Several South Pacific nations, territories maintaining travel restrictions as of March 6 due to COVID-19 activity. Confirm reservations.

Severity: Warning Alert

The locations affected by this alert are:

  • American Samoa
  • Cook Islands
  • Fiji
  • French Polynesia
  • Guam
  • Kiribati
  • Marshall Islands
  • Federated States of Micronesia
  • Nauru
  • New Caledonia
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • Palau
  • Samoa
  • Solomon Islands
  • Tonga
  • Tuvalu
  • Vanuatu
  • Wallis and Futuna

This alert began 06 Mar 2020 09:35 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
  • Impact: Transport disruptions, longer immigration wait times; possible quarantine measures

Summary
Several countries and territories in the Pacific region continue to implement enhanced health screenings or travel restrictions for some passengers from some countries with coronavirus disease (COVID-19) activity. The severity of screening measures varies across the region. As of March 6, the following restrictions are in place:

  • American Samoa: The government is maintaining a state emergency to include measures to combat the potential spread of COVID-19, as of March 6. Officials have reduced flights to Samoa and Tonga, and halted charter flights indefinitely. Authorities have also intensified travel requirements for passengers from the US and foreign countries since March 5. The government has suspended entry permits for passengers from exempt countries, except residents. Officials are still requiring most foreign nationals to transit in Hawaii before traveling to the territory but are now requiring passengers to acquire health clearances three days or less before departure. Travelers from Australia, New Zealand, Tonga, and Fiji must remain in Samoa for 14 days and receive a health clearance before arrival.

 

  • Cook Islands: Authorities have banned foreign travelers who have visited mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Italy, and Iran within 14 days of arrival from entering the country. The government has canceled at least 11 planned cruise ship docking through April.

 

  • Federated States of Micronesia: Officials have banned all passengers who have traveled to South Korea and China within 14 days of arrival. 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. Officials also require a health clearance from all travelers before flying to the country since March 2, when they also began using thermal scanners at all ports of entry. Cruise ships must dock in Suva or Lautoka to allow for medical checks of passengers.

 

  • French Polynesia: As of March 5, authorities are requiring that passengers obtain a health clearance within five days of arrival. The measure applies to passengers on all inbound flights; travelers must present the clearance at check-in counters before boarding aircraft. The government has suspended all but critical travel to countries with COVID-19 activity. Officials continue to 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.

 

  • Kiribati: Officials require foreign passengers with a travel history to mainland China, South Korea, and Japan within 14 days of entry to produce a health clearance for COVID-19. Staff will deny travelers that do not have the health documentation entry into the country. Authorities have also increased security at all ports of entry. Cruise ships and fishing boat passengers must undergo health inspections upon arrival; vessels must remain anchored for 14 days before entry if they previously travel to a country with COVID-19 activity.

 

  • Marshall Islands: Officials have banned all travel to China. Authorities have expanded an entry ban to include foreign passengers from South Korea, Italy, Japan, and Iran; a travel ban for foreigners visiting from mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau remains in effect.

 

  • Nauru: Officials have banned foreign travelers who visited South Korea, China, Italy, Iran, and Japan as of March 3.

 

  • 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 South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau, mainland China, Singapore, Thailand, Japan, Italy, Iran, and Kuwait must visit a country with no COVID-19 activity for 14 days before entry. Travelers must obtain a health clearance within three days of arrival. Health screenings are occurring at all points of entry. Reports indicate that officials denied entry to a cargo ship in early March, but it is unclear if further cargo shipping disruptions are likely. Officials have banned cruise ships from docking in the country indefinitely.

 

  • Solomon Islands: Travelers from South Korea, mainland China, Japan, Singapore, Italy, Hong Kong, Thailand, Iran, Taiwan, and Macau 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.

 

  • Tuvalu: Authorities preventing foreign passengers who have visited South Korea or China within 14 days of arrival from entering the country.

 

  • Vanuatu: Authorities are requiring international passengers that have traveled to South Korea, mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Japan, and Singapore since Dec. 31, 2019, to stay in a third country for 14 days before entry. Passengers must also acquire a health clearance; travelers without the declaration could face quarantine or must return to their point of origin at their own cost. Officials are also conducting health checks on passengers arriving on cruise ships before disembarkation.

 

  • Wallis and Futuna: Authorities are using a thermal scanner to screen arriving passengers. Officials have also banned at least one cruise ship from docking as of March 6; additional disruptions are possible.


Countries and territories could further expand their response in the coming days, particularly to include countries where COVID-19 cases increase.

Advice
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.

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