Government approves Tokelau residents repatriation through Apia

By Adel Fruean 06 August 2020, 3:00PM

The Government has approved the repatriation of Tokelau residents to Samoa from New Zealand as part of amendments to the State of Emergency (S.O.E.) orders.

The new orders have been approved by the Head of State, His Highness, Tuimaleali'ifano Va'aletoa Sualauvi II after consultation with Cabinet on Tuesday evening.

According to the new orders, it states that the repatriation of Tokelau residents will commence only when borders of Tokelau are close to being opened in the month of October.

It also added that the returning Tokelau residents are subject to being quarantined for 14 days in Samoa. 

The cost of quarantine is to be borne by the Government of Tokelau.

Other amendments include: all international travel to and from Samoa by plane are ceased except as provided in this order or in exceptional circumstances approved by Cabinet.

“Air ambulances are exempted from the prohibition in clause (1) subject to crew aboard such air ambulances complying with COVID-19 screening requirements approved by the Director General,” reads the new S.O.E. orders.

It also mentioned that flights to Samoa from New Zealand are on the following conditions: to repatriate returning residents every three weeks; to bring in cargo for goods every week until the month of October 2020.

The travel to Samoa from Fiji via Fiji Airways is permitted on the following conditions: returning residents of Samoa which includes students studying in Fiji and employees of Companies based in Fiji.

And returning residents of American Samoa which include students, studying in Fiji and doctors that are onward bound for American Samoa upon arrival; and for travelers travelling to American Samoa, they must depart for American Samoa as soon as they arrive in Samoa and therefore not subject to the requirements of quarantine under clause (4)(b)(ii) but are still subject to other medical clearance approved by the Director General.

 In addition, the amended S.O.E. allows the Huanan Fishery vessel to enter Samoan waters in accordance with the following: to dock at the Mataupu Wharf to prepare for departure from the Airport on 17 August 2020 on an Air New Zealand flight approved by Cabinet; and to allow the offloading of crew members in extreme need of medical treatment; and crew members are subject to medical clearance approved by the Director General of Health.

Fishing boats under (7)(b) the following apply: a maximum of 4 boats may dock at Matautu Wharf for not more than 48 hours for the offloading of fish and restocking of the  supplies before leaving Samoa; and medical and quarantine requirements are to be complied with; and no crew member is to leave the boat; and boat schedules must be submitted to the Samoa Ports Authority (S.P.A.); Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (M.A.F.); Ministry of Police and Prisons Services (M.O.P.P.S.) and the Ministry of Health (M.O.H.).

Furthermore, the date of departure from the last port, or the exchange of any crew members whilst at sea, must not be less than 28 days, before arrival at Apia wharf; and notification of arrival date must be received by the relevant authorities (M.A.F. and S.P.A.) five days prior; and there shall be no exchange of crew members whilst as sea.

The rest of the S.O.E. orders remain in force while the new orders commences on 5th August 2020.

By Adel Fruean 06 August 2020, 3:00PM

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