Samoa progresses on plans for December repatriation flights

The 9 December repatriation flight to bring home Samoan students and citizens working in Fiji is proceeding as planned.

However, Cabinet in its meeting last week agreed to reshuffle two flights scheduled for December.

Savali newspaper reports a flight originally scheduled for 27 November from Auckland, New Zealand has been rescheduled to 4 December.

Another flight scheduled for 11 December is rescheduled to 18 December.

In announcing the changes, Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mataafa revealed during her weekly press conference last Friday that Cabinet zeroed in on a range of factors to justify the new flight dates,

And paramount to Cabinet is to maintain the security of the country by keeping the Covid-19 virus at bay, said the Prime Minister.

She said Cabinet also took into consideration the cost factor, as Government since the State of Emergency was declared close to 2 years, ago has been paying the cost to repatriate, isolate and quarantine returning Samoans.

At last report, the Government spent over $26 million tala on repatriation expenses which include accommodation, meals, security etc.

In comparison, New Zealand is charging citizens $NZ3000 per person.