Fancy some sun and sand that isn’t in Australia? Samoa, one of the most popular Pacific Islands, is set to reopen its borders to travellers very soon.

Prime Minister Fiamē Naomi Mata’afa confirmed this week that the country would welcome visitors into the country in August and September, just a few months way from now. Samoan citizens and foreign contractors will be allowed to head to the country this month.

Samoa’s plan to reopen its borders would hinge on vaccination rates, removal of quarantine restrictions to facilitate quarantine-free travel, and Fiji, Australia and New Zealand’s borders opening to Samoa, Mata’afa added.

“As international travel begins to take shape again, Samoa has been striving to ensure critical components of our travel-ready toolkit are in place,” Samoa Tourism Authority’s acting chief executive Dwayne Bentley explained. “All of these efforts ensure we are in a top position to safely open borders to travellers.”

“We look forward to welcoming visitors with open arms later this year, and we encourage travellers to experience Samoa’s untouched beauty, unique cultural experiences, rich heritage and friendly locals for themselves.”

Like so many countries, Samoa’s tourism industry was seriously impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with the country shutting its borders back in March 2020. This was despite Samoa being one of the last few countries in the world to get its first cases of the virus.

COVID protocols will, of course, remain in place as travellers return in order to keep Samoans safe, with the country running its own contact tracing system. As it stands, Samoa’s full vaccination rate is 92.6% for those aged 18 and over, 86.6% for people aged 12 to 17 years, and 58.7% for those in between five and 11.

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And with a flight to Samoa from Australia taking just over five hours, it could make for the perfect sunshine escape this winter.

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