Sailors among repatriated passengers

Twenty-seven seafarers are among the passengers who flew into the country on Friday on another repatriation flight.

Close to 300 passengers disembarked from the Air New Zealand Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner when it touched down at the Faleolo International Airport at 3.42pm on Friday.

The passengers including the returning Samoan sailors are now undergoing the Government’s mandatory 14-days quarantine.

The Samoa Shipping Services, in a post on its Facebook page on Thursday, announced the arrival of the first lot of local sailors.

“Our first repatriated group of seafarers are safely landed in Auckland, and will be making their way to Samoa tomorrow [last Friday],” stated the Facebook post.

“Credit to the many hardworking people behind the scene. Malo galulue ma le le faalogologo tiga.

“To all crew onboard particularly our cargo crew, Malo Onosai!”

A scanned copy of a letter dated 11 November 2020 addressed to all Samoan crew from the Switzerland-registered shipping company M.S.C., which was also posted on the Samoa Shipping Services Facebook page, stated that the management is happy to see their Samoan seafarers are homeward bound.

“One of the ship sent us an emotional and touching video of the crew reading to disembark and we hope to see many other videos of you happy to repatriate,” stated the M.S.C. Fleet Personnel Director, Marco Maresca.

The seafarers had made their way to Auckland from Dubai. It understood seasonal workers from New Zealand were also amongst the arriving passengers.

Hours before the arrival of last Friday’s repatriation flight, the Government’s Press Secretariat issued a statement urging the public in Samoa to take necessary precautionary measures to safeguard Samoa.

“The general public is hereby advised that access to the following sites are restricted : International Port - Faleolo International Airport (12am-12.00midnight - November 13, 2020). All Quarantine Sites (13 – 27 November, 2020 at all times),” the release stated.

“Only authorized personnel pre-approved by the Ministry of Health (M.O.H.) and the National Emergency Operation Centre (N.E.O.C.) were permitted to enter the above sites to conduct required services.

“Anyone who contravenes any of the restrictions in this Notice commits an offense and is liable for a penalty under the Orders of the State of Emergency or the provisions of the Disaster and Emergency Management Act 2007.”

The public was also reminded that the quarantine process currently in place is to help protect the public by preventing exposure to people who have or may have been exposed to the coronavirus infected areas.

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