Government announces new changes to S.O.E. Orders
The Government has announced the extension of opening hours for essential services from 6am to 4pm for three days a week starting Tuesday to enable people to replenish their supplies.
The new extended hours will start on Tuesday from 6am to 4pm as well as Thursday and Saturday this week with the same days for next week.
Prime Minister, Fiame Naomi Mata’afa made the announcement on Monday evening after Cabinet reviewed the current Alert Level 3 and State of Emergency Orders.
Some of the events scheduled for this week include mass vaccination for Upolu on Thursday and booster shot and paediatric programme for children aged 5–18 in Savai'i on Friday.
Inter–island ferries will also be opened to allow for transporting of food supplies and oil between the islands.
The Prime Minister said there are special conditions for people who want to travel between the islands allowing only those leaving for seasonal work and immediate families of those that passed away.
Fiame said 70,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine donated by New Zealand gets into the country on Tuesday this week to coincide with the mass vaccination plan for both islands.
“In rolling out this plan Cabinet is mindful of the capacity of frontline workers given the increasing number of those tested positive and are being isolated,” she said. “Allowing frontline workers space to recuperate and to roster their teams with assistance from the health and private sector to ensure continuity of covid 19 community response as well as commitment to other equally important services such as immunisation program to be delivered in safe manner.”
The Prime Minister said the extension of opening hours under the S.O.E. Orders will give room to the private sector and the community to finalise their plans in going forward to reflect the new norm of living with covid.
In addition the way forward also includes gradually opening the borders, she added.
To ensure the rapid surge of new infection is contained and community transmission reined in, the Government is targeting full coverage of herd community.
Fiame also noted that cargo shipment going to and from American Samoa will resume to transport goods between the islands.
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