Cabinet approves S.O.E. extension to August 30
The Cabinet has announced its extension of the current state of emergency [S.O.E.] from August 3 to 30.
The decision of the Cabinet was highlighted in a statement that the Government’s Press Secretariat distributed to the local media on Monday evening.
The announcement of the extension of the SOE orders was accompanied by new amendments under the category of public gatherings where matai [chief] title bestowment is permitted on the following conditions: social distancing is to be observed; attendance is restricted to 50 couples; visitors [malo usu] are prohibited; only residents in Samoa are permitted to attend and the attendance of overseas residents is prohibited.
The rest of the SOE orders remain unchanged and in full force. Some of the orders that remain in effect include: combined church services [tapuaiga tuufaatasi], meetings and Tofiga a Ekalesia [church callings] are permitted but attendance is restricted to 50 couples.
However, social distancing of two meters is to be observed; and the church Minister [faifeau] is to ensure the two meter social distancing in the church is adhered to. The Church and congregations can only have luncheons [to’onai].
Hotels are permitted to have non-guests dine in on Sundays from 12pm to 10pm while restaurants are only open on Sundays from 12pm to 10pm specifically for take-away only.
The Inter-island domestic ferry services between Upolu and Savaii remain closed on Sundays. And pensioners of 60-years-old and above have also been given the green light to use their inter-island free fare benefit to travel between Upolu and Savaii, though they are to provide their Pensioners ID.
Fishing boats may dock at Matautu Wharf for not more than 48 hours for the offloading of fish and restocking of the supplies before leaving Samoa. And medical and quarantine requirements are to be complied with; and no crew member leaving the boat.
Furthermore boat schedules must be submitted to the Samoa Ports Authority; Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries; Ministry of Police and Prisons Services and the Ministry of Health.
The date of departure from the last port or the exchange of any crew members whilst at sea, must not be less than 28 days before arrival at Apia wharf; and notification of arrival date must be received by the relevant authorities five days prior; and there shall be no exchange of crew members whilst at sea.
Samoa also continues to close its international borders while repatriating its stranded people overseas to return home. The new Order commences on 28th July 2020.