Samoa to enter full Covid lockdown for 48 hours

Samoa’s Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mataafa has announced a full lockdown for the island nation from Saturday night after a further five passengers on a direct flight from Brisbane tested positive for Covid-19.

There are now 15 Covid-positive cases in Samoa, all in managed isolation.

The tight restrictions on travel and movement include a complete border closure, no inter-island travel and state of emergency restrictions.

Everyone apart from essential workers are being warned to stay at home and only authorised vehicles are allowed on the road.

The Prime Minister said frontline and support staff will be quarantined and work, schools, travel, restaurants, bars and churches will be closed.

“Cabinet will carefully continue to monitor all developments during the lockdown and will make necessary amendments depending on the situation at hand,” she said.

Samoa’s lockdown starts at 6pm on Saturday for 48 hours.

Meanwhile, Tarawa, in the central Pacific country of Kiribati, will go into lockdown mid-afternoon on Saturday after another case of community transmission was found.

There are now 40 positive cases in Kiribati's quarantine centre – 36 passengers on a flight from Fiji, three local security guards and Saturday's case.

Community spread occurred after a security breach at the quarantine centre which resulted in the village of Buota being immediately locked down.

The Government had announced South Tarawa and Betio would go into lockdown on Monday but have brought it forward to 3pm on Saturday.