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COVID-19 Travel Advisory from the Samoa Tourism Authority

23 March 2020

State of Emergency

Samoa Tourism Authority

Following the recent declaration of the State of Emergency, the Government has clarified one of its orders on international travel.

With all international travellers being prohibited from entering Samoa, the returning citizens and residents of Samoa who are the only ones allowed, must provide proof that they have undergone a COVID-19 test, 5 days before entering Samoa.
The Government yesterday declared a State of Emergency for two weeks, and effective from midnight Saturday 21st March until 4th April 2020.

More than 20 orders were issued by the Hon. Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi, in response to the CoronaVirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

These orders include among others, the reduction of flights to-and-from Samoa to New Zealand and Australia, as well as seizing of flights between Samoa and neighbouring American Samoa, Tonga and Fiji.

The orders issued are mentioned below:

1. National fasting and prayer:
A national period of fasting and prayer is to be observed by every family in Samoa from Sunday 22 March 2020 until Saturday 29 March 2020 from 6.00am - 12.00pm daily.

2. International travel:
(1) All international travelers, travelling to Samoa are prohibited from entering Samoa unless:
(a) the traveler is a returning citizen or resident of Samoa; and
(b) that returning resident or citizen has undergone a COVID-19 test 5 days before entering Samoa.
(2) There shall be only 3 flights between Samoa and New Zealand, for each carrier and each carrier must not exceed carriage of 490 passengers per week to Samoa.
(3) There shall be only 1 flight between Samoa and Australia per week.
(4) The following flights are suspended until further notice - between Samoa and Tonga; Samoa and Fiji; Samoa and American Samoa.
(5) All travel plans for overseas countries under the seasonal worker schemes which includes (RSE, SWP, PLS) is hereby stopped until further notice.
(6) All travel plans for overseas countries for scholarship purposes are hereby stopped until further notice.

3. Domestic travel:
(1) All operators of Public transport (buses) are ordered to cease operation until further notice.
(2) Travel between Upolu and Savaii is reduced to travel weekly on Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

4. Public gatherings:
(1) There shall be no public gathering of more than 5 people at any public place.
(2) There shall be no public gatherings of any sort which include but are not limited to Church gatherings; Sports events; and Entertainment gatherings.
(3) All nightclubs, bars, theatres or any public place people accustom for social gatherings are to be closed.
(4) All people are prohibited from gathering at airports or wharves unless it is for permitted travel.

5. Public transport:
Vehicles - The operation of public transport such as buses and vans that carry more than 5 people are prohibited. Operators of public transport that carry 5 people or less are permitted to continue operation.
Ferries - Travel between Upolu and Savaii is restricted to three days a week - on Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

6. Markets:
The Savalalo, Fugalei, Salelologa, Vaitele markets and all other flea markets or any market which the public have access to, are only permitted to open from 6.00am to 4.00pm after which a curfew will be in force from 4.00pm to 6.00am daily. All are required to return home by 4.00pm and not permitted to sleep at any market.

7. Street vendors
There shall be no selling of any goods beside roads, street, culverts or footpaths. Children selling goods in public is strictly prohibited.

8. Schools:
All schools are to close until further notice.

9. Access to Health Facilities:
(1) All persons of the age of 60 and above are to remain at home and must not move out and about in public, unless seeking medical attention at any health facility.
(2) All persons are prohibited from accessing any health facility unless he or she is seeking medical attention at any health facility.
(3) A person that is admitted to the hospital may only have one carer to tend to him or her, and only be visited by 2 people at any one time.
(4) All patient care intended for travel overseas under the Samoa Medical Treatment Scheme are hereby suspended until further notice.

10. Restriction for Government services:
(1) The Public Service Commission (“Commission”) is to determine conditions in which employees are to continue working under, with the objective of ensuring minimal spread of infection.
(2) The Commission’s conditions shall apply to all Government Ministries and Public Bodies.
(3) All Government trips overseas are hereby suspended until further notice.

11. Ministry of Health duties:
The Ministry of Health shall ensure to implement awareness programmes for the prevention of the spread of the COVID-19.

12. Samoa Police Service:
The Samoa Police Service shall implement this Order.

13. Special Powers of Government Chief Executive Officers:
All Chief Executive Officers of Government Ministries and Public Bodies are empowered to exercise their statutory functions, duties and powers provided under any legislation, or administrative functions for the implementation of the Sector Preparedness and Response Matrix Consolidated for Corona Virus Pandemic.

14. Financing:
The financing of the implementation of this Order shall be funded by the appropriate budget approved by the Government.
Visit the Government of Samoa website & FB pages http://www.samoagovt.ws https://www.facebook.com/samoagovt/ and Ministry of Health website & FB pages https://www.health.gov.ws/ https://www.facebook.com/publichealthsamoa for more information.

Contact their 24-hour call center on 21183, 21176, 21173, 22914 & 24402 or email Tagaloa Dr. Robert Thomsen robertt@health.gov.ws (+685) 767-6015 or Dr. Sarah Brown sarahb@health.gov.ws.

The Samoa Tourism Authority has now activated its Disaster Response Center, working closely with the National Emergency Operation Center (NEOC) and other relevant Government Agencies.

For any needed assistance during the emergency period, contact Tupa’i Robert Ah Sam robert@samoa.travel Ph 762-7714 or Su’a Hesed Ieremia hesed@samoa.travel Ph 724-7865.

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