Samoa to open international borders

The Samoa Cabinet has agreed to the opening of international borders in August - September of this year.

Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa said Cabinet considered the plan for reopening of international borders.

“Critical to this decision are the current rates of our vaccination programme, amendments to quarantine conditions and the opening of borders of our neighboring countries, like Australia and Fiji as well as New Zealand in October this year,” Fiame said yesterday.

Cabinet also approved the continuation of Alert level two (orange) for another two weeks with some amendments.

The National University of Samoa will resume classes as planned early this month.

Secondary primary and early childhood education schools will gradually reopen during May, upon Cabinet’s consideration of a scheduled plan from the Education sector on the resumption of all schools.

Business opening hours are now extended from 6am to 10pm from Monday to Saturday.

The curfew starts from 11pm to 6am of the next day where only authorized personnel and vehicles are allowed on the roads.

Sunday business hours are from 12pm to 10pm at night.

Public gatherings, including church services are open but public is encouraged to maintain social distancing, wearing of facial masks and showing of vaccination cards.

Resumption of international flights from this month (May) for all Samoan citizens travelling to Samoa for various purposes, and all those who are contracted to work in Samoa.

Fiame said the latest figures from the Ministry of Health confirm that the total number of positive cases both in the community and those detected at the border is 9,592.

There were 73 cases found at the border upon arrival in Samoa, and 9,512 confirmed community cases since 17 March.

“The Ministry of Health also confirmed 3 new deaths over the last 48 hours, taking the number of deaths to 19. Out of the 202 patients admitted to the isolation wards at Moto’otua hospital, most have been discharged. About 65,949 rapid antigen tests have been administered. As of current, 11 patients are in isolation wards and one in ICU,” Fiame said.

So far 92.6 per cent of the age group 18 years and above have completed two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.

A total of 70,439 booster doses have been administered in the same age group.

For the age group 12-17 years old, 86.6 per cent have completed two doses.

And for the age group 5-11 years old, 58.7 per cent have completed two doses.

The second dose for all children from 5-11 years old will commence this week following the receipt of the pediatric vaccines from New Zealand over the weekend.

“The severe symptoms of the virus have been felt all over the world and have resulted in hospitalization and deaths. We have experienced similar outcomes in Samoa. The lives of 19 people that have been lost due to Covid-19 related complications, is a sad reality of the virus. On behalf of the Government I extend our deepest condolences to the families, relatives and children of those who have lost their battles to Covid-19. May you all be comforted in your loss of loved ones,” Fiame said.


Photo  Samoa Government Press Caption: Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata'afa 




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