Have you been waiting to head to the South Pacific for Samoa? Well, wait No-moa! After being closed to international tourism since 2020, the islands are finally ready to accept visitors again.
Tourism is obviously a huge business for Samoa, which generates almost one-quarter of its GDP from the sector. For perspective, they welcomed almost 200,000 visitors in 2019, over 70% of whom were from New Zealand and Australia.
What’s Required to Return to Samoa?
According to the Tourism Authority, 93% of eligible Samoans have been vaccinated, and the country is taking precautions to prevent another wave. It looks like reentry will be phased, starting with lower risk countries. The Tourism Authority has also developed an app to manage contract tracing.
Rules to enter the country are fairly strict. In particular:
- All visitors 12 and over must be vaccinated to enter Samoa with two doses of a vaccine pre-qualified by the World Health Organization (WHO). You’ll also need proof of this vaccination, so don’t forget to bring your cards. An electronic copy on your phone will not be accepted. The website gives more details.
- You will have to test prior to arrival. You’ll need a supervised rapid test within 24 hours of departure or a PCR test within 48 hours. Samoa is asking for a hard copy of the test, as well.
- Visitors must take a rapid test at an approved facility within three days of arrival. A positive test will result in isolating for seven days.
Fortunately, these requirements won’t last forever, as the island continues to reopen to visitors.
“Samoa’s entry conditions have been eased to-date and in the lead-up to reopening, the Ministry of Health has indicated that requirements will be relaxed further, giving confidence and inspiring travellers.”-Ministry of Health
How to Get to Samoa
Even in 2019, there were a limited number of ways to get to Samoa, so the reopening process will take some time. Since news will change more frequently than I can update this post,
I’d recommend keeping an eye on their tourism website to keep up with the latest information. But if you’re coming in from Australia or New Zealand, I’d recommend starting your search at either Virgin Australia or Air New Zealand. Fiji Airways and Samoa Airways are also worth a look.
Samoa also runs a travel blog, which will give you an idea of what to do on the islands.
Just some FYI – Samoa Airways will not be resuming medium to long haul flights, only interisland.
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