Samoa introduced new entry requirements for all travelers on Tuesday, February 4, due to the ongoing international outbreak of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). All passengers must fill out a Special Health Declaration Form and will be subject to compulsory screening at all points of entry. Travelers from or transiting through mainland China, Hong Kong, or Macau must spend at least 14 days in self-quarantine at a country of last port that is free of 2019-nCoV before arrival and complete a medical clearance within three days of arriving in Samoa. Individuals who arrive within the 14-day period will be returned to their country of last port. All travelers originating from or transiting through other selected countries or states must also undergo a medical examination within three days before arrival. The full list of applicable countries can be found on the Ministry of Health website here.
The government continues to strongly advise all individuals intending to travel to China and any country reporting 2019-nCoV cases to postpone travel arrangements unless necessary.
Further international spread of the illness is possible over the near term.
The first case of 2019-nCoV was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in more than 25 countries and territories worldwide. Human-to-human transmission has been confirmed in Germany, Japan, the US, and Vietnam. Virus screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On January 30, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the ongoing novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak is a "public health emergency of international concern."
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
Potentially impacted travelers are advised to monitor the situation, confirm travel itineraries, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments.
Individuals are advised to take precautionary measures to reduce their risk of contracting the virus:
• Avoid all contact with animals (dead or alive); avoid eating animal products that are undercooked; avoid all markets where animals are sold
• Avoid all close contact with people displaying symptoms of the disease (e.g. difficulties breathing)
• Frequently wash hands, wear a face mask
• Individuals within China developing symptoms of pneumonia are advised to seek medical attention, avoid contact with other people, and wash hands regularly
• Adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments
• Travelers returning from China developing symptoms of pneumonia are advised to call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to avoid spread of the disease