Cabinet gives Pharmacies green light for Sunday

Cabinet has approved the opening of private pharmacies on Sundays. 

The decision follows months of closure for local pharmacies on Sundays, leaving members of the public in a panic on Sundays when they need urgent medication.

But Cabinet lifted the ban on pharmacies opening on Sunday during its meeting on Wednesday, according to a statement from the Press Secretariat. 

"At its meeting FK(20)37 on Wednesday, 16 September 2020, Cabinet discussed and thereby approved an amendment to the SOE orders, to authorize private Pharmacies to operate on Sundays from 3:00pm to 7:00pm," the statement reads. 

The amendment becomes effective on Sunday 20 September 2020. 

But Cabinet warned that all other orders under the State of Emergency remain unchanged. 

These include social distancing rules.

This week, Police Commissioner, Fuiavailili Egon Keil, said the owners of bars must enforce social distancing requirements of a two-metre space between patrons.

“It’s one of those things where, you know, we have to look at the state of emergency provisions and what does it say when it says clubs are open?,” he told the Samoa Observer.

“A lot of that is pushed back to the owners of the establishments to ensure there is enough social distancing happening.”

He said flatly that social distancing is not happening in bars and nightclubs.

“Is that happening? In reality? No, it’s not happening,” he said.

Asked if any owners of bars or nightclubs have been fined for violating restrictions, the Commissioner said he is unsure.

But he did say that the bars are public places and public places are required to follow the provisions of the state of emergency. 

“I’m not sure about being fined on that particular issue,” Fuiavailili said.


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