Authorities in Samoa are preparing for several repatriation flights over the next few months after Cabinet approved amendments to the State of Emergency for Covid-19 Orders.

According to a Government press release, there has also been an amendment to the SOE Orders to allow domestic ferry travel from Savaii on Sundays.

The first repatriation flight on 14 January will be a charted plane from Tonga that will repatriate Samoans, who will arrive in Tongatapu on an earlier flight from New Zealand.

The Lulutai Airlines flight will return to Tongatapu on the same day with Tongans stranded in Samoa.

Another return flight is scheduled to bring home Samoan sailors from New Zealand on 22 January 2021.

The chartered flight will repatriate Samoan sailors who have completed their employment contracts overseas.

The sailors were originally scheduled to return home last month (December) but the flight was postponed for security and safety reasons.

A US Government chartered flight scheduled for 5 February will transport Samoan deportees (RETURNEES) from the United States.

There is also a flight for 12 February from New Zealand to bring Samoan citizens from overseas.

Samoan students who have completed their studies in Fiji have the opportunity to return home on a flight scheduled for 12 February 2021 from Fiji.

The chartered flight is designated for returning Samoan students from Fiji who have completed their scholarships with the USP, PTC and Mission Schools.

The flight will return to Fiji with Samoan scholarship students to continue their studies.

There are flights from New Zealand scheduled for March 5 and 26 to repatriate Samoan citizens.

Chartered flights have been arranged to take seasonal workers to New Zealand on 17, 21, 25 and 29 January.

The Government has also authorized ferry trips to bring passengers from Savaii on Sundays.

A one-way trip is authorised for a single ferry voyage from Salelologa to Mulifanua Savaii on Sundays at 5pm.

The arrival of the new container ship for Samoa from Australia, and health precautionary measures will continued to be followed.

The amendments are effective as of Thursday, 7 January 2021 until further review by Cabinet.

Other mandates and conditions of the State of Emergency are still in force.

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