Samoa reopens borders for first time in more than two years

Samoa has reopened its borders and welcomed international travellers on the first direct flights since the pandemic started.

Passengers from Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and American Samoa arrived in Samoa today, marking the end of its border closure.

To celebrate, the Samoa Tourism Authority welcomed passengers off the plane in traditional wear, and there was a string guitar ensemble performance in the airport arrival hall and concourse.

More: New Zealand fully reopens to foreign travellers for first time since pandemic

The country’s tourism board said Samoa’s “robust preparations” for the reopening included “high vaccination rates – of almost 93% of eligible people aged five and over – training and upskilling for local employees, upgraded travel instructions and bolstered testing capabilities.”

Tourism Minister, Hon. Toeolesulusulu Cedric Schuster, said: “The past two years have been a trying time for the world over, but as Samoa reopens its borders, it is our acknowledgement that our internal protection measures are safe for our people and for the yearning travellers who are wanting to visit family and friends, and who are eager to explore our heritage and natural environment.

“We look forward to hosting all visitors and showcasing our culture and environment, and pray that we continue to be mindful of the necessary travel health advisories for all of our protection.”

Chief executive of Samoa Tourism Authority Pativaine Petaia-Tevita said: “We are very excited to welcome back travellers on the first direct flights since our reopening.

“Samoa has been waiting for this moment for a long time and it was wonderful and uplifting to see passengers fill the terminal once again.”

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