

The New Zealand government is paying the cost of the accommodation and meals in these facilities.

Just like the rest who flew back to New Zealand and Australia, the 42 passengers on Friday were advised to take everything they need for 14 days in isolation/quarantine as they will not be permitted to leave the facility upon disembarking in Auckland.

Every passenger entering New Zealand will also be screened for COVID-19 symptoms on arrival. It is unclear whether many more stranded Kiwis in Samoa are to return on these flights. Attempts to get a comment from the departing passengers were unsuccessful. 

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