State of emergency changes amended

A restriction on operating hours for small shops to operate from Monday to Saturday has been lifted allowing the vendors to open at any hour. 

However, the new order does not remove a Sunday restriction that only allows small shops to open from 3pm onwards. 

During his media programme with Radio 2AP on Thursday the Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi re-confirmed the trading hours for supermarkets as 6am - 10pm, Monday to Saturday and 3pm - 10pm on Sundays. 

He had previously announced that supermarkets would have to close at 7pm, but told Radio 2AP that Government had a change of heart after receiving feedback.

He told media that the changes have been made so small, family-run shops can make a profit.

“If they have the strength to open all night, that’s okay, as long as the small businesses get more customers, the larger stores are already well established,” he said.   

The latest amendment to the State of Emergency Orders for COVID-19 was approved by Cabinet in its meeting on 5 January 2021. 

Other amendments include changes to bingo games that can run from 6am and close by 11pm from Mondays to Fridays only. 

The new change means that Cabinet has prohibited any bingo games on Saturdays. 

The popular game was originally banned shortly after the state of emergency order was first declared last year for Covid-19. 

It wasn’t until June 2020 that the order was eased, allowing bingo games to take place, but with restrictions. 

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