Pacific Briefs

American Samoa

There’s new hope for American Samoans stranded in the United States since the territory’s borders closed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in March. More than 500 people are estimated to be affected, but now the American Samoa health department has started the process for them to return. Travellers will need to go to Hawaii first and quarantine for ten days before flying on to American Samoa, where they will quarantine for a further 14 days.

Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands

A bid by the operators of the Hyatt Regency Saipan to extend its land lease has the support of the Saipan Chamber of Commerce.  Saipan Portopia Hotel Corp owns and manages the local Hyatt which the Chamber says, has continued to operate “at a loss” throughout the pandemic to keep locals working. The Chamber is concerned with the potential “negative and rippling impact of  losing another long-term investor in the CNMI” if the lease is not renewed.”

Cook Islands

Prime Minister Mark Brown says since the start of the coronavirus pandemic his government has spent more than NZ$53 million (US$38 million) in economic support and stimulus measures. Brown says wage subsidies will continue through to April this year, when it is hoped the border will reopen to New Zealand visitors.

Read more Briefs-a regular section- in our January issue.


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