Official Global Travel Advisories
- Avoid non-essential travel outside Canada until further notice
- Avoid all cruise ship travel outside Canada until further notice
Check requirements for returning to Canada:
Samoa Register Travel insurance Destinations
Last updated: ET
Still valid: ET
Latest updates: Editorial change
Safety and security
Safety and security
COVID-19 - Preventative measures and restrictions
In an attempt to limit the spread of COVID-19, most governments have implemented preventative measures and restrictions.
These could include:
- curfews, movement restrictions, or lockdowns
- the obligation to wear a face-covering or a surgical mask in some circumstances
- the obligation to present proof of vaccination or a COVID-19 test result to access public services and spaces
Before travelling, verify if specific restrictions or requirements are in effect.
Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching, occurs.
Violent crime is rare.
Residential break-ins are increasing.
Ensure that your belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times.
Women travelling alone may be subject to some forms of harassment and verbal abuse. Sexual assaults occur.
- Be aware of your surroundings
- Avoid walking alone after dark or in remote areas
- Exercise particular caution in and around the Beach Road strip of bars in Apia
Demonstrations may take place from time to time. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.
- Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
- Follow the instructions of local authorities
- Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations
Lifeguards don’t usually supervise beaches. Tidal changes can cause powerful currents in the many coastal lagoons that surround the islands. Riptides are common. Several drownings occur each year.
Rescue services may not be consistent with international standards.
- Consult local residents and tour operators for information on possible hazards and safe swimming areas
- Follow the instructions and warnings of local authorities
Tour operators may not adhere to international standards.
If you undertake adventure sports, such as diving:
- choose a well-established and reputable company that has insurance
- ensure that your travel insurance covers the recreational activities you choose
In doubt concerning the safety of the installation or equipment, don’t use them.
If you engage in adventure tourism:
- never do so alone
- always hire an experienced guide from a reputable company
- buy travel insurance that includes helicopter rescue and medical evacuation
- ensure that your physical condition is good enough to meet the challenges of your activity
- ensure that you’re properly equipped
- ensure that you’re well informed about weather and other conditions that may pose a hazard
- inform a family member or friend of your itinerary
- obtain detailed information on each activity before setting out
Stray dogs are common throughout the islands.
Don’t approach or feed them since they could be aggressive.
Road conditions and road safety can vary greatly throughout the islands. Main roads on the islands of Upolu and Savai’i are paved but are poorly maintained. Street signs are rare.
Drivers don’t respect traffic laws.
Driving conditions may be hazardous during the rainy season, particularly on roads that traverse streams.
- Avoid driving after dark
- Be particularly vigilant during the rainy season
- Be mindful of stray and roaming animals
Buses are available but service may be irregular.
Taxis are generally safe. Some drivers may overcharge their clients.
- Use only officially marked taxis
- Negotiate fares in advance or insist that the driver use the meter
There is a ferry service between Upolu and Savai’i. Ferry accidents may occur due to the overloading and poor maintenance of some vessels.
Don’t board vessels that appear overloaded or unseaworthy.
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
COVID-19 - Entry, exit and transit restrictions and requirements
Most governments have implemented special entry and exit restrictions and requirements for their territory due to COVID-19.
Before travelling, verify if the local authorities of both your current location and destinations have implemented any restrictions or requirements related to this situation. Consider even your transit points, as transit rules are in place in many destinations. This could disrupt your travel.
You should not depend on the Government of Canada for assistance to change your travel plans.
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.
We have obtained the information on this page from the Samoan authorities. It can, however, change at any time.
Verify this information with the Foreign Representatives in Canada.
Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.
Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.
Regular Canadian passport
Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date you expect to leave Samoa.
Passport for official travel
Different entry rules may apply.
Other travel documents
Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest diplomatic mission for your destination.
Tourist visa: not required for stays up to 60 days
Business visa: not required for stays up to 60 days
Student visa: required (temporary resident permit)
You may extend your stay beyond 60 days by applying at the local immigration office.
Samoa Immigration - Government of Samoa
Other entry requirements
Customs officials may ask you to show them a return or onward ticket and proof of sufficient funds to cover your stay.
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
Children and travel
Learn about travel with children.
- Pandemic COVID-19 all countries: avoid non-essential travel outside Canada - July 7, 2021
- Zika virus: Advice for travellers - December 24, 2019
- Global Measles Notice - July 23, 2019
Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Some of these vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.
Vaccines to Consider
You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health professional about which ones are right for you.
Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.
Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.
Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.
Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
- There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- Proof of vaccination is required if you are coming from or have transited through an airport of a country where yellow fever occurs.
- Vaccination is not recommended.
- Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care professional.
- There is currently a shortage of the yellow fever vaccine in Canada. It is important for travellers to contact a designated Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre well in advance of their trip to ensure that the vaccine is available.
