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Travel Insurance Samoa

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Samoa Country Guide

  1. Country Facts
  2. Health
  3. Media
  1. Intro
  2. Geography
  3. People
  4. Travel
  5. Embassies & Visas
  6. Finance
  7. Cities/Regions

Quick Facts

Region: Asia & Oceania
Full Name: Independent State of Samoa
Capital City: Apia
Language Spoken: Samoan (Polynesian), English

Samoa Travel Insurance

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flag-samoa

Geographic data

13 35 S, 172 20 W

Elevation Extremes

lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m highest point: Mauga Silisili (Savaii) 1,857 m

Land boundaries

0 km

Natural hazards

occasional typhoons; active volcanism

Natural resources

hardwood forests, fish, hydropower

Land use

arable land: 21.13% permanent crops: 24.3% other: 54.57% (2005)

Environmental current issues

soil erosion, deforestation, invasive species, overfishing

Climate

Samoa has a warm, tropical climate tempered by trade winds between May and September. Temperatures remain relatively constant throughout the year, becoming cooler at night. There are more than 2500 hours of sunshine annually. Rainfall is heaviest between December and April. Sea temperatures rarely fall below 24°C (75.2°F). Required clothing Lightweight cottons and linens with warmer clothes for evenings. Rainwear is advisable.

Time difference

time difference: UTC-11

Population

176,908 (July 2006 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 26.1% (male 23,492/female 22,653) 15-64 years: 67.3% (male 74,202/female 44,894) 65 years and over: 6.6% (male 5,299/female 6,368) (2006 est.)

Median age

total: 25.2 years male: 28.1 years female: 22 years (2006 est.)

Population growth rate

-0.2% (2006 est.)

Birth rate

16.43 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Death rate

6.62 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Net migration rate

-11.76 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 1.65 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.83 male(s)/female total population: 1.39 male(s)/female (2006 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 71 years male: 68.2 years female: 73.94 years (2006 est.)

Total fertility rate

2.94 children born/woman (2006 est.)

Business Practices

Samoan business meetings are typically informal and English is widely spoken in business circles.

Crime

Samoa Islands have a low crime rate and violent crime is very rare. There has been a slight increase in personal property thefts. Pickpockets and purse-snatchers often operate where tourists tend to gather and normal security precautions should be observed.

Hotels

There is a wide range of accommodation available in Samoa, from international-standard hotels to simple guesthouses

Communications

Telephone IDD service is available. The country code is 684. Several hotels have fax facilities. Telex/telegram facilities are available at main towns and hotels. The Main Post Office in the Lumana'i Building in Fagatogo is open 24 hours. There are also branches in Leone and Faguita villages, open 0800-1600 Monday to Friday and 0830-1200 Saturday.

Electricity

is 110V. U.S.-style 2-pin plugs are used. Electricity 240 volts AC, 50Hz (110 volts AC in some hotels). Three-pronged plugs are in use as in Australia and New Zealand.

Plug Types

I

Food And Dining

Among the local specialties are dishes cooked in the traditional Samoan oven, umu. A variety of Chinese food is also available in a few places and there are several snack and light meal restaurants in Apia serving fast food and other Western food.

National specialties:
? Fresh seafood.
? Roast suckling pig.
? Chicken.
? Breadfruit and fruit. National drinks: Kava is the national drink (see also the American Samoa and Fiji sections). Alcohol may not be purchased on Sundays except by hotel residents and their guests.

Tipping:
Not customary.

Nightlife
Several nightclubs offer dancing and other entertainment. Several cinemas show English-language films and Chinese films with subtitles.

Entry departure requirements

* Please see visa section

Visa immigration information

Passports

Passport valid for six months beyond the date of departure from Samoa required by all.

Visas

Required by all except:
1. nationals of any country visiting Samoa as a tourist will be issued with a free 60-day visa on arrival provided they hold confirmed onward tickets, a valid passport and proof of sufficient funds to support the stay. For longer stays, visas should be obtained before arrival or visa extensions can be applied for in Apia.

Types of visa and cost

Visitor's Permit: free on arrival. Other types of visa cost from US$118 -US$1412 and applicants should enquire directly with the Samoan Embassy.

Validity

Six months from date of issue.

Application to

Nearest Samoan Embassy or High Commission or the Immigration Division of the Prime Minister?s Department in Apia (PO Box L1861).

Application requirements

(a) Two passport-size photos. (b) Completed application form. (c) Fee.

Working days required

Apply at least four weeks in advance.

Temporary residence

Costs from ?100 depending on the purpose of your visit. Business and employment visas are 50 per cent cheaper if applied for outside Samoa. Each application is assessed on an individual basis and takes at least four weeks to process.

HIV entry requirements

Anyone, applying for a work or a student permit and staying longer than 12 months have to submit a medical report which may include an HIV test.

Departure tax

Tala40 for adults. Transit passengers and children under 12 years of age are exempt.

Embassies

Samoan Consulate in UK

Samoan Consulate in London, Church Cottage, Pedlinge, Nr Hythe, Kent, CT12 5JL

Embassy of Samoa

20, Avenue de l'Oree, B- 1000 Brussels , Belgium
Tel: (2) 660 8454. Fax: (2) 675 0336.

Permanent Mission of Samoa to the United Nations

800 2nd Avenue, Suite 400J, New York, NY 10017, USA
Tel: (212) 599 6196.

