Australia opens its borders to unvaccinated travellers

More than two years after the pandemic began, the change marks the end of significant Covid-based restrictions on travel into Australia.

While Australian citizens were able to arrive unvaccinated, most foreign travellers needed to seek an exemption on limited grounds.

From 12.01am on Wednesday morning, those requirements were scrapped altogether, opening the international border in full to unvaccinated travellers.


Travellers to Samoa will soon have to pay for MIQ

The Chairman of the National Emergency Operations Committee, Agafili Shem Leo said Cabinet has approved the new plans.

Currently government has been paying for the cost of accommodation, breakfast and lunch in MIQ for passengers.

This has so far cost almost $19 million ($18.74million) tālā since the start of repatriation flights, a cost that also includes cost of security services, transportation and associated costs.

Agafili said the average cost to repatriate and quarantine one person for 21 days is between $3,000 and $5,000 tālā.

Fiji tests cases from African nations

Health Secretary Dr James Fong confirmed the cases of interest were Fijian nationals returning from Africa.

"In Fiji, we currently have Covid-positive travellers in quarantine who arrived in the country from African states before we knew about Omicron.

"They have been quarantined in line with the stringent measures we apply to countries we consider a red zone for ongoing viral spread. Their specimens will be forwarded this week overseas for genetic sequencing."

Samoa reissues travel advisory for incoming travellers

All travel documents must now be in the English language, and if they are not passengers they will be denied boarding without exception.

Passengers travelling from Australia's states of Victoria and New South Wales, India and the United Kingdom are not permitted to travel directly to Samoa.

Instead they must all travel via a country which either does not have community transmission or where community transmission of the Covid-19 Delta Variant is minimal. In these countries travellers must then spend 28 days before travel to Samoa.

End of quarantine for batch of Samoa travellers

Chairman of the Center, Agafili Shem Leo, said more than 160 passengers from flights from New Zealand and Fiji on December 7 would need to have two negative final Covid-19 tests before they were released.

RNZ Pacific reports he also confirmed that 231 passengers on a flight from New Zealand 4 December had been released from quarantine last Friday, after all returning two negative covid tests.

Meanwhile a cargo flight from New Zealand which had been cancelled last Friday due to flooding at the airport arrived late on Saturday afternoon.

Managed transit allows stranded New Zealand travellers to get home

“There are millions of people around the world stranded by COVID-19 and we are continuing to do our part to help them get home,” Mr Peters said. “Accordingly, Cabinet agreed yesterday that New Zealand would seek reciprocal transit arrangements with a number of countries to enable our citizens to transit each other’s airports.

“One barrier to New Zealanders getting home at present is the transit restrictions imposed by a number of countries. We continue to seek assistance from these countries to enable New Zealanders to transit through their airports in order to come home.