5 Aug 2020

Quarantine overload forces Samoa repatriation pause

7:34 pm on 5 August 2020

A repatriation flight from Auckland to Apia on Friday is expected to be the last for at least three weeks.

Samoa Airways Boeing 737-800 taxiing at Auckland International Airport.

Photo: 123RF

The pause will prevent quarantine facilities from being overwhelmed.

The Samoa Observer reported that initially there were going to be 15 quarantine sites in Samoa, grouping passengers into sets of 10.

However, skyrocketing numbers forced the Government to abandon those limits.

About 1000 passengers have been released from quarantine so far after being cleared of Covid-19 but hundreds more are on the way.

The chair of the National Emergency Operation Centre Ulu Bismarck Crawley said the flight on Friday would bring more than 300 passengers.

Meanwhile, a number of churches have offered their buildings as quarantine sites alongside selected hotels and guest houses, Ulu said.

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