The Samoa government has decided to increase the quarantine period for incoming passengers from 14 days to 21 days because of the spike in community cases of the Covid-19 Delta variant in New Zealand.
This was confirmed by the Director General of the Ministry of Health, Leausa Dr Take Naseri, at a news conference, where he added that the Delta variant has an incubation period of 28 days and it can transmit on the first or the last day.
Some 249 passengers who arrived on September 30, and are due to be released next week, will be asked to self isolate in their homes for a further seven days.
Leausa said about 50 people who lived outside of New Zealand had travelled to Samoa on a flight two weeks ago.
They included a family from Mongolia and others from England, Austria and the USA.
Samoans who had travelled to New Zealand for medical treatment under the government medical treatment scheme were also on the flight.
Leausa said that so far there was good news with all the passengers receiving negative tests upon arrival and similar results on their second test five days later.
Several passengers on the same flight wanted to leave the quarantine in order to attend family funerals but were not allowed to leave.
On Friday, sixty-five new community cases of Covid-19 were reported in New Zealand.