Passport services suspended
The Samoa Immigration has temporarily suspended its service for issuing travel documents including passports.
The decision becomes effective on Thursday 26 March 2020 until further notice.
The announcement was made by the Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Agafili Shem Leo.
“Applications that have been received before the 26th March will still be processed,” read the notice.
It also added that the change has been made in compliant with the new Orders issued under the State of Emergency, declared for the protection of Samoa from the COVID 19.
“Other immigration services will remain open as usual.”
Members of the public are urged to contact the Ministry of the Prime Minister and Cabinet – Immigration Division on telephones: 20291 or 20292 during working hours or on email: [email protected] for any inquiries.
The new orders issued under the State of Emergency include: all international travel to and from Samoa by plane are ceased except exceptional circumstances with Cabinet approval.
Other orders include: ship access to Apia wharf is limited specifically for the purposes of trade, fishing, and petroleum, and the Ministry of Health is required to continue with the approved medical clearance of all crew members.
However, domestic ferry services will also cease.
The new opening hours for all supermarkets is also restricted by the new orders from 6am-4pm, until further notice.
Penalties can now be imposed as mandated by the new orders.
A person, who commits an offence where the person does not comply with any of the above orders, attracts the following penalties: for an individual, $200 for a first offence, and $500 for a continuous offence.
For an organization or corporation or similar such legal entity, $5,000 for a first offence while $7,000 for a continuous offence.
Penalties issued under this order must be paid within 24 hours of the offence, failure of which the offender may be detained by Police for not more than three months.
The Ministry of Police is responsible for the enforcement of this Order.