Air New Zealand is reducing its Auckland-Apia services from six to three per week, effective from 2 March, after the Samoan government issued a statement over the weekend warning of coronavirus risk.
The Samoan government said, “The increased risk of COVID-19 entering the country had elevated from high to very high and its possible impact on Samoa’s population remains catastrophic.”
In addition to the reduced flights, all passengers to Samoa are now required to carry with them a medical certificate indicating they are well and able to travel.
Air New Zealand said customers must hold medical certificates dated within three days of booked travel, which will be required for check-in before a boarding pass is issued.
The airline also indicated that it will directly contact customers affected by these changes.
Passengers booked via a travel agent, including online travel agents, will be contacted by their booking agent.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern earlier said she wasn’t offended by the Samoan government’s statement.
She said, “Ultimately, our Pacific island nations are going to make their own decisions around how they wish to manage potential human-to-human transmission.”