COVID-19: travel health notice for all travellers

Samoa travel advice

Latest updates: The Health section was updated - travel health information (Public Health Agency of Canada)

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Risk level

SAMOA - Take normal security precautions

Take normal security precautions in Samoa.

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Safety and security

Crime

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’s safety

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

Advice for women travellers

Demonstrations

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

Mass gatherings (large-scale events)

Water activities

Swimming

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

Diving

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.

Water safety abroad

Adventure tourism

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 animals

Stray dogs are common throughout the islands.

Don’t approach or feed them since they could be aggressive.

Road safety

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

Public transportation

Buses

Buses are available but service may be irregular.

Taxis

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

Ferries

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.

Air travel

We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.

Information about foreign domestic airlines

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Entry and exit requirements

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.

Passport

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.

Official travel

Passport with “X” gender identifier

While the Government of Canada issues passports with an “X” gender identifier, it cannot guarantee your entry or transit through other countries. You might face entry restrictions in countries that do not recognize the “X” gender identifier. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

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 foreign representative for your destination.

Useful links

Visas         

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.

Children and travel

Learn more about travelling with children.

Yellow fever

Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).

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Health

Relevant Travel Health Notices

This section contains information on possible health risks and restrictions regularly found or ongoing in the destination. Follow this advice to lower your risk of becoming ill while travelling. Not all risks are listed below.

Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably 6 weeks before you travel to get personalized health advice and recommendations.

Routine vaccines

Be sure that your routine vaccinations, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date before travelling, regardless of your destination.

Some of these vaccinations include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.

Pre-travel vaccines and medications

You may be at risk for preventable diseases while travelling in this destination. Talk to a travel health professional about which medications or vaccines may be right for you, based on your destination and itinerary. 

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.

Risk

  • 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.

Recommendation

  • Vaccination is not recommended.
  • Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care professional.
  • Contact a designated Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre well in advance of your trip to arrange for vaccination.

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.

Hepatitis A

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.

Measles

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.

Hepatitis B

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.

COVID-19

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious viral disease. It can spread from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

It is recommended that all eligible travellers complete a COVID-19 vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada before travelling. Evidence shows that vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. While vaccination provides better protection against serious illness, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19. Anyone who has not completed a vaccine series is at increased risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and is at greater risk for severe disease when travelling internationally.

For destination entry and exit requirements, including for COVID-19 vaccination requirements, please check the Entry/exit requirements section.

Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.

Influenza

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.

Safe food and water precautions

Many illnesses can be caused by eating food or drinking beverages contaminated by bacteria, parasites, toxins, or viruses, or by swimming or bathing in contaminated water.

  • Learn more about food and water precautions to take to avoid getting sick by visiting our eat and drink safely abroad page. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
  • Avoid getting water into your eyes, mouth or nose when swimming or participating in activities in freshwater (streams, canals, lakes), particularly after flooding or heavy rain. Water may look clean but could still be polluted or contaminated.
  • Avoid inhaling or swallowing water while bathing, showering, or swimming in pools or hot tubs. 

Travellers' diarrhea

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.

Insect bite prevention

Many diseases are spread by the bites of infected insects such as mosquitoes, ticks, fleas or flies. When travelling to areas where infected insects may be present:

  • Use insect repellent (bug spray) on exposed skin
  • Cover up with light-coloured, loose clothes made of tightly woven materials such as nylon or polyester
  • Minimize exposure to insects
  • Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in buildings that are not fully enclosed

To learn more about how you can reduce your risk of infection and disease caused by bites, both at home and abroad, visit our insect bite prevention page.

Find out what types of insects are present where you’re travelling, when they’re most active, and the symptoms of the diseases they spread.

Chikungunya

There is a risk of chikungunya in this country.  The risk may vary between regions of a 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.

Dengue
  • In this country, risk of dengue is sporadic. It is a viral disease spread to humans by mosquito bites.
  • Dengue can cause flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it can lead to severe dengue, which can be fatal.
  • The level of risk of dengue changes seasonally, and varies from year to year. The level of risk also varies between regions in a country and can depend on the elevation in the region.
  • 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

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.

