Samoa eases state of emergency measures due to COVID-19

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, April 15, 2020
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SUVA, April 15 (Xinhua) -- Restaurants and buses in Samoa have resumed operating on Wednesday at half capacity, with supermarket trading hours having been lengthened as a relaxed state of emergency measure announced by Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi.

According to a statement by the Samoa Tourism Authority, the decision was made after a close review by the prime minister and cabinet this week as Samoa still has no confirmed case of COVID-19.

The amended orders see ferry services between Upolu, the most populous island and Savaii, the biggest island on Samoa open three days a week with special conditions that aim to limit passengers.

Supermarkets which currently close at 4:00 p.m. local time will trade until 6:00 p.m. under the amendments and open till 3:00 p.m. on Sundays. Buses will resume their role as public transport, but only 20 passengers are allowed on-board before 5:30 p.m. as bus operators have been tasked with enforcing social distancing.

Restaurants will be open for dining from 6:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and the same rules apply to cafes. Inter-island travel will run only be for four days from Wednesday to Saturday and passengers above 60 years old are prohibited from taking ferries unless they are seeking medical attention.

People must travel when necessary and be mindful that the government can shut down transportation anytime.

Samoa's international borders have been closed for three weeks and all suspected COVID-19 cases with a history of travel have turned negative. The last arrivals into Samoa were 17 sailors who have now completed their 14-day quarantine period aboard the MV Lady Naomi III. It makes Samoa coronavirus free so far and as long as its borders remain closed. Enditem

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