COVID19 shuts all national reserves
National Reserves around Samoa have all been closed due to COVID-19 preventative measures.
The announcement was made by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (M.N.R.E.) on Tuesday.
“We regret to inform you that all the National Reserves are now closed for any public use,” reads the statement.
It also added that it refers to activities such as hiking, walking and photographing.
The reserves are accessible for those authorized in relation to COVID19 prevention programmes.
The Ministry also added that members of the public will be notified further for re-opening schedules.
“For further information, please contact M.N.R.E. on telephone 67200 or 28680 during working hours from 9am – 3pm.
According to a representative from M.N.R.E., the reasons behind the closure are on the coronavirus preventative measures and the safety of members of the public due to escaped prisoners.
One of the most famous reserves in Upolu is the Vailima Botanical Garden located at Vailima.
The Garden is a popular hiking site for tourists and locals.
Some of the reserves in Samoa include: Tuanaimato Reserve, Vailele Reserve, also known as 'Ao o le Malo Reserve; Apia Central Reserve; Fa'avaeileatua Reserve; Fuluasou Botanical Garden; Magiagi Reserve; Palolo Deep Marine Reserve; Taumeasina Reserve.
The Government announced a State of Emergency as a coronavirus preventative measure last Friday which was effectively implemented on Saturday.
The announcement highlighted that people over 60 will have their freedom of movement curtailed, schools will be closed, and gatherings of five or more banned.
The Ombudsman Office had been temporarily closed to public personal consultations.
The Samoa Bureau of Statistics (S.B.S.) has announced the of its Savai'i branch as well as new opening hours for the Registration of Births, Deaths and Marriages Office.
To date, Samoa does not have any confirmed cases of coronavirus but only two suspected cases awaiting results.