Authorities in Marshall Islands, Samoa issue travel advisory Jan. 24 banning entry for recent travelers from China. Confirm travel.

Severity: Warning Alert

The locations affected by this alert are:

  • Marshall Islands
  • Apia

This alert began 25 Jan 2020 10:29 GMT and is scheduled to expire 31 Jan 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Event: Travel restrictions
  • Location(s): Marshall Islands, Samoa (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite as of Jan. 24
  • Impact: Possible quarantines

Summary
Authorities in Samoa, and reportedly the Marshall Islands, issued travel advisories Jan. 24 for travelers coming directly from China due to the ongoing 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak in that country. According to reports, all travelers coming from China must spend at least 14 days in self-quarantine in a country of last port that is 2019-nCoV-free prior to travel to Samoa and the Marshall Islands. In the event a traveler arrives from China within the 14-day period, authorities will either quarantine the traveler for 14 days or return the traveler to the country of origin. The latter action will only apply to non-residents.

It is unclear how long the precautionary restrictions remain in effect; however, relaxation of the measures will likely depend on the intensity and duration of the 2019-nCoV outbreak. Neither the Marshall Islands nor Samoa have reported any cases of 2019-nCoV as of Jan. 25.

Background and Analysis
Authorities have implemented these measures as local health centers are not adequately equipped to handle a 2019-nCoV outbreak, especially in light of measles and dengue fever outbreaks that are ongoing in the Marshall Islands and Samoa respectively; these outbreaks have overwhelmed healthcare services in both countries.

Advice
Confirm viability of travel prior to departing for Samoa and the Marshall Islands. Follow all official instructions and closely monitor official announcements on any additional precautionary restrictions.