State of emergency extended
State of emergency members will be extended through February, the Government announced on Wednesday evening following the convening of a special Cabinet meeting.
The Head of State, His Highness Tuimalealiifano Vaaletoa Sualauvi II, approved the recommendation by Cabinet.
The extension through Sunday, 14 February was announced as a safeguard from newly-discovered COVID-19 variants, or highly-infectious mutant strains discovered in South Africa and the United Kingdom.
The Government Press Secretariat made the announcement on Wednesday evening.
Cabinet noted that the detection of the mutant strain coincided with a time that more Samoans will be returning home on repatriation flights approved for the first three months of the year.
To further protect the nation from the virus variant, Health Director-General Leausa Dr. Take Naseri said post-security measures have been tightened to minimise contact between incoming vessels and frontline workers at the port.
Every vessel authorised to dock and off-load imports must abide by strict safety measures.
Leausa noted that the stop order issued by the Ministry of Health (M.O.H.) in October 2020 is still in effect.
Returning citizens of Samoa are not exempt from the ban.
Leausa asks that all returning Samoans follow the newest travel advisory effective Monday.