Schools to resume as Govt. relaxes emergency orders

Schools will resume on Monday and asked to observe social distancing measures as part of an easing of state of emergency orders announced on Friday. 

The relaxed measures include a resumption of flights and followed an announcement from the Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi, on Friday evening to extend the state of emergency for another four weeks until 2 June. 

Tuilaepa said the new relaxed measures will be effective on Sunday where all churches will finally be opened to hold open service once a week with congregations observing social distance. 

Border restrictions have also been relaxed with flights to American Samoa and New Zealand approved once weekly, on the condition they are subject to medical clearance and quarantine. 

For travelers to and from American Samoa, Tuilaepa said flights will be restricted to Fridays and subject to negotiations with the territory. 

He said returning residents traveling from New Zealand, beginning from 19 May,. will be required to undergo a coronavirus test and 14 days’ quarantine. 

Tuilaepa said those intending to return for fa’alavelave (family business) and on short term visits will not be allowed. 

Orders that restrict gatherings for funerals to five people will remain in force, the Prime Minister said. 

He said priority would be given to returning students and those that had been away from the country for medical checkups. 

Tuilaepa said plans to lift travel restrictions to New Zealand and American Samoa would only begin once a quarantine area and testing for the coronavirus had been established. 

Fishing vessels will now be allowed to dock at the marina to unload cargo and refuel within limitations of only two vessels per day, the Prime Minister said. 

A ban on beaches and swimming at the pools has also been lifted. 

Restaurants will be ordered to open from 6 pm to 10 pm. 

The Prime Minister said the relaxed measures were approved after a Cabinet meeting determined they were the best for the country and the economy. 

Tuilaepa said a ban on sporting activities would be lifted for non-contact sports such as tennis, golf or walking.

He has asked for sporting bodies to enforce the required social distancing measures.  

Working hours will also return to 9 am to 5 pm and the Public Service Commission will detail measures that should be implemented, the Prime Minister said 

Tuilaepa urged parents of returning students to drop off and pick up their children to avoid crowds at the market and on buses. 

The Prime Minister said all other state of emergency orders would remain and the Government would soon circulate amended orders. 

 

 

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