State of Emergency extended until November

The national state of emergency will remain in force for another month, the Government confirmed late on Wednesday night. 

With a signature from the Head of State Tuimalealiifano Va'aletoa Sualauvi II, Samoa has begun its eighth month under a state of emergency, with restrictions on social and public life as well as the necessary border closure.

The official dates of the renewed state of emergency are Tuesday 27 October to Sunday 22 November.

Restrictions still in place include a curfew on dining, nightclubs, and supermarket hours, and a widespread ban on activities on a Sunday. This still includes the ferry service between Savaii and Upolu.

Under the state of emergency, gatherings are still restricted to 100 people, including cultural and family occasions like weddings and funerals.

A full list of the remaining orders under the state of emergency has been requested from the Government Press Secretariat.

The nation’s borders remain closed to non-Samoan citizens or residents in a bid to keep the international pandemic out of the country.

So far COVID-19 has infected 44 million people worldwide, and killed 1.17 million as of Wednesday 28 October. 

New infections and deaths are still reaching record levels. There were 358,000 deaths yesterday and 4,624 people died. 

Samoa is one of a handful of countries in the Pacific, that has remained free of the virus. The Solomon Islands, which had kept our COVID-19 for months, reported its first cases at the beginning of October. 

Palau, Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Kiribati, Tuvalu, Samoa, Vanuatu and Tonga still have not reported COIVD-19 cases. 

The Ministry of Finance has released two stimulus packages to boost the budget and try and keep Samoa’s economy on track. 

But with no tourism or visiting friends and relatives, that project remains a challenge. 

Earlier this month the Central Bank of Samoa reported the nation’s total economic output for the first quarter of the current Financial Year was some 11.9 per cent lower when compared to the same period the year prior.

The quarterly fall saw the nation’s total Gross Domestic Product fall in value from $556.33 million for the June quarter in 2019 to just $489.89 million. 

The Bank’s new analysis showed that the contraction in Gross Domestic Product over the 2019-20 Financial Year was greater than had been forecast by 0.2 per cent. The bank had expected overall output to fall by 3.3 per cent but it dropped by 3.5 per cent. 

The revised data showed Samoa’s economy performed by a total of 7.1 per cent worse in the previous financial year on the basis of an annual comparison.

At present, the country’s real (or inflation adjusted) G.D.P. is $1,975.5 million, compared to $2,046.9 million in 2018-2019.

The large drop is driven mostly by a plunge in the value of tourism from $539.53 million in 2018-2019 to $375.3 million in 2019-2020, the new data showed.

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