Monday a public holiday for 58th Independence Day

Samoa will mark this year’s 58th independence anniversary celebration with a public holiday on Monday, 1 June 2020.

This was confirmed by the Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Agafili Shem Leo, in response to questions from the Samoa Observer.

“A decision on the Independence celebration this year will meticulously take into consideration the current State of Emergency Orders for the protection of the country from the COVID 19,” he said.

Agafili added that there is a [public] holiday on the 1st of June to mark the independence anniversary every year that will also be honoured this year.   

“The public will be informed of any likely changes to the programme this year soonest, which may be very different from the programmes that the country is familiar with over the past 57 years of independence celebration.”

Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi previously announced that this year’s Independence celebration will emphasise social distancing requirements for coronavirus, imposed by Cabinet.

He added that a small ceremony with a prayer will be done by one of the National Council of Churches members, followed by the Head of State's remarks from his home in Vailele.

According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labour, it stated that in accordance with section 2 of the Public Holidays Act 2008, the public, government agencies, and the private sector are hereby advised that Monday, 1st June 2020 is to be treated as a Public Holiday in commemoration of our 58th year of Independence.

It also added that shops selling goods may open during public holidays in accordance with the provisions of the Public Holidays Act 2008. 

However, employers are to comply with section 39 of the Labour and Employment Relations Act 2013 in relation to the rate of wages to be paid to employees who work on Public Holidays.

The Ministry also stressed that the State of Emergency ‘SOE’ Order issued on the 20th of May is still in effect.

“According, the public and private sector must adhere to this order. 

“The new opening hours for supermarkets are as follows: Monday to Saturday are strictly from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Sunday is strictly from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

“For further information, please contact the Industrial Relations, Foreign Employees Employment Permits and Occupational Safety and Health Division at telephone 20441 or 20442.”

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