Sunday business restrictions to remain: P.M.

The Government’s decision to restrict the trading hours of supermarkets and small shops on Sundays will remain, says Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi.

Speaking on his weekly 2AP program last week, Tuilaepa said the time is not right for all the businesses that normally trade on Sundays to return to normal operations.

“The whole purpose of this is to have a good break. Six days and a quarter-of-a-day is what people use to earn money but let’s use this small amount of time to [at least] seek for blessings up in heaven forever,” he said, in response to a question from the program host, on whether businesses will return to normal on Sundays due to Samoa being COVID-19 free.

Without making reference to anyone in particular, Tuilaepa questioned the rationale of trading on Sundays to accumulate wealth, when people should be in church worshiping God.  

“Some die early at the age of 40 and if we keep earning and saving and we end up dying, who will use those money?

“Thus, it’s also important to look for your fare to heaven and only people who go to church understand these things.

“Those who have their lives revolved around money do not understand these reasons.”

The Prime Minister has claimed that since the start of the state of emergency [S.O.E.] orders restrictions, the objectives of the S.O.E. orders were defeated by the increasing number of people seen shopping at small stores on Sundays. 

And while the contribution of the local businesses to the community are acknowledged, through the job opportunities that they offer, Tuilaepa said the Government will not lift the restrictions until it is safe to do so. 

He also said that the Government is “wisely using” its S.O.E. powers to minimise risks associated with the COVID-19. 

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