Travelers should avoid driving out of built up areas at night.
Serious crime is low and most visits to Samoa are trouble-free. You should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate international terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners.
This advice is based on information provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. It is correct at time of publishing. As the situation can change rapidly, visitors are advised to contact the following organizations for the latest travel advice:

British Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Tel: (0845) 850 2829.
Website: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/samoa

US Department of State

Website: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Samoa.html

Currency

Tala or Samoa Dollar (Tala) = 100 sene. Notes are in denominations of Tala100, 50, 20, 10, 5 and 2. Coins are in denominations of Tala1, and 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 sene.

Currency restrictions

There are no restrictions on the import of local or foreign currency. Export of local currency is prohibited. Export of foreign currency is limited to the amount imported.

Banking hours

Mon-Fri 0900-1500, some banks open Sat 0900-1200 and may have slightly longer opening hours.

Currency exchange

Available at the airport or through banks. There are four banks in Samoa: ANZ Bank Samoa Ltd, the National Bank of Samoa , Samoa Commercial Bank and Westpac. These have ATMs at many of their branches throughout Samoa.

Credit cards

American Express, Cirrus, MasterCard and Visa are accepted on a limited basis. Check with your credit or debit card company for details of merchant acceptability and other services which may be available.

Travellers cheques

Accepted in major hotels, banks and tourist shops. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travelers are advised to take traveller's cheques in US Dollars or Pounds Sterling.

City/RegionCity/Area codeFollowed by
Apia69+ 3 digits
Savaii59+ 3 digits
Upolu4+ 4 digits
  1. Health Information
  2. Recent Disease Outbreaks
  3. Hospital Database

Dental care

Avoid dental treatment as the standards of care and hygiene cannot be guaranteed.

Medication Availability

Limited supplies of medication are generally available in the larger pharmacies on the main Island

Blood supplies

Blood supplies should be considered as unsafe

Medical facilities

Health care facilities in Samoa are adequate for routine medical treatment, but are limited in range and availability. A national hospital is located in Apia and district hospitals are available on Savai'i and Upolu.

General caution

Recent medical and dental exams should ensure that the traveler is in good health. Carry appropriate health and accident insurance documents and copies of any important medical records. Bring an adequate supply of all prescription and other medications as well as any necessary personal hygiene items, including a spare pair of eyeglasses or contact lenses if necessary. Drink only bottled beverages (including water) or beverages made with boiled water. Do not use ice cubes or eat raw seafood, rare meat or dairy products. Eat well-cooked foods while they are still hot and fruits that can be peeled without contamination. Avoid roadside stands and street vendors. Swim only in well-maintained, chlorinated pools or ocean water known to be free from pollution. Wear clothing which reduces exposed skin and apply repellents containing DEET to remaining areas. Sleep in well-screened accommodations. Carry anti-diarrheal medication. Reduce problems related to sun exposure by using sunglasses, wide-brimmed hats, sunscreen lotions and lip protection.

Specific concerns

AIDS occurs. Blood supply may not be adequately screened and/or single-use, disposable needles and syringes may be unavailable. When possible, travelers should defer medical treatment until reaching a facility where safety can be assured. Hazards to bathers include corals and jellyfish, poisonous fish, and sea snakes.

Immunization

Hepatitis A: Consider active immunization with hepatitis A vaccine or passive immunization with immune globulin (IG) for all susceptible travelers. Especially consider choosing active immunization for persons planning to reside for a long period or for persons who take frequent short-term trips to risk areas. The importance of protection against hepatitis A increases as length of stay increases. It is particularly important for persons who will be living in or visiting rural areas, eating or drinking in settings of poor or uncertain sanitation, or who will have close contact with local persons (especially young children) in settings with poor sanitary conditions. Hepatitis B: Vaccination is advised for health care workers, persons anticipating direct contact with blood from or sexual contact with inhabitants, and persons planning extended stays of 6 months or greater (especially those who anticipate using local health care facilities, staying in rural areas, or having intimate contact with the local population). Typhoid: Vaccination should be considered for persons staying longer than 3 weeks, adventurous eaters, and those who will venture off the usual tourist routes into small cities, villages and rural areas. Importance of vaccination increases as access to reasonable medical care becomes limited. Contraindications depend on vaccine type. Note: All routine vaccines (such as DTP or Td, Hib, MMR, polio, varicella, influenza and pneumococcal) should be kept up-to-date as a matter of good health practice unrelated to travel.

Disease risk summary

Insect-borne illness: Dengue fever - occurs Dengue hemorrhagic fever - occurs Filariasis - prevalent Food-borne and water-borne illness: diseases such as the diarrheal disease, the typhoid fevers and helminthic infections are common. Hepatitis occurs. Biointoxication may occur from raw or cooked fish and shellfish. Other hazards: High levels of immunization coverage have reduced the incidence of diseases such as measles and diphtheria. Influenza risk extends throughout the year.

Entry requirements

Yellow fever: A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travelers over 1 year of age coming from infected areas.

Recent disease outbreaks

No recent disease outbreaks

NameAddress
MedCen HospitalP.O. Box 4500 Matautu-Uta Apia
Medcen Private HospitalPO box 4500 Matautu-utu Apia

Media

Press: The main English-language newspapers are Newsline, The Samoa Observer and Savali.
TV: State-run television is operated by the Samoa Broadcasting Corporation (SBC).
Radio: The SBC runs mediumwave and FM stations. Other stations include Magik FM, K-Lite FM and Talofa FM.

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