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Prepare for stay in Samoa, Mission tells Kiwis

The New Zealand High Commission has advised its citizens still in Samoa that they are exploring all options to fly them home, but new developments in the coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic is making it difficult for return flights to be organised.

However, the High Commission said in a social media post that the crisis associated with the coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic is complex and “beyond our control”, consequently government-assisted departure flights to New Zealand cannot be relied upon as yet.

“We know many of you are wanting to get home to New Zealand as soon as possible. The New Zealand Government is committed to helping New Zealanders stranded in Samoa and who are wanting to get home, and as such, are exploring all possible options to enable you to do so, in close consultation with the Government of Samoa,” states a post on the High Commission’s Facebook page on Wednesday.

“However, the situation is extremely complex and is changing quickly, and some things are beyond our control. Government-assisted departure flights should not be relied on to get back to New Zealand.”

The High Commission urged Kiwis to listen to the local authorities, following the decision last Friday by the Samoa Government to extend its state of emergency (S.O.E.) orders, and added that under the S.O.E. orders all international travel has ceased except in exceptional circumstances.

“If you are a New Zealander in Samoa, you should prepare to stay safely where you are and follow the instructions of local authorities.”

The New Zealand citizens were then encouraged to “rely on the local health system, and find out how to access healthcare in case it became necessary to do so, take care to minimise risk of exposure to COVID-19 by following the advice of the World Health Organisation and the New Zealand Ministry of Health, find suitable accommodation, look after your emotional and mental well-being.

Kiwis were also encouraged by the High Commission to keep in touch with their usual support systems: family and whanau, friends and workmates. 

“If you feel you are not coping, it is important to talk with a health professional (further tips can be found on the COVID-19 website) and register or update your details on the SafeTravel website, including if you relocate or depart from Samoa.”

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