Travel recommendations:

  • 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

Animal precautions

Some infections, such as rabies and influenza, can be shared between humans and animals. Certain types of activities may put you at higher risk of contact with animals, such as travelling in rural or forested areas, camping, hiking, and visiting wet markets (places where live animals are slaughtered and sold) or caves.

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, livestock (pigs, cows), monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats, and to avoid eating undercooked wild game.

Closely supervise children, as they’re more likely to come in contact with animals.

Person-to-person infections

Stay home if you’re sick and practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette, which includes coughing or sneezing into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand. Reduce your risk of colds, the flu and other illnesses by:

  •  washing your hands often
  • avoiding or limiting the amount of time spent in closed spaces, crowded places, or at large-scale events (concerts, sporting events, rallies)
  • avoiding close physical contact with people who may be showing symptoms of illness 

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV are spread through blood and bodily fluids; use condoms, practise safe sex, and limit your number of sexual partners.

Medical services and facilities

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.

Travel health and safety

 

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.

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Laws and 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.

Drugs

Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines.

Alcohol

The legal drinking age in Samoa is 21.

The sale of alcohol is prohibited on Sundays.

Useful links

Restricted goods

There are strict regulations regarding the importation of:

  • firearms
  • ammunition
  • explosives
  • pornographic material
  • fruits and animals

2SLGBTQI+ travellers

Samoan law criminalizes sodomy between persons of the same sex. If you are convicted, you could face imprisonment.

2SLGBTQI+ 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.

2SLGBTQI+ travellers should carefully consider the risks of travelling to Samoa

Travel and your sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics

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

Driving

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

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.

Travellers with dual citizenship

International Child Abduction

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty. It can help parents with the return of children who have been removed to or retained in certain countries in violation of custody rights. The convention applies between Canada and Samoa.

If your child was wrongfully taken to, or is being held in Samoa, and if the applicable conditions are met, you may apply for the return of your child to the Samoan court.

If you are in this situation:

  • act as quickly as you can
  • contact the Central Authority for your province or territory of residence for information on starting an application under The Hague Convention
  • consult a lawyer in Canada and in Samoa to explore all the legal options for the return of your child
  • report the situation to the nearest Canadian government office abroad or to the Vulnerable Children’s Consular Unit at Global Affairs Canada by calling the Emergency Watch and Response Centre

If your child was removed from a country other than Canada, consult a lawyer to determine if The Hague Convention applies.

Be aware that Canadian consular officials cannot interfere in private legal matters or in another country’s judicial affairs.

Useful links

Money

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.

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Natural disasters and climate

Cyclones

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

Useful links

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

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Need help?

Local services

Emergency services

In case of emergency, dial 911.

Consular assistance

There is no resident Canadian government office in Samoa. Canadians in Samoa can obtain consular assistance and further information from the Australian High Commission to Samoa, in Apia, under the Canada-Australia Consular Services Sharing Agreement.

Sign up to receive email updates from the Australian government on situations and events that could affect your safety while in Samoa.

Smartraveller - Australian travel advice

Apia - High Commission of Australia
Street AddressBeach Road, Apia, SamoaPostal AddressP.O. Box 704, Apia, SamoaTelephone685 24311Fax685 23159Emailapia.admin@dfat.gov.auInternethttps://samoa.embassy.gov.au/apia/home.htmlConsular district

American Samoa

Wellington - High Commission of Canada
Street AddressLevel 11, 125 The Terrace, Wellington 6011, New ZealandPostal AddressP.O. Box 8047, Wellington 6140, New ZealandTelephone+64 4 473-9577Fax+64 4 471-2082Emailwlgtn.consular@international.gc.caInternethttps://www.Canada.ca/Canada-And-New-ZealandFacebookHigh Commission of Canada in New ZealandTwitterCanada in New ZealandConsular district

American Samoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Kiribati, Niue, Samoa, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Wallis and Futuna

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.

Disclaimer

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.

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