Fourth Hawaii repatriation flight, the largest group so far
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The largest repat group yet, 263 travelers, arrived from Honolulu this past Wednesday, May 12. A statement issued yesterday by Homeland Security says the initial intake number – or those who started the quarantine process – totaled 275. However, due to positive COVID test results as well cases of close contacts with the positive cases as well as non-COVID related issues, the number of travelers dropped down to 263.
A total of 105 travelers were fully vaccinated before they entered the Hawaii quarantine site and an additional 43 were vaccinated on May 6th in Hawaii. Additionally, vaccinations will be offered to the travelers before the end of their 7-day quarantine period in American Samoa.
TONGA AND SAMOA REPATRIATION FLIGHTS
Three Tongan residents departed the Territory last week Wednesday morning seeking repatriation after being stranded in American Samoa for more than a year. That same evening, seven local residents who were stranded in the Kingdom were able to return to the Territory.
COVID Task Force Chairman Lt. Governor Talauega Eleasalo Ale stated after the mission was successfully completed, “Governor Lemanu and I are grateful to all parties who helped plan and carry out this special mission to unite families in the Territory and the Kingdom. We are especially thankful to the passengers who have been patient all of these many months.”
An additional flight from Samoa was required in order to perform an aircraft swap thereby minimizing refueling time. This provided an opportunity to also repatriate eight American Samoa residents from Apia.
In closing the Task Force Chairman stated, “Governor Lemanu and I would be remiss if we did not acknowledge Leonaitasi Kuluni from the Kingdom’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs for facilitating this request from start to finish and Rev. Tevita Paea of Vaitogi for his advocacy work for this mission.”