Samoan coronavirus restrictions see eight citizens refused entry after flying through Singapore

Barbara Dreaver
Source: 1News

Eight Samoans have been put in isolation in Fiji and denied access to their homeland because they had travelled through Singapore amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The country has been labelled a high risk country by the Samoan government, and they were turned away at Samoa's Faleolo International Airport and sent back to Fiji, which they were also transiting through after being in India for medical treatment.

Samoa has stepped up its screening programme since the outbreak, with incoming passengers all having their temperatures taken upon disembarkment, as well as denying access to passengers who have been through China, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand and Macau.

Those refused must then spend two weeks in self-isolation before they are permitted entry.

So now, the eight Samoans are in a hotel in Nadi at the expense of Samoa's government.

A spokesperson for the Samoan government, Nanai Lave Tuiletufuga, said "the travel advisory is very strict - no exemptions.

"Even returning Samoan residents are included, he said.

"It's paramount to government that the national health security of all residents is not compromised at any cost."

However, some of those in isolation have complained that they have had their phones confiscated.

They won't be allowed to return to Samoa until next weekend.