March to June flights announced

The recently published amended state of emergency orders have unveiled the return of repatriation flights from March to June.

The S.O.E orders also became effective 15 March and has been extended to 11 April.

On 2 April there will be an Australian Defense Force flight to Samoa for a two-hour refueling flight before proceeding to the United States.

The aircraft will have 21 crew members and no one will leave the plane during the refueling stop.

A repatriation flight to Australia is scheduled for 3 April 2021 and will bring overseas workers to work in Government ministries.

The English translation summary sent by the Samoa Chamber of Commerce and Industry to its members explained that the flight will also bring in consultants and or contractors for Government ministry projects.

The Australian High Commission in Apia, which was approached for comment, explained that there might have been a misunderstanding in the translation of the S.O.E amendment but they are not aware of any Australian consultants and contractors arriving on the inbound flight from Nadi.

“There may have been a misunderstanding with the translation of the recent S.O.E. Amendment. While a number of Australian citizens and permanent residents are seeking to be repatriated to Australia on the outbound flight through Nadi on 3 April, we are not aware of any Australian consultants and contractors arriving on the inbound flight from Nadi,” a spokesperson said.

Comment has also been sought from the National Emergency Operation Center Chairman, Agafili Shem Leo on those arriving from Australia.

There will also be a flight on 16 April and 14 May from Auckland, New Zealand. There will be more repatriation flights on 4 and 25 of June to repatriate R.S.E. workers in NZ.

The repatriation of Samoan nationals in the United States and Europe, which was scheduled for December 2020 will be operated by Fiji Airways and is currently scheduled for 26 April.

A total of 80 Chinese workers are also expected to arrive at the end of April to work as contractors for Government Development Projects.

For those travelling between Samoa and Tokelau, there are certain terms and conditions one has to follow: maintain permission for Tokelauans to enter Samoa, unless the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has notified the entry ban; Informing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the reason and date of travel prior to arrival, and The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade is instructed to notify all parts of the Government of any travel from Tokelau, so that border guards have enough time to prepare.

For travelling from American Samoa, All travelers must follow health and safety regulations, travelers must be approved by N.E.O.C. before they can travel, and all flights are subject to the approval of the Government of American Samoa

Fines for airlines, cargo companies, and fishing vessels that violate Emergency Orders is $15,000.00 for the first offense and $20,000.00 per day for the continuation of the offense.

Individuals or crew members found violating the SOE may be given a $2,000 fine.

The Ministry of Health will continue to conduct inspections for all travelers and vessels to ensure the health and safety of the public.

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