Church Minister fined $2,000 for quarantine breach

A Church Minister who breached quarantine rules by entering a quarantine facility to see his wife has been fined $2,000.

But the Security Company whose workers failed to stop the man from entering the quarantine facility will not be charged or fined.

This was confirmed by the Police.

In an email, Deputy Police Commissioner, Papali'i Monalisa Tiai-Keti, said that while the man in question was fined $2,000 for breaking into his wife’s quarantine facility, the security firm will face so such consequences.

“The company did what they were mandated to do by reporting the matter to [the Ministry of Health] and Police,” Papali'i said.

Meanwhile, the National Emergency Operations Centre is keeping quiet on how Reverend Kini Ulu-Kini was able to access his wife’s self-isolation earlier this month, and what will be done to stop further quarantine breaches.

Last week, the Reverend broke into the house his wife was self-isolating in on returning from New Zealand by forcing his way past the Security Guards. 

The N.E.O.C. Chairman, Ulu Bismarck Crawley, has yet to respond to questions from the Samoa Observer on how this happened and what the full extent of the fallout has been.

But Papali'i confirmed the Reverend was fined $2000 and the Samoa Observer understands that both he and his wife, who was originally granted an exemption from managed isolation to quarantine at home, remain in the house together for a fresh 14 days of quarantine.

In a phone call, Rev. Ulu-Kini declined to comment on the situation.

He would not confirm whether he is still in quarantine and where.

The Reverend’s wife arrived from New Zealand following medical treatment on the last flight in July, and began her two-week quarantine stint in a home, cleared by the Ministry of Health. 

The Secretary of the Methodist Church Council, Reverend Eteuati Leuo Tauati, has not responded to phone calls regarding any consequences Rev. Ulu-Kini will face from the church as the council decides what to do.

Samoa’s capacity to manage passengers coming in from New Zealand and holding them in quarantine has been tested in recent weeks.

In response, Cabinet has slowed repatriation flights from fortnightly to one every three weeks, with freight services uninterrupted.

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