Samoan authorities preparing country for travel bubble with New Zealand, say vaccination will be compulsory

Anyone arriving in Samoa from July 1 will need to be fully vaccinated.
Anyone arriving in Samoa from July 1 will need to be fully vaccinated. Photo credit: Getty Images

Samoa's tourism authority says New Zealand's travel bubble with the Cook Islands is an "important step" towards establishing its own two-way quarantine-free travel arrangement with Aotearoa.

A statement from Samoa Tourism says everyone is working hard to ensure the country is ready, when the time comes for travel to and from New Zealand.

A nationwide COVID-19 vaccination programme is already underway in Samoa, alongside other procedures such as contract tracing and regular testing.

The Samoan government has also announced that from July 1, all people arriving into Samoa must be fully vaccinated before they arrive.

It said New Zealand's commitment to preventing the spread of the virus within Pacific communities has been "paramount."

Kiwi authorities have recently been involved in assisting those in the Samoan tourism industry with travel ready preparations through health, safety and disinfectant training and upskilling of local staff. 

"The establishment of a Pacific travel bubble will provide crucial mutual benefits for both nations in rebounding from the economic challenges presented by the global COVID-19 pandemic," the statement said.

"Samoa's untouched beauty and authentic nature is the perfect place for Kiwis to feel a world away, without venturing far from the safety of their doorstep once the travel bubble has been established."

While no timeline has been set, Samoa's Tourism Authority says everything is on track for when the time comes to welcome its Kiwi neighbours back on to the island's shores once again.