Several South Pacific nations, territories maintaining health screenings, travel restrictions as of Feb. 28 due to COVID-19 activity.
Severity: Warning Alert
The locations affected by this alert are:
- American Samoa
- French Polynesia
- Marshall Islands
- Federated States of Micronesia
- New Caledonia
- Northern Mariana Islands
- Solomon Islands
- Wallis and Futuna
This alert began 28 Feb 2020 08:45 GMT and is scheduled to expire 23 Mar 2020 23:59 GMT.
- Incident: Increased health screenings, transport restrictions
- Location(s): South Pacific (map)
- Time Frame: Indefinite as of Feb. 28
- Impact: Transport disruptions, longer immigration wait times; possible quarantine measures
Several countries and territories in the Pacific region continue to implement enhanced health screenings or travel restrictions for some passengers from mainland China and other countries in East Asia due to novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) activity. The severity of screening measures varies across the region. As of Feb. 28, the following restrictions are in place:
- American Samoa: The government extended an ongoing state of emergency to include measures to combat the potential spread of COVID-19 Jan. 30. US and Samoan passengers traveling from countries with confirmed COVID-19 activity need to remain in a third country for 14 days and obtain a health clearance before entry into the territory. Foreign nationals are also required to fly through Hawaii and receive a health clearance before traveling to the territory.
- Federated States of Micronesia: Officials have banned all passengers from China. Travelers from other countries with confirmed COVID-19 cases will have to visit a third-party country with no disease activity for 14 days before entry into the country.
- Fiji: The government has expanded an entry ban to include passengers who have traveled to Iran, Italy, mainland China, and Daegu and Cheongdo County in South Korea within 14 days of arrival. As of Feb. 28, officials require cruise ships to dock in Suva or Lautoka to allow for medical checks of passengers. Authorities will also begin using thermal scanners at all ports of entry from March 2.
- French Polynesia: Authorities are requiring health certification that passengers do not have any viral activity before boarding flights in Asia, including flights originating in Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau, and New Zealand, among others. Officials require ships to dock in Papeete before traveling to other areas and intensifying screening measures for passengers on board.
- Guam: Officials continue to ban passengers who traveled in mainland China within 14 days of arrival.
- Marshall Islands: Officials have banned all travel to China. Authorities continue to ban direct travel from mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau.
- New Caledonia: Authorities have designated China, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, South Korea, and the Lombardy and Veneto regions in Italy as at-risk locations. Passengers who have traveled to the affected areas are required to provide a health declaration form upon entry. Officials may require passengers to self-quarantine for 14 days if they exhibit COVID-19 symptoms.
- Northern Mariana Islands: Authorities have banned passengers who traveled in mainland China within 14 days of arrival.
- Palau: Charter flights from China, including from Hong Kong and Macau, are suspended.
- Samoa: Passengers from countries with confirmed COVID-19 cases will have to visit a country with no COVID-19 activity for 14 days before entry into the country. Health screenings are occurring at all points of entry.
- Solomon Islands: Travelers from countries with confirmed COVID-19 cases will have to visit a country with no COVID-19 activity for 14 days before arrival to the country.
- Tonga: Officials require health declaration forms upon entry. Ministry of Health officials are approving cruise ship visits on a case-by-case basis.
- Vanuatu: Authorities require a health clearance form before boarding flights from mainland China. Passengers without the declaration could face quarantine or have to return to their point of origin at their own cost.
- Wallis and Futuna: Authorities are using a thermal scanner to screen arriving passengers.
Countries and territories could further expand their response in the coming days, particularly to include countries where COVID-19 cases increase.
Follow all official immigration and health screening instructions, particularly if traveling from countries with COVID-19 activity. Allow additional time for immigration and health screenings at all ports of entry. Consider delaying travel if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays.
Exercise basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.