American Samoa

Lemanu and Talauega win American Samoa gubernatorial race

Results released by the office this morning show the pair securing 7,154 of the 11,861 votes counted, more than 60 percent of the votes.

It is the first time in more than 30 years that there won't be a run-off election in the gubernatorial race.

According to the election office Lemanu and Talauega won 7,154 votes (60.3 percent) of the 11,861 votes counted Gaoteote and Faiivae garnered 2,594 votes or( 21.9 percent) , I'aulualo and Tapaau polled 1,461 votes, (12.3 percent) and Nua and Satele received 652 ballots, (5.5 percent).

Voting underway in American Samoa

Electors are casting ballots for the gubernatorial race - to elect the governor and lieutenant governor; for the territory's Delegate to the US House of Representatives and 20 or the 21 members of the local House.

The Swains Island seat was already decided in a meeting last week, with incumbent Su'a Alexander Jennings returning for an eighth term.

Prior to polls open today 1,601 absentee ballots had already been. Of these, 892 are outside or off island absentee ballots and 709 are local absentee votes.

Talofa Airways to fly in American Samoa

The flights, to and from the Manu'a island group, have been approved by the US Department of Transportation.

Last month Talofa Airways requested an expedited processing of its application, which claimed that an exemption of federal cabotage was in the public interest and would prevent undue hardship to the territory's residents.

Talofa Airways said it planned to start flights next week, after its request for initial 30 day period.

Flight postponed after Samoa issues new travel advice

They were meant to start Thursday however a last minute change in travel advice from Samoa postponed the plans.

The Samoa government now required travellers from American Samoa to have a negative COVID-19 test three days before arrival at Faleolo airport.

Up until now travellers from the territory were exempt from that requirement based on the fact the territory was COVID-19 free.

Talofa Airways had advertised the flight for Thursday from Faleolo Airport to bring in skilled labour.

The return flight to Apia to bring back passengers from the territory.

Another American Samoa lawmaker returns Covid-19 cheque

Pago Pago Representative Vesiai Poyer Samuelu said when the cheques were distributed he questioned the House speaker about the source of the money but got no answer.

Some lawmakers had said the leaders told them the funds can be used to set up offices in their homes and pay for telephone and internet costs.

The House Speaker and Senate President received US$20,000 while senators and representatives got US$10,000 each.

Tuala uta Representative Larry Sanitoa was the first legislator to return his cheque.

American Samoa struggles with quarantine workload from Samoa repatriation flights

The group included many travelers with existing health conditions needing medical attention.

Samoa Airways and Talofa Airways had to cancel some scheduled flights from Samoa on the advice of the Department of Health to allow medical staff to recuperate.

Health Director Motusa Tuileama Nua said doctors and nurses were having to attend to the elderly and sick travelers being quarantined.

He said these people could not be taken to the hospital because they were in quarantine and could not be exposed to other patients.

Repatriation flights between the two Samoas to begin today

More than 160 American Samoans have been stranded in Apia since the Covid-19 lock down and dozens of Samoans are also keen to return home from Pago Pago.

Local media are reporting at least 40 people a day could be repatriated with both Samoa Airways and Talofa Airways operating flights.

The Samoa government has relaxed travel conditions on their end, so returning citizens do not need to be tested for Covid-19, providing they can prove they have been in the territory for at least 14 days.

Repatriation flights to begin between two Samoas

That's according to information shared at this week's Coronavirus Taskforce meeting.

The Attorney General's Office is going over the final numbers with authorities in Samoa.

Director of Health Motusa Tuileama Nua said the plan was to bring in 40 people a day.

All will be taken to quarantine centres and will be Covid-19 tested.

He said there would be flights Wednesday, Thursday and Friday this week.

The DYWA Centre in Pago Pago will be the main quarantine site used.


Public gatherings, church services allowed in American Samoa

The fifth Amended Emergency Declaration is effective from today and allows public gatherings which are limited to 150 people and with social distancing in place.

Businesses can now operate from 5am to 9 pm but must allow just 50 percent of their capacity within the premises.

All schools will remain shut for the next 30 days, with the current school year closed.

Public beaches and parks have reopened for the first time since March.

American Samoa does not have a confirmed case of Covid-19.

The new declaration is in effect until 1 July.


American Samoa official upset at Samoa PM comments

Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, speaking on Radio 2AP, blamed returned American Samoan servicemen for illegal weapons and Iraqi currency discovered in a police raid in Faleatiu.

American Samoa's faipule, Vailoata Amituana'i, expressed disappointment at Tuila'epa's statements.

He told yesterday's fono session that such strong accusations should not be made without evidence and questioned the honesty of officers carrying out the raid.

Vailoata reminded the House of senior Samoan officers having illegally run guns from the US territory on a police patrol boat.