Samoa to return to Alert Level 2, businesses, work, government services to reopen

Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa has announced that Samoa will return to Alert Level 2 Orange from the current Alert Level 3 Red.

The change will come into effect on the suspension of the nationwide lockdown at 6pm today and will be for a duration of 2 weeks.

Cabinet endorsed the decision and Level 2 is activated upon confirmation that any affected person is isolated in a controlled quarantine site and there is no community transmission.

As of this morning, there are 27 confirmed Covid-19 cases in the country and all of them are in quarantine.

Fiame said a third PCR test was conducted yesterday for all quarantined and isolated passengers and frontline officers, one more passenger returned a positive test of Covid-19.

“This new case is a close relative/contact of the 21 passengers already affected with the virus and was isolated at Faleolo Hospital. All 27 affected people are asymptomatic.”

Fiame also said six of the seven specimen sent to New Zealand on 22 January are confirmed to be the Omicron variant and one of the Delta variant.

“From the regular testing schedule there is no community transmission.”

Five of the 27 cases are nurses at the frontline and all of them are in the isolation ward at Motootua.

Cabinet has reviewed the State of Emergency Order as follows:

Level 2 – Covid-19 responses (Orange)

  • Reopen work, businesses, and government services;
  • Allow public gatherings to cap at 30 people;
  • Permit only cargo flights into and out of Samoa until further notice;
  • Suspend inbound repatriation flights, seasonal workers flights and outbound passenger service flights until further notice;
  • Continue regular inter-island ferry services between Upolu and Savaii but maintain social distancing;
  • Container ships and oil tankers allowed to berth at Matautu wharf to ensure adequate food and fuel supply chains for Samoa;
  • Public transportation is restricted to taxis (4 passengers); buses to keep passenger numbers to 20
  • School openings to be suspended but encourage the use of virtual, audio-visual and other e-learning platforms; and
  • 12 years and under age groups are prohibited from public places.

All other orders as of the State of Emergency Order 63 remain.

The public health conditions to be observed during Level 2 are:

  • Mandatory wearing of facial masks;
  • Mandatory showing of vaccination cards;
  • Social distancing;
  • Vaccination roll out for those who have not started nor completed doses;
  • Regular PCR testing for people in quarantine;
  • Booster doses roll out; and
  • Pediatric vaccination roll out when available.

Fiame said, “The changes are necessary to ensure that our country is protected, and the safety and security of our people is maintained.”


 Photo file  Caption: Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata'afa