Samoa reduces flights from New Zealand

A Chinese tourist wearing a protective mask waits at Sheremetyevo airport, outside Moscow, Russia. Photo: AFP. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

APIA, Feb 29, 2020, RNZ. The Samoa government has cut the number of weekly international flights from New Zealand in reaction to its first case of Covid-19. On Friday, a New Zealander in their 60s tested positive for the coronavirus in Auckland after returning from Iran, Radio New Zealand reported.

Samoa’s government said New Zealand’s first case of the virus had elevated the risk of it entering Samoa from high to very high.

As a result, it said from 12AM on Monday 2 March, Samoa Airways would only provide three flights each week from New Zealand, instead of the usual five.

Air New Zealand would also reduce its flights to Samoa from six each week to three, the government said.

All travelers from New Zealand are now required to undergo a medical examination within three days before departure.

They must present a medical clearance report when checking-in for Samoa bound flights before receiving a boarding pass.

Talofa Airways’ flights to Samoa from American Samoa will also be reduced to four each week.

And from Monday, Fiji Airways’ five weekly flights to Samoa from Fiji will be cut to two.

The Samoa government said the impact of the corona virus on Samoa’s population would be catastrophic.

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