About Yellow Fever
Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Food and Water-borne Diseases
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
In some areas in the Oceanic Pacific Islands, food and water can also carry diseases like hepatitis A. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in the Oceanic Pacific Islands. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
- Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
- Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
- The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.
Insects and Illness
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
There is currently a risk of chikungunya in this country. Chikungunya is a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Chikungunya can cause a viral disease that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. In some cases, the joint pain can be severe and last for months or years.
Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.
- In this country, dengue fever may occur sporadically. It is a viral disease spread to humans by mosquito bites.
- Dengue fever can cause severe flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it can lead to dengue haemorrhagic fever, which can be fatal.
- The level of risk of dengue fever changes seasonally, and varies from year to year. After a decline in reported dengue cases worldwide in 2017 and 2018, numbers have been steeply rising again.
- Mosquitoes carrying dengue typically bite during the daytime, particularly around sunrise and sunset.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue fever.
Zika virus is a risk in this country.
Zika virus is primarily spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. It can also be sexually transmitted. Zika virus can cause serious birth defects.
Pregnant women and women planning a pregnancy should visit a health care professional before travelling to discuss the potential risks of travelling to this country. Pregnant women may choose to avoid or postpone travel to this country.
- Prevent mosquito bites at all times.
- If you are pregnant, always use condoms correctly or avoid sexual contact with anyone who has travelled to this country for the duration of your pregnancy.
- Women: Wait 2 months after travel to this country or after onset of illness due to Zika virus (whichever is longer) before trying for a pregnancy. If your male partner travelled with you, wait 3 months after travel or after onset of illness due to Zika virus (whichever is longer).
- Men: Wait 3 months after travel to this country or after onset of illness due to Zika virus (whichever is longer) before trying for a pregnancy.
For more travel recommendations, see the travel health notice: Zika virus: Advice for travellers
There is no risk of malaria in this country.
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Certain infections found in the Oceanic Pacific Islands, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
Medical services and facilities
COVID-19 - Testing
Contact local health authorities, or the nearest Government of Canada office abroad to find out where you can get a COVID-19 test.
Hospital and medical facilities are limited.
Healthcare providers may require upfront payment.
Medical evacuation can be very expensive and you may need it in case of serious illness or injury.
Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Laws and culture
Laws & culture
You must abide by local laws.
Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines.
The legal drinking age in Samoa is 21.
The sale of alcohol is prohibited on Sundays.
There are strict regulations regarding the importation of:
- pornographic material
- fruits and animals
Samoan law criminalizes sodomy between persons of the same sex. If you are convicted, you could face imprisonment.
LGBTQ2 travellers could also be discriminated against or detained based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or sex characteristics. They may be charged with crimes against public welfare.
LGBTQ2 travellers should carefully consider the risks of travelling to Samoa
Dress and behaviour
To avoid offending local sensitivities:
- dress conservatively
- behave discreetly
- respect religious and social traditions
- don’t take photos of individuals without explicit permission
- request permission before entering a lagoon as certain villages may hold customary rights over them
Traffic drives on the left.
If you wish to drive in Samoa, you must obtain a temporary driver’s licence. You can obtain it at:
- most rental vehicle companies
- the Samoa Tourism Information Center
- the Samoa Post
- the Samoa Land Transport Authority in Apia
Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Samoa.
If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of Samoa, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements.
The currency of Samoa is the Tala (WST).
Major credit cards are accepted at most large hotels and some restaurants and stores.
ATMs are mostly located in and around Apia. There is also one on Savaii, but they remain unavailable throughout the rest of the islands.
Natural disasters and climate
Natural disasters & climate
Cyclones usually occur between November and April. During this period, even small tropical storms can quickly develop into major cyclones.
These severe storms can put you at risk and hamper the provision of essential services.
If you decide to travel to a coastal area during the cyclone season:
- know that you expose yourself to serious safety risks
- be prepared to change your travel plans on short notice, including cutting short or cancelling your trip
- stay informed of the latest regional weather forecasts
- carry emergency contact information for your airline or tour operator
- follow the advice and instructions of local authorities
Earthquakes and tsunamis
Samoa is in an active seismic zone and prone to earthquakes and tsunamis.
A tsunami can occur within minutes of a nearby earthquake. However, the risk of tsunami can remain for several hours following the first tremor. If you’re staying on the coast, familiarize yourself with the region’s evacuation plans in the event of a tsunami warning.
Tsunami alerts - U.S. Tsunami Warning System
In case of emergency, dial 911.
There is no resident Canadian government office in Samoa. Canadians in Samoa can obtain consular assistance and further information from the Australian High Commission in Apia, under the Canada-Australia Consular Services Sharing Agreement.
Register with the Australian government to receive email updates on situations and events that could affect your safety while in Samoa.
Smart Traveller - Australian travel advice
Apia - High Commission of Australia
Wellington - High Commission of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the Australian High Commission, in Apia, and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.
The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.
If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
Learn more about consular services.
- Date modified: