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Samoa

Country grinds to a halt as fuel runs out

Samoa is dealing with a jet fuel supply problem, which has resulted in airlines cancelling trips and freight supply being affected. Samoa has just set its tourism strategy into action and the response had been good however the fuel shortage could derail this.

It has happened at a time when Samoa has just removed all its travel restrictions including requiring travellers to be vaccinated. The shortage in fuel supply has also forced one of the local freight companies to postpone its shipment to New Zealand.

There is shortage of jet fuel in Samoa. Picture Samoa Airport Authority
Samoa is dealing with with a jet fuel supply problem, which has resulted in airlines cancelling trips and freight supply being affected. Picture: Samoa Airport Authority

An email sent to customers of a freight company, said there would not be movement on freight either inbound or outbound until September 26 when the fuel arrives, and even these dates could not be guaranteed.

Radio Polynesia reported that staff of Petroleum Product Supplies (PPS), the sole petroleum fuel distributor in Samoa, said an oil tanker will arrive this week, but because of protocols, fuel distribution would start on October 4.

Businesses are not happy and tourism operators are worried about the effect of this on the economy as it has just started to rebuild itself.

Just this week, the Samoan cabinet removed all its COVID-19 restrictions for travels into the country. Acting Prime Minister Tuala Iosefo Ponifasio said this was done to allow for the full opening of its borders.

All travel restrictions in Samoa have been removed. Picture Samoa Airports Authority
All travel restrictions in Samoa have been removed. Picture: Samoa Airports Authority

“These include removing mandatory PCR or RAT results for Covid-19, as criteria to travel to Samoa. Removing of the need to present evidence of vaccination such as vaccination cards as criteria to travel to Samoa,” he said.

“Also the ceasing of testing on arrival at the Faleolo International Airport or any other port of entry into Samoa.”

 

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