Country teases travel bubble with Australia – but there's a catch

·News Editor
·2-min read

An island nation has teased a travel bubble that could see Aussies travelling there in months – but there's a catch. 

Samoa, a Polynesian island country, has revealed it is preparing to open its borders to resume some international travel for Australians after it was halted as a result of the Covid pandemic

The Samoa Tourism Authority (STA) said in a statement after the success of the travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand earlier this year, it was developing a similar strategy for the second half of 2021. 

However, STA said in the statement it would be welcoming only vaccinated visitors. 

Tropical beach with with coconut palm trees and beach houses on Samoa, Upolu Island
Samoa is preparing to open its borders to Australians in the coming month. Source: Getty

Working with the Australian government as well as local operators, STA said it was implementing processes to make the nation ready for travel while ensuring the health and safety of its locals and international travellers. 

Samoa is planning a national vaccination rollout, creating their own digital tracing app, upskilling local employees, upgrading travel instructions and bolstering testing capabilities. 

"As regional travel bubbles take shape, Samoa has been striving to ensure critical components of our travel ready toolkit are in place," STA chief executive Faamatuainu Lenata’i Suifua said in a statement. 

“All of these efforts go towards ensuring we are in a position to open borders to our neighbours safely. 

"We look forward to welcoming vaccinated visitors with open arms, when the time is right for all countries involved.”

As of June 21, more than 45,000 locals received their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, more than 30 per cent of its eligible population. 

The nation's new digital Covid tracing app, the Samoa Travel Tracer, has been developed ahead of opening the border so they can better track locals and travellers and prevent the spread of Covid-19.

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