Sailors make final return home
More than 100 Sailors returning to Samoa has arrived at Faleolo International Airport this afternoon after long-delayed plans for their return kept them apart from their families amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
The sailors have been locked out of the country since borders were closed last year. But they returned early this afternoon on an Auckland-Apia repatriation flight.
Their return follows an almost two month wait, after their scheduled flight from the US to Samoa in November last year was cancelled at the eleventh hour due to worries over two sailors who had tested returned positive but conflicting tests for COVID-19.
(The two were proven later to have had "historical" cases of the coronavirus, contracted much earlier in the year and, while still, able to return false-positive tests were not contagious).
The M.S.C. Seaside on which there are some 80 Samoan sailors departed Miami, Florida, United States several weeks ago. The M.S.C. Seaside on which there are some 80 Samoan sailors departed Miami, Florida, United States several weeks ago before moving to Genoa, Italy,
The group has traveled from New Zealand via Dubai, where they would have been required to complete medical checks before departing for Samoa.
From Milan, Italy they departed for Dubai before boarding a third flight for New Zealand.